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On my 2009 to do list is to start reading things by Malcolm Gladwell. All the more after reading this article by Fred Smith. He takes off on Gladwell’s book Blink and describes how there are philanthropists who have the innate ability to ascertain the value of applicants with remarkable intuition and speed. As most of us become more and more involved in increasingly detailed analysis, there is something very appealing about the possibility of a more informal and accurate approach. I would love to know more about this. Does anyone have experience to add?
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Making charitable giving more accessible and intimate is a great thing. Kiva has been standard bearer for changing the way we give. In recent months I’ve seen some family members become enthusiastic about being able to connect much more directly with people and issues. It may well be that start of a revolution in charity. Over the holidays one of my best sources for interesting content, Fred Smith of The Gathering, posted a fascinating article about this new development. It leads me to a few questions: (and I’d love to see your thoughts as comments) -How convenient should philanthropy be? What obligation is there for givers to take the time to understand charities more deeply? -What will the impact of new technology options be on charity in the next decade? IS there a risk that flashy tools will outweigh quality work? -How can (or should) “professional philanthropists” use our increased time, experience, and insight to help inform common givers? Should we post both positive and negative reviews of those we’ve worked with? -What organizations are already exemplary in their use of technology to maintain connection with donors? -What qualifies as a “major donor” in the future and what additional information or contact should they expect? -How does this impact the power imbalance inherent in the donor/charity relationship?
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