Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Commentary on Mashable 3.16.11

Mashable recently posted an article about ways to give to Japan.

I posted the following commentary.

Thank you for this article. I think it is a helpful beginning for the challenges facing Japan. Yet, I think it only begins to scratch the surface of the best ways to donate. While during times of crisis are not the times to analyze the limitations of the current disconnect between effective philanthropy and online giving, it is a good opportunity to do everything we can, yet it is important also to make a mental note that better more effective measured ways for online giving need to be developed. There is a growing rift between the "mass" online giving movement, effective philanthropy and corporate/celebrity social responsibility.

We are in an exciting time in history. Everybody is giving and feeling called to give. That is the good news. So more tools are being developed to enable giving and make giving easy. The challenge will be to make giving easy AND transparent, effective and not just "feel good." Texting to give is in its infancy stages. While it is great that people can text to give or give on Facebook causes, they often can't track what happened to their giving, can't assess the best organizations to give to, or get charged huge overheads that go to the phone company or other for this "easy" new way of giving.

While I appreciate the sentiment behind this article as it is critical to find as many ways to give during a crisis as possible, I hope that we can find more ways to coordinate between all of these efforts mentioned and efforts like Charity Navigator

We need to build a bridge between these different worlds of philanthropy. There is a lot of expertise in making philanthropy effective. If we made a lot of money, would we just decide we are experts in investing and invest our money ourselves (maybe some might) or would we find an expert money manager to help. It is no different with philanthropy. If we have money to give, what if rather than thinking we are expert philanthropists or just giving because it feels right, but we don't know what we are doing...what if we could be guided in this process.

The online giving revolution has been around for 10+ years and philanthropy for many more. Isn't it time that we really found a way to merge the two in meaningful, impactful, sustainable, fun, easy, transparent ways?

I aspire to help in this. Thank you for your efforts to move the dial forward and for others to give in this time. Let's hope that for future natural disasters, we have more coordination between online and offline giving systems so we can more effectively manage and guide donors to DO GOOD strategically for maximum impact and sustainability.

MORE to come on this.
Thank you...
in peace and gratitude
;) pilar

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