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Innovative website offers new way to give back

What if you could help people in need by leveraging your most valuable skills? What if you had full control of what you did when volunteering as well as the schedule for when you did it?

Thanks to two entrepreneurs in Durham, all of that is now a possibility with www.Benefacting.org. The website is an online marketplace where people get together to offer goods and services in exchange for donations to charity. It was created from the joint efforts of Trevor Little and Brad Lindsay, both strong in their faith and eager to give back.

It all started when Little was considering the phrases "love your neighbor," and "do unto others as you would have them do to you." He spent a lot of time thinking about these powerful expressions and what actually defines a neighbor. His conclusion was that it's not just family, friends and the people who live on the same street. Before long, he realized a neighbor is anyone another person has the power to help.

Taking this realization one step further, Little began to think about not only who he could help, but how he could best help them. From there the idea of Benefacting was born – using one’s own talents, skills, resources and hobbies to ultimately help those in need. Introducing the idea to Lindsay, the two teamed up excited to tackle a project in which their skills and passion could actually help people.

So, by using their skills to build a website that would let others give back to charity, the two completed the first “Benefaction.” And now they’re inviting others to join in. Here’s how it works:

Transactions, called “Benefactions,” involve two people and a charity. The first person, known as the "Actor," posts details on www.Benefacting.org of a service or good he or she is willing to perform or give in exchange for a donation to a charity. The second person contacts the Actor through Benefacting.org to express his or her interest in the good or service. The two people set up the specific details and the recipient of the good or service becomes the “Sponsor” and makes a secure donation through PayPal directly to the charity. The Actor can see when the Sponsor makes the donation so that all are confident the money reaches the specified charity.

It’s a model where everyone wins: the Actor gives back, the Sponsor receives what he or she is looking for, and the charity receives the funds.

Benefacting is also the first and only tool that inspires volunteering by putting control of the activity and outcome completely in the user’s hands, and all while raising money for that person’s charity of choice. Rather than volunteering for activities that may not align with an individual’s skills or schedule, the website helps people support charities by doing things they want to do, when they want to do them. It also lets cash-strapped individuals find a way to support a cause they care about by leveraging their other personal assets.

Little and Lindsay want the online resource to break down the barriers of volunteering. Now a student can tutor to raise money in support of her church’s charitable work, or an artist can paint a picture for a donation to his favorite charity. A contractor can use his skills to build a fence to support a nonprofit important to his family. Volunteering has no bounds. You can walk a dog, paint a house, weed a garden, sell a couch, or do anything else. Whatever you want, you can do it – and those in need can benefit.

“Finding the place where what you love doing meets the change you want to see in the world is the sweet spot, and now anyone can do that,” said Little.

To date, more than 40 North Carolina charities are signed up to benefit from transactions on www.Benefacting.org, including Family Violence & Rape Crisis Services in Chatham County, Brown Bag Ministry in Apex, Book Harvest in Chapel Hill, Urban Ministries of Wake County and many more!

Learn how you can make a difference in your community today and visit www.Benefacting.org.


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