While Kickstarter's great for crowdfunding your selfish desires — why, yes, I would buy self-shining wingtips, thank you — it's not ideal for helping people who have real needs like, say, aortic valve bypass surgery. Take a page from Motley Crue and kickstart a heart, with Watsi.
Selflessly started by a Peace Corps/micro-financing vet, Watsi provides crowdfunded surgeries and medical procedures for patients in Third World countries.
To get your Mother Theresa on, simply browse the patient profiles and choose who you want to help — each profile includes a patient’s picture, bio, and location, plus a heart-wrenching description of treatment needed. Only a few profiles are available at a time to ensure funding.
The patients on Watsi are chosen based on their illness and financial need by licensed medical NGOs in each area — each surgery must be under $3000 (actually an effective sum in the Third World) and have a high probability of success.
Donations are made via PayPal or credit card and start at $5 on up, with 100% of the money going toward treatment (soon, they'll be tax deductible). In return, donors will receive updates both when the surgery is fully funded — as well as a karmic boost that no well-burnished footwear could ever provide.