A small Evanston-based nonprofit, called, is trying to bring a personal touch to charitable giving by linking donors with people in need through the internet.

Benevolent’s founder, Megan Kashner, says the goal is to connect people who face hurdles along their paths to stability with people who want to help.

The Benevolent website, she says, provides a platform for direct personal connection between individuals, coupled with the security of a trusted validation process, in which a repesentative of a social agency verifies the individual’s need.

Benevolent is based at Evanston’s Technology Innovation Center.

Since its launch last December, the site has aided more than two dozen people across the Chicago area and raised more than $12,000.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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