By Peter Deitz
For micro-philanthropy groupies, including me, yesterday’s session on Philanthropy 2.0 at the Council on Foundation’s annual conference featured a star studded panel. The founders of DonorsChoose, Facebook Causes, and The Motley Fool were joined by the East Coast Development Manager of Kiva.org and the Director of Social Investment for The Case Foundation. Quite a crew!
Roughly one hundred and fifty people attended the session, choosing Philanthropy 2.0 over a host of other really awesome sessions. Session facilitator Sharna Goldseker, Vice President of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, took a quick survey of the audience. The attendees consisted of 30% family foundations, 40% community foundations, 5% corporate foundations, 10% private foundations, and 15% foundation consultants and advisors.
For the first hour of the session, the presenters showcased what they have been doing with web 2.0 and philanthropy. For those who aren’t familiar with the platforms listed above:
DonorsChoose.org – A donation site that connects teachers who need supplies for classroom projects with citizen philanthropists interested in funding the projects. (67,400 donors, $1.2 million donated since 2000)
Facebook Causes – A popular application on Facebook that permits anyone to start a fundraiser on behalf of a registered 501c3 organization. (12 million users, $2.5 million raised since 2007)
Kiva.org – A community of advocates of micro-finance that permits individuals to make loans to small business owners in the developing world. (270,000 lenders, $28 million lent since 2004)
The Motley Fool – A web 2.0 financial investment community that also runs an annual program in which investors make donations to a select list of charities.
The Case Foundation – A family foundation started by AOL founder Steve Case that has invested heavily in the tools that make micro-philanthropy possible and has run several contests that encourage individuals to become citizen philanthropists.
After the presentations, the conversation gave way to a Q&A session, in which foundation representatives asked the panel about how philanthropy 2.0 could impact their own work.