Philanthropy is changing. Charity is changing. It is clear that we are in the Second Wave of Giving, where donations are not directed by the Carnegies or the Rockefellers, but by individuals interested in making a difference.
These individuals want results. The ease of access to information and resources allows people to find the most effective charities to give to and exposes those which do not meet those standards. Consulting firms, publications, blogs and social networking groups have all been started to hash out the issues in this new realm of philanthropy. But in all the discussions, people still focus around the fundamental component of the First Wave of Giving of the early 20th century: Giving.
If donors want their contributions to be used effectively and their money to be used efficiently, then they need to start thinking about their donations not as handouts, but investments. Current philanthropic debates still center around the concept that people are giving their money away, rather than making a social investment. The Second Wave of Giving will only reform philanthropy and create sustainable change if people realize that their donations are not handouts, they are not self-sacrifices, but actual investments in a better world. Instead of a Second Wave of Giving, we should try to create the First Wave of Social Investment.
The return on these investments will be based on the effectiveness and efficiency of the non-profits and other change organizations that people invest in. This blog aims to help people think of their donations and involvement with change organizations not as sacrifices for a greater good, but investments in society's future. It will also try to show individuals how to get the biggest return on their investment, in whatever form that investment takes.
I previously wrote for the college social entrepreneurship blog, Gumball University. I will continue my work from there on this site and expand it to encompass the philanthropic sector, but still focus on areas of global poverty, as it is my personal interest.
I hope you enjoy the subsequent posts. I will try to update thoroughly and regularly.