(Photo: Courtesy of HopeMob)
HopeMob is revolutionizing the way people give to charities by providing an online resource where those who have a passion to help others can give 100 percent of their donation directly to those who have an immediate need.
Shaun King, who has been a pastor for most of his adult life, made the decision to step down as a senior pastor of a church in Atlanta, Ga., to work full-time with HopeMob, the nonprofit organization that he founded and launched in April 2012.
Members of the HopeMob staff are working hard to set their organization apart from other crowd-funding programs, by connecting people in need with members of their online community who have the resources to help – whether it is writing a story, or donating time and money.
"With most crowd-funding programs, people are really on their own," said King, who believes he's been called to use technology to make the world a better place. "We come alongside people and help them, and we see it through to fruition."
King told The Christian Post that HopeMob has "volunteer ambassadors" in 40 countries and throughout the United States, who write stories and take pictures to help share people's and organizations' stories.
"We take up the burden of sharing their stories," King said. "Some of the best charities in the world don't know how to tell their stories online."
HopeMob has a volunteer network of 25,000 registered users on their platform, which includes an inside user base of 10,000 active users who don't just donate, but also share stories on Twitter, Facebook and email, according to King.
Anyone who knows about a person who's in need can submit a story to HopeMob online, and then after the rigorous verification process is complete, King said he and his organization will "put our weight and muscle behind it."
He added that so far, HopeMob hasn't encountered any fraud in their system, because of their thorough five-step verification process, which includes a series of interviews; but King added that they help applicants move through the process in a compassionate manner.
Among the many people that HopeMob's crowd-funding efforts have helped, is a young child who needed a new set of hearing aids, but whose parents' insurance wouldn't cover the $5,000 cost. HopeMob was able to reach out to members of its community and pay the vendor for the hearing aids that were then delivered to the child's home.
King said that HopeMob never sends the money that is raised directly to recipients, because they don't want people to be put in a position to have to choose how the money would be allocated. Instead, HopeMob makes the decision for them, and raises funds to pay for a family's specific need.
HopeMob is also passionate about eradicating slavery and human trafficking, and has worked with many well-known organizations, as well as smaller, lesser-known organizations, such as RedLight, an anti-human trafficking initiative that was started by members of RockChurch, which is raising money on HopeMob to support their efforts in South Africa.
"Eradicating human trafficking is an issue near and dear to our hearts," he said. "Most people think there's nothing they can do about slavery and human trafficking. We try to give them practical things that they can do."
King said his team is always open to hearing new stories and is willing help however they can.
"We try to help people who might not be in a great position to help themselves – people who are in the hospital, or children with cancer," said King, who told CP that, as a pastor, he was teaching people how to pray, but at HopeMob, he can be an answer to people's prayers.