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Craigslist founder in new venture

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2011 (AFP) – Craig Newmark, founder of online classifieds giant Craigslist, launched new Web-based venture Craigconnects on Tuesday to support non-profit and public service organizations.

Craigconnects is intended to “help people work together for the common good using the Internet,” the new site said on its home page at Craigconnects.org.

“Craigconnects seeks to identify, connect and protect organizations engaged in work that is truly sustainable – socially responsible, self-perpetuating and replicable,” it said.

Newmark, who founded the San Francisco-based Craigslist in the 1990s and has seen the site expand to 70 countries, said Craigconnects would provide “ongoing support for effective organizations.”

“I’m committing 20 years to Craigconnects, focusing first on nonprofits and public service organizations that get stuff done on a sustainable basis,” he said.

“Craigconnects isn’t a fundraising or grant-making organization… This site exists primarily to help me connect and protect worthwhile organizations and efforts in certain specific areas I want to support.”

Organizations identified for support on the site included groups dedicated to community-building, technology for social progress, journalism integrity, open and accountable government, service and volunteering, veterans issues and Middle East peace.

On its home page, Craigconnects featured a link to a non-profit called DonorsChoose.org that provides donations for classroom projects.

Newmark is among a number of Internet entrepreneurs who have turned their energies toward social causes after founding highly successful websites.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes launched new venture Jumo this year to promote charitable causes by offering tools that allow users to find issues and groups they care about and to contribute time, money and skills.

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