Technology’s powerful link to philanthropy

Each day we all touch technology in some way – whether you’re using your smart phone, surfing the Internet on your laptop or tablet or having your GPS guide you to your destination…the examples are endless! It’s a part of our lives.

From a communications standpoint alone, it has made our world a smaller place – allowing interaction on a global scale and at rapid pace. (…that was sooo 12 seconds ago!)

In the funding, learning and educational space of philanthropy, leveraging technology through web platforms has been instrumental. (What an understatement!)

For example, Kickstarter and DonorsChoose are fantastic web-based platforms that empower donors to make informed decisions and help show them the impact they will make. Kiva provides donors the opportunity to lend funds (as low as $25), helping to empower others and alleviate global poverty.

To say these platforms are thriving is another understatement!

Kickstarter expects to provide more funding in 2012, over $150 million, to users’ projects than the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) at $146 million. Since 2005, Kiva has provided almost $300 million in loans! Gone are the days of check-writing…it’s more like click-giving!

Through the perspective and expertise of our technology lens, The Patterson Foundation (TPF) continues to support and encourage innovation, collaboration and leveraging of resources through similar web-based platforms in funding and learning.

Here are some examples:

EdExploreSRQ – In partnership with Sarasota County Schools, Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County and Science and Environment Council of Sarasota County, this web-based platform connects classroom learning to community “explorations” in arts, science and history.

Caregiver Connect – Partnering with Central Florida-based Share the Care Inc. to connect caregivers with available resources and support through this website.

Journalism Accelerator (JA) – In collaboration with Reynolds Journalism Institute and The Osder Group, providing an online information exchange between publishers and media networks.

The Giving Partner – Supporting the collaboration of the Community Foundation of Sarasota CountyGulf Coast Community Foundation and Manatee Community Foundation, connecting donors and funders with local nonprofits in our community.

I believe we are all coming together – connecting–  and realizing the importance of our individual roles regarding civic engagement issues in our communities, and beyond. Through the convenience of technology, we have the ability to make it a daily activity in our lives – supporting philanthropy locally and/or globally. And in the process of being part of something bigger than ourselves, we enhance our own wellbeing.

How do you plan on using web-based technology in your philanthropic pursuits? For education? Information sharing? Financially helping others? Improving your community?

 

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