In my continuing series of articles on the
subject of philanthropy, this week I am taking a look at future patterns in
philanthropy based on the research of George McCully, President, Catalogue for Philanthropy
in Massachusetts and author of Philanthropy Reconsidered: Personal Efforts –
Public Good – Quality of Life.
Philanthropy’s Influence – Prior to the
extensive use of the web, most charities did not have the ability to
financially promote their company. In today’s world, non-profits can present
their objective and work to potential donors and volunteers in an affordable
way. However with this sort of ability, comes more accountability and
transparency with an increased need by the general public for more concrete
details (besides simply marketing) around organizational financials and
outcomes, for instance.
Information and Knowledge Management –
Given that the development of cloud computing, organizations are discovering it
easier to collect and maintain bigger and increasing quantities of info that
will offer charities that use it successfully with a competitive advantage. On
the other side of the exact same coin, institutional and specific donors are
much better able to assess non-profits beyond the restricted IRS 990 filings.
Organized Philanthropy – Technology continues to
offer knowledge management through the systemic accumulation of info. In
today’s world, we have Guidestar, Charity Navigator, Network for Good and
others that are collecting, aggregating and interpreting huge amounts of
qualitative and quantitative information and supplying it to the public.
Philanthropy is becoming increasingly more professional and strategic.
Web as “Participatory Media” –
With the evolution of innovation and the mainstream adjustment of tools beyond
sites and email, such as IM, video-conferences, social networks, blogging,
etc., donors and constituents to non-profits have the ability to not just
gather info about charities, however they are able to engage with companies
(often in a public area) in genuine or almost real time. This ability will
continue to press charities toward increased openness and responsibility and it
will also provide fantastic opportunities for organizations to engage the
general public in innovative methods.
Donor Organization – Donors and volunteers
will continue to end up being empowered. In the old paradigm, donors were
classified into groups by companies that had subscriptions (eg alumni groups),
by federated providing programs (eg United Method) or community structures that
supplied regional donors with an organized way to support charities. Today,
donors are arranging themselves in order to support philanthropy with vehicles
such as Social Venture Partners, which are supplanting the old model.
Philanthropy as a Popular Motion –
Individuals are being empowered to take matters into their own hands. More and
more individuals are assuming the general public and personal mantle of doing
something for the greater good of society. As organizations have less influence
with people and youth, people presume a higher function in the function for the
“love of humankind” (philanthropy).
Globalization of American Philanthropy – The
United States has a culture of philanthropy as is shown year after year by the
huge levels of giving and the present rewards that exist to promote
philanthropy by Americans. Regardless of whatever governmental policies
Americans might or might not find doing not have, an opportunity exists –
within the grasp of each and every individual – to help promote worldwide the
real American tradition of philanthropy in a world where innovation has broken
down borders and barriers.