By this autumn my two small websites should be generating around a total of $1200 a month with minimal/zero input which is enough to for me to live on comfortably enough.

Rather than embark on another business venture, I would love to spend the next few years doing something genuinely good or that helps other people that need it. I want to spend 4 or 5 years dedicating my time to a worthy cause and do the most I can to help with the web development & programming skills that I already have.

The problem is that I don't know where to start. I don't have an awesome idea of my own and am very sceptical of many large charities. Ideally I'd like to find a small project where everyone is unpaid and focused on helping.

Are there any such small organisations?

Does anyone have an idea for a project/website/app that can help people in need that they would like me to work on or work with them on?

I know this isn't a typical StackOverflow 2+2=? type question and some of you will be itching to delete it but considering the philanthropic nature of the IT industry (just look at S.O. itself) this is very relevant question to many developers either now or at some point in their careers. Given the recent events in Japan this question is particularly relevant with many people looking for ways they can help others with the skills/time that they have available.

Really looking forward to reading your thoughts/answers on this, thanks guys

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    As an option: You can use your skills in a company where you'll earn enough and donate all to charity. – Adrian Faciu Mar 16 '11 at 8:56
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    there should be tons of open-source projects that need help ... – poelinca Mar 16 '11 at 8:58
  • Good question - I don't have any suggestions other than to maybe look for a small local organisation which is doing something worthwhile and needs help. – Paul R Mar 16 '11 at 9:00
  • @Adrian - Yes, I have considered this. It could also be a way of generating the funds for starting something big, though I'll still need an 'idea' ! – Haroldo Mar 16 '11 at 9:23
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    @HorusKol, you actually can do that - just move to a country where $1200 a month is a huge money ;) – binaryLV Mar 17 '11 at 10:56

I advice to increase your coding powers and knowledge, extend your business. then the impact of doing good will be much bigger and more effective. and by that time if you really had the intention of doing good too much ideas will comes to you!

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  1. Decide for yourself what are you want to help in. That is a very personal decision. For me it would be Conservation. Others might be more interested in helping alleviate poverty in the 3rd world, or something closer to home such as charities involved in alleviating local poverty amongst the elderly. Decide whatever is important to you. This is really important as to stick at this kind of thing, you will need to develop a passion for the cause.

  2. Find the charity organisation that is doing the best work in that field. Use Google

  3. Make an approach to offer your services for free, with your cv in the same professional way that you would approach a company for a job.

  4. Go out there and make a difference.

You will learn a lot on the way, both professionally and personally. I wish you the very best.

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