Sunday, October 01, 2006

An eBay for Philanthropy

Even before Peter Schwartz described GlobalGiving (then called DevelopmentSpace) as "an eBay for development" in 2002, we have been proud of our association with the founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar, and eBay's first president, Jeff Skoll.

Pierre has launched the Omidyar Network and Jeff the Skoll Foundation to support innovative initiatives that catalyze good in the world. If you hear of a really interesting new idea (or movie - Jeff Skoll has also been producing movies), there is a good chance that either Pierre or Jeff is behind it.

So I was especially pleased when Bill Clinton began adopting the same metaphor for his own Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). The CGI is remarkable for the fact that people who attend have to commit to actually DOING something - they can't just talk. Here is a nice clip from Clinton on the Daily Show, where he notes the power of the internet to allow basically anyone in the world to DO something - and the extent to which a lot of small $10, $20, or $100 donations can have a major impact. He observes that after the tsunami, 30% of Americans contributed $1.2 billion (50% of which was online) to the tsunami recovery.