Last week marked the entry of everyone’s favorite geek, Bill Gates, into the social media realm. The Microsoft tycoon launched a website and Twitter stream to discuss his philanthropic efforts. Though pundits feel Gates hasn’t added much to the conversation yet, his entry encapsulates a larger trend – the rise of the citizen philanthropist.
Empowered by social media, individuals can now reach out, support and discuss their giving efforts with their immediate networks. Citizen philanthropists don’t want to work with third party organizations, prompting industry leaders like Citizen Effect CEO Dan Morrison to say, “average citizens in wealthy countries no longer want to outsource doing good to large organizations.” For the social media empowered donor, seeing direct impact and building relationships becomes the priority.