DonateNZ – web award winner

Bravo for Claire Sawyers and the team behind the DonateNZ website. This site was the winner of the Community or Government website in the 2007 People’s Choice Netguide Web Awards.

DonateNZ was launched in February 2006 to match people with stuff or time to share and schools, childcare centres and not-for-profit organisations who might have a use for what’s on offer. At the end of the swap, the aim is for “everyone to go away happy”. In its first year of operation over 10,000 items were received by 250 registered recipients. Clearly the $100 annual fee is no barrier to groups and schools participating.

As well as helping out worthwhile causes, the philosophy behind the service is strongly environmental. People are urged to reduce, reuse, recycle. “Don’t dump it, donate it! Give what you have to offer a new lease on life and reduce the strain on our local landfills.”

Talking with nzgirl about the best things in her life, Claire, a 22 year old self-proclaimed entrepeneur, said “If there was one thing I wanted to do in my life, it was to make a difference, and I believe I am well on my way to achieving this goal.”

In the tradition of TradeMe, it feels like the website was born in this country. As well as benefiting recipients directly, the website shows community organisations what is possible in terms of online fundraising. Having just read about a few examples of what charities are doing in the UK (see “Collecting by clicks” from last week’s Guardian), I’m pretty sure DonateNZ would feature among the best of what is on offer in the UK.

I left the website feeling pretty inspired, though I haven’t given anything away just yet.