Thursday, August 6, 2009

Philanthropy Needs Technology

The NonProfit Times released its Power & Influence Top 50 list on Aug 1 saying-"Service is the new black. It’s so fashionable that those leading the national service movement have packed the catwalk of The 2009 NPT Power & Influence Top 50". I have no quibbles with the idea of service and "Volunteering as a Fashion Statement". However, I would like to see philanthropy shift from a "service" model to an "empowerment" model. I agree with, Nathaniel Whittemore who says social media is shifting the power dynamics of philanthropy when he writes-"Some are honored for their attempts to better train the nonprofit industry, others are noted for the innovation which they've instilled in their foundations. The one major homage to technology comes in the recognition of Holly Ross, director of the awesome NTEN nonprofit technology conference." He goes on to say that bloggers are missing from the list. The power of the Internet and social media is the ability to reduce emotional distance between people of different types. Non-profits and foundations have an opportunity to get more technology into their operations both to reduce costs as well as to engage both donors and recipients in a more "democratic" way - where both parties are seen as benefiting.

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