Doug Clerget, a 33-year-old Tacoma-grown real estate agent, credits his philanthropic ways to his upbringing.
Raised by his grandfather – also named Doug Clerget – a local mover and shaker who made helping people his priority, giving back to the community was a way of life in their household.
But the older Doug got, the more he realized that was not the case for many people.
Doug found that for many people, supporting a charitable cause is not convenient. Even if they have the money to give, it is hard to know which charities to trust. And for those who are strapped for cash, they felt like the little they could part with would not matter anyways.
"I grew up in a family where philanthropy was a big deal. As I got older, it just does not feel like our generation gives very much. I was thinking to myself, that everyone has a few extra dollars a month, if they just had a place where they could trust that that money could go to a good cause and it was easy, then they would do it."
So, Doug connected with his cousin, Jason Clerget, a social networking and web-design whiz out of Spokane, to create what they hope is the future of charitable giving for the Facebook generation.
With the launch of their charity site, Dollar Per Month, in December, Doug and Jason Clerget have created a simple, easy and fun way for people world wide to donate as little or as much as they can to a different, highly reputable charity each month.
"We thought, what if we put together a charity, where every month we screen a charity, making sure that it was reputable, and let members donate a dollar. It's as simple as you can get."
Users of Dollar Per Month can choose to donate as much as they want, and out of the approximately 500 members so far, the average donation is about $5. But through the use of social networking and promoting Dollar Per Month among friends and family through existing venues like Facebook, users can see their direct connection to helping accumulate much more for the charity than their own personal donation.
"Even if you only have a dollar to give, you can be tied to hundreds of thousands of dollars a month in giving, which feels pretty good."
Doug noted that even if a tiny fraction of existing Facebook users signed on to Dollar Per Month, and donated the price of one latte each turn of the calendar, the impact would be huge.
"Two million people – one less Starbucks – that's $10 million per month for charity. That money goes a long way."
Dollar Per Month users also get a say in which charities receive the biggest impact. Depending on how the membership votes, the top charity of the month receives 50 percent of all donations, second place gets 30 percent and last place gets 20 percent.
As the launch of Dollar Per Month is still in its infancy stages, rolling into month four of social network charity, Doug knows that growth is inevitable over time. He said he is excited to see Dollar Per Month take off, allowing millions of people to play a part in helping their neighbors in this world that grows smaller every day.
"We couldn't do what we are doing 20 years ago. Without the Internet, credit cards, a central place like Facebook where so many people are already interconnected.
"The world getting smaller… I think people are becoming more and more aware of what's going on around them, and I think that's a good thing." Find out more or become member of Dollar Per Month at HYPERLINK "http://www.dollarpermonth.org" www.dollarpermonth.org.