Last year I wrote a piece for the Chronicle of Philanthropy about my “predicted surprises” for 2008. The idea was not to make outright predictions, but to suggest events that could happen even though they would be a surprise. My thought was to create a kind of “stretch goals” list for philanthropy. One of the items on the list was,
“Network for Good will partner with a national bank to enable the bank’s customers to make donations from their online bill-pay account.”
As I understand the story, one of the board members of Network for Good read my piece and asked why they couldn’t actually do it. Conversations were held with a major bank to put the idea in place, but over time the idea morphed a bit. Tomorrow Network for Good will announced that they’ve partnered with Capital One (a credit card company) to allow donors to give to any nonprofit with their Capital One card and Capital One will cover the transaction costs.
This move puts online giving on par with off-line giving. When you write a check to a nonprofit, they get the full amount. But until this announcement, whenever you gave using your credit card the charity would only get about 95-98% of your gift with the rest going to credit card fees. Capital One has launched a special Giving site powered by Network for Good as part of the deal.
Now what about the rest of the predicted surprises? Any takers?
- The chief executive officer of a large nonprofit will launch a blog
that quickly becomes the most widely read philanthropy blog. Fund
raising at the nonprofit will exceed expectations on the back of a huge
number of small, online donations.
- A foundation will decide to start publishing online the rationale
for why it makes each of its grants. Its grantees will see increased
donations from individuals who tell them they first heard of their
organizations on the foundation’s Web site.
- Network for Good will partner with a national bank to enable the
bank’s customers to make donations from their online bill-pay account.
- Google will bring its mission to “organize the world’s information”
to the nonprofit sector. Working in conjunction with Google.org, Google
will engineer the acquisition of a recognizable nonprofit data
provider. The “buyout” target will be a nonprofit.
- A billionaire philanthropist with non-U.S. citizenship will
establish a U.S.-based private foundation. Using the foundation to
establish a global philanthropy brand, the donor will join Bill Gates
and Bono on the celebrity-philanthropist list.
- Two large private foundations will merge. Citing the advantage of
combining the expertise of their program staff and lowering operating
expenses, the merger will create the second-largest private foundation
in the country.
- A United Way-authored outcome-measurement template will be adopted
by the sector as the standard format for nonprofit organizations to
report on their effectiveness. The narrative-driven form will soon be
available for download from the home pages of many nonprofits.
- A no-minimum national donor-advised-fund will be launched in partnership with a bank.
- After a major retailer’s cause-related-marketing promotion receives
bad press for misleading advertising, a significant backlash against
“embedded giving” occurs with young consumers.
- After Facebook’s Causes application is believed to have played a
significant role in the increased voter turnout for the 2008
presidential election among 18- to 24-year-olds, charities recognize
the potential of social-media tools and finally get serious about
integrated online strategies.