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More Accessible Activism: Contributions by the Passion fueled but Cash Strapped

posted Jan 5, 2017, 9:54 PM by Rahni Jere Sumler   [ updated Jan 12, 2017, 8:38 PM ]

The sharing economy, specifically collaborative consumption,  is a strong economy with much potential. It includes brands like eBay, ThreadUp and Free cycle. According to Craig Follett, co-founder and CEO atUniiverse and their analysis with data from sources such as the UN andPopulation Reference Bureau, they found that there are 460 million homes in the developed world with each one having about $3,000 worth of unused items. With about 69% of these people willing to share their items, that is a potential 1.4 billion dollar market. 

Based in encouraging greener consumer practices by reusing and barrowing items instead of buying new ones, this economy also has the most sustainability potential. Considering the value and democratic nature of the economy, it is a better way of determining worth. This economy is fueled by people's resources, their property, and their time.

uber drivers had an average salary of $19 in 2015

By Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Uber drivers made on average of $19/hour, well over the $15/hr rate asked for by activists

Community Diary by Rahni S.

In the current economy, we need to learn how to diversify our resources. One way to empower the poor is to diversify the resources available for contribution. While time for volunteering may not be available, they can donate and loan other things: appliances, cars, furniture. As seen by companies like Uber, the opportunity to lend services like driving part time has improved the quality of life for many people. According to Fortune, Uber reported an average salary of $19/hr in 2015, well above the requested $15/hr for a living wage.

Going beyond earning a decent wage, everyone should have equal opportunity to contribute to causes of their choice. This would diversify the voices within our community and would lend itself to campaigns with more impact.  
Currently, there are countless ways to contribute money. It's no secret that those with copious amounts of it go as far as influencing policy. If we could find ways to contribute the $3,000 worth of items found statically in most developed households, in theory, those households would have more stake in our policy making. In practice, however, this would take a lot of management of items similar to the companies already within the collaborative consumer marker.  One way to give them this ability is through FundIt.Buzz's model of donating their unused items. Instead of donating time, which can often be in short supply for any one working by the hour, this company would give them the opportunity to donate unused items.

FundIt.Buzz is a UKbased company that allows people to donate in-kind items to crowd fundingcampaigns. They also manage these items and give the owner a receipt for it's value. There are similar organizations like Goodwill and Salvation Army. However, these organizations only fill a specific niche. They do not have the capacity for business to business transactions as FundIt.Buzz and other organizations.

Currently, FundIt.Buzz isn't based outside of the UK, but this is a system that could be utilized in the U.S with the right provisions.