Donors Choose

The Dragonfly’s final design principle focuses on the idea of openness. This means creating a platform others can add to, take from, and alter themselves. Being open and choosing the right metrics to enable feedback brings together the entire framework of the Dragonfly.

A great example of this is which used choice, transparency, and feedback to successfully build their donor base. matches students in need with donors. Public school teachers from anywhere in the United States can submit a request to fulfill a classroom need—whether it’s as mundane as boxes of pencils or as ambitious as a trip to Washington, D.C., for an entire graduating class.

Choice and Transparency. When potential donors log on to the site, they have the ability to choose whatever project appeals to them. They also have the choice to donate as much or as little as they want. Once a project is fully funded, the materials or services are presented to the school. Donors get to watch the incremental donations to their chosen causes mount in real time, and the names of the donors as well as the amounts are posted as they happen. They can also write comments on a Facebook-like “wall” attached to the project page.

Feedback. What is particularly addictive about, however, is the immediate feedback you get when you make a donation.  When the project is funded, all donors are emailed photos of the initiative, a thank-you letter from the teacher, and a cost report that shows how each dollar donated was spent. Anyone who gives more than $100 to a project gets handwritten thank-you letters from the students. The founders of call this mixture of choice, transparency, and feedback “citizen philanthropy.”