Ed Norton Promotes Giving with "Do-Gooder" Website

By Lindsay Lazarski
|  Saturday, Jun 26, 2010  |  Updated 10:00 PM PDT
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Actor and activist Edward Norton, who recently started the charity website Crowdrise.com, speaks at the 11th Annual Friends of the High Line Party and Summer Dinner at the High Line on June 21, 2010 in New York City.

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Can giving go viral?  Edward Norton and the fellow creators of the charity website, Crowdrise.com, think so.

Norton's new site, Crowdrise, is a fund-raising platform that allows users to build a profile or project page connected to a charity of their choice.  The users can then reach out, via social networking like Facebook and Twitter, to donors, family, and friends, asking them to give money to support their project or charity.  Like a Tumblr blog or Facebook profile, volunteers can add photos, video, and stories to promote their projects. 

Crowdrise is "about getting people who are not sure their little bit makes a difference to feel persuaded that they can make a difference," said actor and activist Edward Norton to USA Today.

The idea for Crowdrise.com came about when Norton partnered with Jeffrey and Robert Wolfe to build a website that helped him raise $1.2 million for the Massai Wilderness Conservation Trust during the New York City Marathon.  After the marathon, with the addition of "Superbad" producer, Shauna Robertson, Norton, and the Wolfe brothers, created a site that would focus on a mosaic of charities instead of just one, to encourage volunteerism, reported USA Today.      

With a playful tone that warns, "Don't be surprised if you get totally addicted to the sight," celebrities, Will Ferrell, Kristen Bell, Jonah Hill, and Seth Rogan have their own project pages. 

On Ferrell's page, If you give $17 to Cancer for College, an organization that offers scholarships to cancer survivors, the comedian will send you a bottle of his "Sexy Hot Tan" or "Sun Stroke" sunscreen that has a photo of Ferrell in a speedo on the label.  Hopefully, you can just make the donation.  

But Norton, said that just because a well-known actor, like Ferrell uses the site, doesn't mean celebrities will receive special treatment to raise money for their charities. 

"There's nothing different between me setting up a project page or Jonah Hill doing it, or anybody else," Norton told USA Today. He added, "What's cool about it is not that there are a couple of performers who are well known, but that they're in the mix and shuffle with everyone else."

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