A Chance to Explore

Over the last year, it has become virtually impossible to escape the buzz about new media, emerging technologies and the “Web 2.0” phenomenon – particularly in the context of my work as a communications officer at a foundation.

From queries about how foundations can learn from the fields they support, to how they can better serve and communicate with grantees, to how they can more effectively collaborate and drive change, the waves created by technology’s seemingly endless possibilities are washing up all around my desk.

At some point I started to casually toss about words and phrases like wikis, blogs and social networking, but with shamefully little knowledge about any of them. This blog is my attempt to remedy that. I will use it as my chance to explore how technology – in a very broad sense – is affecting and in many ways re-wiring the mindset of philanthropy. And maybe even use it to do a little re-wiring of my own.


6 Responses to “A Chance to Explore”

  1. 1 Shawn McIntosh February 11, 2008 at 12:59 am

    The potential for philanthropy does indeed seem almost limitless in an online, “Web 2.0” environment, but it also could be quite threatening as well. The ability to get bombarded with requests for donations ranging from feeding starving children in Africa to helping a twenty-something woman who binged on shopping and needs help on her credit card debt could give new meaning to the term “donor fatigue.”

  2. 2 Beth Kanter February 12, 2008 at 3:51 am

    Congratulations for taking the first step and setting up this blog for your personal learning! I have found blogging to be really helpful in mastering a new topic!

    Shawn’s comment is pretty thought provoking. I’ve been concerned about donor fatigue and wondering how those of who plan and design campaigns can carefully craft them to avoid this.

  3. 3 Eddie Radshaw February 14, 2008 at 4:54 am

    Isn’t there some kind of website where you can like either request money for a project or donate money to a project? There are all kinds of projects listed, and you can basically make anyone’s dream come true… anyone know what the site is?

  4. 4 Claire Baralt February 15, 2008 at 4:31 am

    Hi Shawn, Beth and Eddie – Thanks for stopping by Philanthropy Re-Wired, and for your comments! I do often hear concerns about donor fatigue, and sometimes even experience it myself… just based on the communications I receive from the causes and organizations I’ve signed up to hear from! When used strategically, I think technology can offer a powerful way to connect with existing and potential donors beyond just asking for a check, so that they become more engaged and energized about an organization’s work – and not fatigued. I’ll be curious to see if I can find some real-life examples of this in my explorations for this blog. I think the kind of site that Eddie mentions is one example where donors feel more directly connected to real needs and projects “on the ground.” One such site I know of is http://www.globalgiving.com.

  5. 5 davilaluis February 20, 2008 at 4:03 am

    Hi Claire,

    Globalgiving.com is a good start. I also suggest you check Kiva.com. It’s business model allows common individuals to provide micro-loans to entrepreneurs worldwide via the Internet. They also attempt to create a social network among the grantors and grantees to strengthen their relationships.

    Hope this helps!




  6. 6 Claire Baralt February 21, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Great suggestion, Luis – Since I wrote this post, I have indeed come across a lot of discussion about and enthusiasm for kiva.org. It really is an interesting and exciting model… and I definitely plan to spend some time exploring the site. Thanks for your comment!

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