Category Archives: Open Source Philanthropy

Causes, MySpace & ideablob

In recent days, Causes has left MySpace and IdeaBlob has shutdown. To some, these events were unimportant. In reaction to the Causes announcement, Economist bureau chief Matthew Bishop tweeted “Who knew it was on MySpace?” to which New York Times reporter Stephanie Strom tweeted back “No kidding.” But to many people active in online social […]

Social Entrepreneur API

The Social Entrepreneur API from Social Actions launched at the SoCap Conference. The Social Entrepreneur API (Application Programming Interface) is the first open database of information about social entrepreneurs who have won fellowships and awards from social enterprise funders. The current API includes awards made by Civic Ventures, The Draper Richards Foundation, ideablob, PopTech, The […]

Steal This Idea!

At the Center for Effective Philanthropy conference, one of the most interesting sessions was a discussion of scale between the successful nonprofits Nurse-Family Partnerships and Homeboy Industries and funders the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and the California Endowment. The session was titled Promises and Pitfalls of Going to Scale and examined the different ways that […]

Center for Effective Philanthropy: Aligning for Impact

After a week of writing about the impact creation opportunity available to those who are willing to share knowledge about smart grantmaking, I’m off to the Center for Effective Philanthropy conference Aligning for Impact, where I’m sitting on a panel about information sharing in philanthropy: Foundations and Information: When to Share What You Know How […]

Why Philanthropy Wins in a Web 2.0 Culture

The business world hasn’t yet figured out how to deal with the way that the web makes sharing information incredibly easy. From newspapers, to music labels to anything that can be digitized, the web has destroyed business models that rely on ownership and control of information. Almost all profits comes from the control of certain […]

IssueLab Wins Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund Grant

Last week I announced that the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund had offered me a $100 charitable “Gift4Giving”. I wrote: I’d like to give the funds to a philanthropic intermediary. A nonprofit group who is improving the state of philanthropy in some way. I’d like your help to decide where to give. If there is a […]

Online Grant Applications

Flaw #9 from the Project Streamline report: More than 80 percent of the grantmakers who responded to our survey reported that they have taken steps to make their information gathering practices “more efficient and streamlined for nonprofit applicants.” …Many streamlining strategies have turned out to be useful to foundations and their grantees. Yet others, notably […]


For some time now I’ve been talking about the need for large foundations to share their knowledge base with the general public. While some people have made this argument from the standpoint of obligations that foundations have to the public, I’ve thought that foundations will find that they are able to more effectively further their […]

Google, Information & Philanthropy lets users create custom search engines. Here’s an interesting example of how Google technology can be used to create more efficient information distribution in philanthropy. Developed by, the custom search tool is described this way by the creator: To assist E-Democracy.Org’s grant prospecting efforts I put together a little (big actually) Google Custom […]

Breaking Frames in Philanthropy

Humans have a remarkable ability to categorize information and then quickly compare new data to prior experiences. This allows us to absorbed massive amounts of new data quickly in ways that computers are still unable to do. For instance if I show you a picture of a dog that you’ve never seen before, even a […]