Thursday, December 13, 2007

Online Giving Challenge with $500,000 in prizes

The old thinking goes that to change the world, you have to give millions. But young tech-savvy philanthropists are trying to prove otherwise.

Leveraging new technologies and the growth of social networking Web sites, several online-giving pioneers have been trying to expand the pool of potential donors by democratizing philanthropy and making it more transparent.

"This is pretty revolutionary, that technology allows us to do this," Whittle said. "It used to be that if you wanted to give and have an impact, people thought you had to be Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey. But because of the way the technology works, you can be an 'ordinary Oprah.' If you've got $10 or $100 or $1,000, you can come and find a school in Africa to support, and you can get updates from the field to get responses to your support.

This is from a very nice article by Philip Rucker in today's Washington Post talking about how the Case Foundation is working with GlobalGiving, Network For Good, and Parade Magazine to encourage online giving. Parade Magazine has 70 million readers!

The Case Foundation is providing $500,000 to the causes that attract the most donors - not necessarily the ones that raise the most money. This makes this a real exercise in the democratization of philanthropy.

You can participate in the $500,000 challenge here. It goes live on the web today at 3 pm EST.

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