Activist Edward Norton

For actor Edward Norton, philanthropy and activism are practically in his genes – so launching a website to encourage charity fundraising seemed natural to him. Norton joined forces with a couple of Internet savvy friends to create the (for profit) platform Crowdrise that gives people a free way to create their own fundraising pages to share through social networks, winning points and prizes along the way. Crowdrise was developed after Norton found Twitter a huge help when he raised $1.2 million for his long-term cause, the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, by running New York’s marathon last year.

“People use Twitter or Facebook because it’s a way to share their personal narrative but we wanted to give people a platform to say, these are the causes I care about, I am volunteering and sponsor me,” Norton told Reuters in an interview.”We wanted it to be something with the substance of activism and engagement but the fun, ease and dynamism of social networking.”Norton himself is on the Enterprise Foundation’s board of trustees as well as the boards of various other charities including the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, which seeks to preserve the Maasai land and culture in Kenya, and the Friends of the High Line which is working to build a New York public park.



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An interview

With Mary Wittenberg