A new organization was launched on the stroke of midnight, January 1, 2012.
CharitySub, a social enterprise headed by Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens residents, strives to take the guesswork out of giving, by providing individuals with an easily accessible way to learn about and donate to charitable organizations.
The "sub" in CharitySub stands for "subscription," meaning that any individual can subscribe to the organization for $5 a month. Each month, CharitySub will choose a cause and showcase three different charities that focus on that cause. Subscribers then get to choose which charity will receive their $5 donation.
"We wanted to address two obstacles that we'd identified," said Amy Crews, co-founder of CharitySub. "What are the reputable organizations to give to (and which are the ones that really need your support) and how much should I be giving?"
Crews noted that the $5 flat rate was chosen to make the decision-making process as easy as possible.
"We call it the power of collective giving," she said. While committing to $5 each month should not be difficult for an individual, the collective sum will offer a substantial donation to the charity of choice. In addition, individuals will have the chance to learn about important causes and reputable charities that they may want to support in the future.
"It's really a story-telling platform," said Crews.
This month, CharitySub is focusing on childhood obesity. The three charities are FoodCorps, a school gardening and education organization; FoodFight, offering food education to teachers and teens; and Seeds in the Middle, a Brooklyn organization educating families about healthy lifestyles that support their children and the community.
On CharitySub's website, subscribers can view a detailed, multimedia presentation about each organization in order to decide where to give their $5. This way, subscribers can make an educated decision on which charity to support without leaving the CharitySub site.
This also serves as a resource for the charities themselves.
"We are looking to bring awareness to great causes and great organizations that are really working hard and don't have...the funds to develop their own videos or build their own marketing materials," said Crews. "We are creating the videos for them, we are creating all the write-up and content that they can then use on their own site."
CharitySub hopes to make the process of giving an ongoing and interactive experience.
"We really believe that people feel good when they do good," said Crews. "We want to bring that to the forefront."