Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Future of Philanthropy

As the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and we must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace. For the world has changed, and we must change with it. ~President Barack Obama

If you haven’t seen the TED video with Katherine Fulton on Philanthropy (http://bit.ly/CnGH3), I highly recommend you see it! She talks eloquently and inspiringly on the democratization of philanthropy and how it is changing from a field of the few to one of the many. Philanthropy is becoming democratized through mass collaboration and collective philanthropy, online philanthropy marketplaces and aggregated and matching giving, through innovative competition and social investing. Through her explanation, she describes that “we are acting our way into a new way of thinking as philanthropy completely reorganizes."

Additionally, research demonstrates that nonprofits have outpaced businesses and education in using social media (http://www.ericmattson.com/ and http://bit.ly/12lrL5) due to the low cost marketing ability to engage, share, listen and promote what they are passionate about and elicit new donors. As the more traditional ways of giving and philanthropy are shifting, so is the way everyone is thinking about giving and DOing giving!

We are truly entering a new era in giving and philanthropy. Businesses are shifting their practices to incorporate triple bottom line (people, profit and the planet) into their business principles as they see the benefits both for the planet and for their bottom lines. A Cone Research study (http://bit.ly/ACRWd) demonstrated that 79% of consumers would be likely to switch from one brand to another if that brand was associated with a good cause – that is good business. As that happens we are seeing businesses shift they way the do business – incorporating support for causes and change on the planet. While there is a lot of debate about whether cause marketing (or consumption philanthropy) is a good thing (http://bit.ly/i15Ui and http://bit.ly/11TZix), the reality is that it is happening and changing the face of business and philanthropy.

From the other end of the spectrum, the way individuals give is changing. More individuals are engaging online to share, promote and showcase their favorite causes and nonprofits. From every direction, philanthropy is becoming a more mainstream part of life, business and the way we think. Even Obama’s Presidential campaign demonstrated the need and desire for combining social media and fundraising, as he raised over 1/3 of his campaign funds online (http://bit.ly/2AdhY4). Obama “evolutionized” giving by creating a movement around change and giving – he “democratized” giving – because people wanted not only to give but they wanted to be a part of the larger giving community and movement.

How are you a part of the movement of giving and change? What more can you do in your business and life to be a part of the change? How are you changing with the world instead of being left behind? Give Today! Live Today! Be a Part of the Change!

Happy #2GiveTues (to replace #charitytuesday)! I can be found on Twitter @pilarstella and on Facebook www.facebook.com/pilarstella!

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