Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One click giving infrastructure

Over the last few years we've become accustomed to being able to click to give. We've gotten used to searching for things on the internet and having some of the revenue we generate for the search engines redirected to a nonprofit. We've gotten used to being asked to support prostate research, diabetes research, or cancer services when we checkout at the grocery store. Heck, we'll even turn loose or inner word nerds in order to support the World Food Programme.

But how do you know which site to use for your $50 gift?
I think we've reached the point where we need a one-stop directory of these sites. Just as foundations of all kinds began organizing themselves a few decades back, it is probably time that these online marketplaces start doing the same. Why? Same reasons the foundations did - public awareness, regulatory input, joint research, shared interests in developments regarding technological/infrastructure/charitable law.

It is clear to me that the "disintermediation" that the Internet promised way back in the 20th Century is now an assumed part of the philanthropic landscape. I'm predicting it will soon be building its own industry supports (infrastructure).

BTW, one thing I noticed as I compiled the bullets above is the absence of two key sectors - the arts and the environment. Scanning my memory bank I came up blank on online giving sites/communities/intermediaries focused broadly on environmental or arts/cultural giving. Help me out - send me the sites I'm missing. Or better yet - start the directory and build the new infrastructure.

Full Disclosure: I've worked with or know individuals involved in running the sites listed above. I've used some of these services but am not formally affiliated with any of them at this moment.


mashenka@dc said...


Thanks very much for the shoutout--and also wanted to mention that we're going to be launching a GlobalGiving Green site very soon. We think of it as the intersection between international development/philanthropy and climate change--how to continue to support communities in the developing world prosper in a carbon-smart way ...

Peter Deitz said...

Hi Lucy, I'm working on the integration side of these social action platforms. Have you seen my mashup, which was recently awarded two prizes at the NetSquared Conference in San Jose? Please check out www.socialactions.com, or the prototype, mashup.socialactions.com.

All the best, Peter

Anonymous said...

I agree that we need
uPlej.com is an innovative

online giving site. You can choose from a variety of nonprofits. It uses a social networking approach. to make it easier to give online b.

You give $4.95 a month to your favorite charity, anyone who joins your network automatically gets $1 towards your charity but they choose which one they want to donate to.


Anonymous said...

Hi Lucy,

I work with Peter Deitz on the Social Actions initiative. Am sure you already know but jut in case, http://nwf.blogs.com/arctic_promise/ has a great environmental-awareness campaign going. I'll continue to scope environmental and arts social action platforms. Thank for reminding everyone how important they are.