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Kickstarter meets Kiva meets TOMS
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  • August 19, 2013
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That’s the idea behind a soon-to-be launched social enterprise and crowdfunding web site by the name of Reciprocity & Co. The basic concept is this: Founded by Gainsville, Fla.-based Sam McPherson, the site promotes projects aimed at addressing major areas of need, like health or human rights abuses. But the way it happens is consumers buy an organic cotton tote bag or backpack for $25, and $5 from those revenues goes to help an organization involved with one of those projects. Example: the Alaska Sudan Medical Project, which is trying to build a school in South Sudan able to supply 400 children with clean drinking water.

McPherson started toying with his idea when he was an undergraduate at Pace University, studying entrepreneurship. During his studies–he graduated in 2009–he went on several trips to help repair schools in Guatemala and there he got the germ of the concept. “I wanted to have a bigger impact,” he says. At the same time, he became intrigued by the promise of crowdfunding.

Working with a Washington, DC-based organization called Global Giving, a charity fund-raising web site for social entrepreneurs and nonprofits, Reciprocity & Co. would feature projects sponsored by various organizations, aimed at addressing one of five areas: health, hunger, human rights, children and education. When the site launches on September 15, there will be one project for each cause. Initially, the goal for each project will be $1,000. Eventually, McPherson hopes to expand that amount and include as many as five or six projects for each cause.

Read this article on Forbes.

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