Digital for Donors

from Philanthropy UK:

Going digital: how donors are clicking and choosing new technology

There are two ‘d’s in ‘e-philanthropy’ – ‘digital’ and ‘data’. The combination and application of the two has changed the world, the way we occupy it and the way we relate to each other.

Philanthropy, despite its traditional imperviousness to outside forces, is feeling the dramatic impact of the internet, social media, web 2.0, wikis, applications, tools, webinars, mash-ups (see Essential e-glossary) and the almost daily development in digital software, hardware and behaviours.

These developments are ‘evolving philanthropy’ says Tris Lumley, head of strategy at non-profit think tank New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) and ‘disrupting’ it says Dr Lucy Bernholz, a leading commentator on e-philanthropy and founder and president of Blueprint Research & Design Inc., a strategy consulting firm based in San Francisco. Disrupting Philanthropy, the draft paper Bernholz co-authored with colleagues from Duke University in North Carolina, explores the new philanthropic behaviours unleashed by digital technology.

Digital technology is certainly redefining philanthropy. ‘Citizen philanthropy’, ‘micro-philanthropy’, and the ‘democratisation of giving’ are terms that attempt to describe a new trend that sees millions of ordinary people giving money or time together, ‘aggregating’ their giving to achieve greater impact. This is increasingly happening in new online market-places and on match-making sites; or through ‘flash giving’ responses to emergency appeals, such as Haiti.