COLUMBUS, Ohio– An Ohio State University student is proving that it doesn't take much to make a difference in the lives of other people even when you don't have a lot of money.
- The non-profit hopes to reach one million people by encouraging them to give $1 each week for 52 weeks
- Benefits charities focused on animal welfare, poverty, and climate change
- Reaching out to college campuses across the country to get to their goal
Not even two months into business and The 52 Million Project Founder Imran Nuri watches online donors and dollars shoot up. Nuri said although it's been a short amount of time, "It's amazing. I check it often. It's like the initial rush has slowed down at least for now, but to watch it continue to grow, continue to get more people onboard has been very, very exciting to see that number go up."
The 22-year-old senior started the non-profit with hopes of reaching one million people. He's challenging people to give just one dollar each week for 52 weeks, proving that anyone can be a philanthropist. More than 250 committed to giving already, raising $13,000 and counting. Heading to his advertising and promotional strategy class at Ohio State University, Nuri's set on getting the money to charities focused on animal welfare, poverty, and climate change.
So far, the on-campus response keeps topping his expectations. He said, "It's been amazing to see the support that Ohio State's given me." That includes support from professors who allow Nuri to come into the class even on test day, to share what he's doing with his classmates. As students come in, Nuri pulls out information cards about the non-profit and prepares to share with a room full of students. The Marketing major explains how his parents, immigrants from India, taught him the importance of giving to others who were less fortunate, even though they didn't have much themselves; And it all started with them using one simple peanut butter jar.
He told the class, "Every week they'd bring it down. They'd hand me a dollar, and on a good week, they'd hand me a couple of dollars. And they'd have me put in that empty peanut butter jar." It didn't fully make sense then to give, when they were in need; But it does now as the concept of giving just one dollar a week fuels The 52 Million Project and inspires others to give. He said, "Sometimes it's just about giving what you can." Looking back, Nuri said the lesson his parents taught him makes what's he's doing all the more rewarding.
The OSU senior hopes to reach five thousand students on campus by the end of the year and expand the non-profit's reach across the country soon. So far, Nuri's managed to get ambassadors on the campuses of the University of Cincinnati and the University of Pittsburgh to help reach one million people who will give one dollar each week, for 52 weeks. In the meantime, The 52 Million Project is encouraging charities to apply for funding so that they can start giving money away in the next couple of months. To learn more about The 52 Million Project, click here.