March 30, 2014

Creating and Contributing: Using CentUp

Charity icon designed by Vladimir from The Noun Project collection

In my latest book, BROKEN: Navigating the Ups and Downs of the Circus called Work, I discuss how people are making Web-based tools that address needs, which may then be shared with like-minded others. A heartening trend here is the creation of Web-based tools that bring together different interests.

Consider Chicago-based CentUp, a tool that combines Web-based content with charitable contributions. This tool was specifically made for Web-based content creators. Whether you’re a blogger, filmmaker, musician, photographer, or podcaster—anyone driven to realize wholehearted work and publishing it online—you can use CentUp to help champion your creative efforts and raise money to do good. CentUp’s founders Len Kendall, Tyler Travitz, and John Geletka participated in my series of Interviews with people who love making things. They said:
“We are very focused on making the Internet a better place. There is often a lot of negativity online. We see CentUp as a force for good, helping publishers find new audiences and earn money directly, and helping charities find new donors.”
A detail that the folks at CentUp magnify is expanding the online “share” reflex by steering the popular online action of “liking” into a contribution to charity. When joining CentUp, a Web-based content creator displays a button within their published works online. Clicking on the button allows the reader/viewer to make a contribution in two simultaneous ways: one part supports the creator and her/his creative work, the other part is supporting a good cause. Len, Tyler, John, of CentUp, illustrated (from their online description) their tool’s process in this simple manner:

For me, CentUp represents the opportunity to experiment with something new. I joined the CentUp community as a Publisher—you’ll see a CentUp button displayed at the bottom of this post. Each click will help support my passion project of Design Feast, which includes this blog, and at the same time, support one of the great charities that CentUp works with. When I contribute to Web-based projects of other people, who also use CentUp, I’ll be supporting the Arts of Life—since I have loved ones who are mentally challenged, I want to be able to benefit an organization that “is committed to providing high quality, innovative services for adults with developmental disabilities.

Aligning my writing, interviewing, and publishing—making things—with the possibility of making a difference is a good feeling. Hope you feel the same way.