My colleague Jonathan Jaffray has a new blog, philanthropyadvisor.com (great name!), and is out of the starting blocks with an important insight - he notes here that more than 100 domain names had been registered with the word "gustav" by September 1st. He rightly continues to note that donors should be wary of making donations through sites that they have not vetted.
His post made me realize that Jonathan had put his finger on a key new trend indicator for philanthropy - domain name registration. Here is how the indicator will be interesting:
- How many sites get put up containing the name of the disaster-du-jour (sorry if that is crass) and how quickly they go up;
- How many get used to fundraise - legitimately or otherwise;
- How many pre-existing, legitimate donation sites grab on to the disaster-name to improve their search results;
- How quickly Google sets up mini-sites for donations; and
- The pace of giving on Google checkout.