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Giving Profiles: a social media platform for promoting more, and more effective, philanthropy


Term:

Fall

Department:

15: Management

Faculty Supervisor:

Dave Rand

Faculty email:

drand@MIT.EDU

Apply by:

Contact:

Erez Yoeli: eyoeli@mit.edu

Project Description

Giving Profiles is a social media platform that collects and presents individuals’ verified charitable donations and volunteer hours. Individuals’ profiles credibly represent their values. Their newsfeed provides updates on friends’ and organizations’ activity. A recommendation engine suggests new organizations based on individuals’ characteristics and past giving behavior. Integrations with other social media increase recognition, and careful privacy protection promote trust. The platform is built from the ground up to ‘nudge’ individuals towards giving more, and giving more deliberately and effectively. One of the platform’s features is the ability to read receipts from charitable organizations that are forwarded to it via email. We have built a basic version of this functionality which successfully reads about two-thirds of receipts that it receives. We are looking for a UROP to take the lead on improving its reliability--increasing its accuracy, and also developing an algorithm that “learns” from user entries so that it continues to improve with time.

Pre-requisites

An ideal candidate would have the following skills: Programming in Python, Ruby-on-rails, HTML, Javascript, and familiarity with machine learning/natural language processing. Enthusiasm for and experience with public service, especially philanthropy, is a plus.