While the concepts behind Web 2.0 are changing the way that philanthropy is practiced and will have a broad affect over the coming decades, the impact is being more strongly felt today in the nonprofit community. Nonprofits are finding that by utilizing the two way nature of internet driven communication, they can more strongly connect with their donor base.
The NetSquared conference held in May showcased a number of the people and organizations that were implementing Web 2.0 concepts into their nonprofit. You can keep tabs on some of the developments coming out of this community on the NetSquared Blog. A number of individual blogs are also coving these topics, such as Have Fund * Do Good, ext337, and Beth’s Blog.
I believe that the Web 2.0 social networking phenomenon is more of a cultural event rather than a technological one. As I discussed last week, the hierarchical systems of the 20th century are collapsing and flat organizations which rely on many, many participants to make decisions are rising in importance. This trend is not restricted to technology. I believe that this is a natural evolution for all forms of human organizations and builds on the best aspects of free markets and democracy.
As this blog develops over time, I will be highlighting some of the budding attempts within the philanthropic sector to utilize these new organization systems. If you have a good example of Web 2.0 technology being used to enhance the grant making process (rather than the fund raising process), let me know.