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The Edward and Beth Honig Family Foundation

Beth Honig: Two Charitable Startups You Should Know

There are all sorts of ways to run a charity, as these many charitable tech startups prove. While “startup companies are traditionally for-profit enterprises,” said a 2013 Forbes article, “in recent years philanthropic ventures have begun adopting the technological know-how and scrappy mentality of startups to develop a new breed of lean nonprofits.”

Read on to learn about two such startups.

Pencils of Promise

Pencils of Promise calls itself a “for-purpose organization.” It works to build schools while also training teachers and funding scholarships. Here, 100 percent of online donations go to their programs.

In a glowing review of the organization, Entrepreneur said, “Pencils of Promise Is Giving Nonprofits a Hard-Nosed Entrepreneurial Facelift.” Between 2010 and 2013 the organization’s donations rapidly grew from $1 million to $5 million.


Watsi is a global funding platform that connects donors with people around the world in need of medical care and enables them to fund low-cost, high-impact  medical treatments. Last year, TechCrunch reported that this organization had secured a round of $3.5 million funding that would directly underwrite its crowdfunding operations, so Watsi wouldn’t need to hit up nonprofits or grants for the money to continue performing its good work.