If during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve been looking for a way to donate some money to a person or organization in Philadelphia, but aren’t really sure who or how, we’ve got an option for you.
Keith Scandone, CEO of digital product agency O3 World, and David Davis, managing director for Accenture’s public sector practice in Pennsylvania, just launched “Pay It Phorward,” a very Philly initiative looking to bring some funds to folks who need it right now.
The concept is simple, and follows the Awesome Foundation model: People can donate money all month long, and at the end, one person, small business or nonprofit will receive what’s been fundraised that month.
Participating in #GivingTuesdayNow?
Our CEO @keitho3world launched a monthly peer-to-peer grant program to help #Philly-based individuals & businesses impacted by #COVID19.
Learn how you can make a difference: https://t.co/nuCXEUik36
— O3 World (@o3world) May 5, 2020
Scandone and Davis will narrow the applicant pool down to five that they feel are in the most need, then everyone who donated will get to vote on who should receive the money. Scandone told Technical.ly he hopes to run the initiative for at least the next three months with a goal of raising about $5,000 a month. (The first fund, started April 24, has reached about $3,600 so far).
“Really it’s set up for basically an easy, no-strings-attached way for a small business or individual to get access to some money,” Scandone said.
So far, they’ve seen some applicants from folks who worked in hospitality and need some help on their bills and a nonprofit that provides athletics programs to kids, Scandone said. Although O3 World and Accenture organized the initiative, you don’t have to work in tech or business to apply, and you can nominate someone else through the application page.
Pay It Phorward is one part of how O3 World is trying to support its community right now, Scandone said. The company also bought some gift cards for neighborhood businesses around their Fishtown office and provided annual memberships to the creative coworking space REC Philly. But Pay It Phorward is the most direct attempt to distribute funds during the pandemic.
“We’re really focusing on where the money will make a big difference to folks,” Scandone said.
This is just one of a few give-back efforts we’ve seen lately from the Philly tech community. #SavePhillyEats and Fuel the Fight popped up last month to distribute meals to healthcare workers on the frontlines. At Chariot Solutions, engineers donated their time to the development of Penn Medicine’s Nourished app, a contactless delivery service to help deliver such meals. And Promptworks volunteers built YourNeighborGood.com, a network of volunteers to make sure everyone in their neighborhood is taken care of during this time.
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