Updated Jan 11, 2008: When we launched the Bet2Give prediction market last fall, one of the things we were most interested in watching was what kinds of charities traders would choose to give their money to. Now, with over $4,500 raised (ie, funded into traders’ accounts) and over $700 already donated by a score of the more successful traders to their chosen non-profit organizations, we have some preliminary data to look at:
Several observations come to mind:
1) Although most of the gifts have gone to universal favorites like National Public Radio, cancer research, food banks and other aid to the unfortunate, plus a little bit of environment, and a touch of education, close-to-home causes are also well represented: Southern Florida, Western New York, South Dakota …
2) Bet2Give provides a great way to bring lesser-known (“long tail”) charities to the attention of a ready-to-give audience. Did you know about the National Education for Assistance Dog Services (“unleashing the possibilities!”)? Now you do, thanks to those donations from trader/dog-lover Bubba.
3) But what’s perhaps most intriguing, and pregnant with possibilities at the start of this new electoral year, is the emergence of a fund-raising duel between ex-presidents Carter and Reagan. One of the promises of Bet2Give is that it allows you to directly “engage the enemy” from across the political divide: make better predictions, win their money, give it to causes you love but they despise. For some, this may feel better than just winning money, or more painful when you lose!