Is Family Philanthropy Ready for “New Giving” Tools?

(updated from my post on the Council on Foundation’s re: Philanthropy blog)

“Crowdfunding. Social giving. Unsectored solutions. Hacker and maker cultures. Citizen-led social innovation. These ideas and others are shaping new pathways for giving. Will they complement your family’s philanthropy or distract from it? Join us for a fun, honest discussion of new frontiers in giving.”

That’s the blurb for a 2013 Family Philanthropy Conference session that I’m co-hosting with Nathan James (consultant and founder of PhilanthroGeek) and Erin Barnes (co-founder and Executive Director of ioby).

In her new Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2013 report, philanthropy scholar Lucy Bernholz continues her assessment of the “social economy,” defined as  “private capital used for public good.” She writes about the growing influence of mobile giving, networked action, crowdfunding, and other ways people choose to accomplish social goals outside of the traditional donor/funder-nonprofit relationship.

Nathaniel, Erin, and I have also been thinking about this social economy issue. Erin and Nathan are working daily to grow and connect new pathways for generosity and I guess I’m bringing the “seasoned philanthropy geezer” perspective. At our session, we’ll discuss potential intersections between traditional family philanthropy and the new wave of giving tools enabled by technology and fueled by problem-solving approaches of Millennials, entrepreneurs, and everyday citizens. Some of these tools include:

Here’s where you come in!

These tools are rapidly evolving and rapidly expanding their reach. So, we’d love to tap your curiosity, wisdom, and concerns to bring the freshest thinking to the session:

  • What questions would you want answered by this session?
  • Have family members brought any of these tools up as ways for the family to give? What experiments have you tried?
  • Do you know a foundation that has helped grantees use these tools for friend-raising and fundraising?
  • Do you think these tools would aid your family’s philanthropy or distract from it?

How you can respond

Erin, Nathan, and I encourage you to join the conversation in any of these ways:

We’ll promise to summarize the results of the responses and session discussion on the Council on Foundation’s blog, our blogs, and other places. Thanks in advance for your responses!

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