Thanks to the folks at FirstGiving for responding to my post on Philanthropy 2.0. They say people are using the site for the 'bakesale' kind of fundraising I mentioned. The trick, of course, is getting a 'fiscal sponsor' - in other words, being able to 'borrow' the legitimate, tax-deductible status of a 501 c 3 organization for the purposes of the one time event.
Couple of thoughts for philanthropy:
1. Foundations love to complain that there are too many nonprofits. Figuring out a way to create efficient, affordable, broad-scale, legal, "on/off" switch legal sponsorship of ideas, activities, bakesales, etc. would no doubt cut down the number of nonprofits created each year. Most passionate do'ers aren't passionate about setting up and running an organization - they want to do the work itself. Running the organization is a distraction.
2. With all the social enterprise interest out there, this should be a 'crackable nut.' Offering legal, appropriate fiscal services to like-minded activists, on the web, with secure transactions, priced to sell, and with all necessary oversight (b/c it could also be a great scam).
3. I'm convinced that creating efficiencies in the nonprofit sector capital and organizational systems is actually the 'ripest' fruit to be picked by social entrepreneurs. What could be more helpful to the sector as a whole than to develop a more efficient and transparent system of financial products, capital markets, and organizational structures that are devoted to social good. Some smart folks are working on pieces of this - the BIG opportunity is to bring those pieces together.