Friday, February 15, 2008

Giving Change, Changing Giving

Have been on airplanes and in nonstop meetings, most without wifi, hence lack of posts.

Am working on thoughts about relationships between online giving marketplaces (DonorsChoose, GlobalGiving, Kiva) and how (if) they are changing giving. Also pondering (and pursuing research leads) on links between charitable giving and civic engagement...(e.g. activism, participation, etc.) post will come...

In meantime, there is a new online journal to watch for - Blue Avocado. Check it out here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the issues that Kiva and DonorsChoose and similar sites raise are interesting. We have been asked by several clients to examine the impact of these sites on their more traditional fundraising strategies and operational strategies.

One of our clients made an important point. They don't necessarily believe in the idea that an individual person making a choice to support another individual financially can replace their work for social change. It goes against the idea that change is complicated and takes multiple strategies. Social change means changing the structural issues that created those situations in the first place. So we want to change US policy toward the developing world, for example. And we know micro-finance is a single strategy even in the world of direct aid.

The concern of these traditional organizations is, are they going to get passed by as the masses move to these type of sites for their philanthropy. I think, for right now, that is not happening.

First, this idea is not new! Gift catalogs, World Vision... the idea of giving to support individuals is not new, only on steroids with the web.

Second, the numbers tell a story. They are small. Even with Kiva selling out all their inventory, this is a drop in the bucket of the budgets large organizations like IRC or UNICEF.

The main take-away that we have for these organizations right now is that people long for connection and transparency. And so we need to explore ways not to compromise their knowledge and strategies, but to give people more direct connection to the work on the ground.