Emerging Philanthropy

Ideas from and for the new wave of emerging philanthropy:

Using FacebookPhilanthropy.com looks at Raising money on facebook

One Dollar at a Time Andy Porteous tells me a faith community in Australia is trying to raise over $7 million, one dollar at a time,  by Christmas 2008. Check it out on OneHitWonder

Recipient Blog – This is an idea from Lee Behar of Maclellan Foundation shared with me last summer. The Boaz Project might be implementing this idea next year with an often-updated group blog that will show where the money is going and what its accomplishing.

Money Back Guarantee
Dennis Whittle of GlobalGiving.com suggests a money back guarantee on gifts up to $10,000, or at least money in the form of a voucher. But would that still be a "gift"?

Tactical Philanthropy asks "Is Performance Measurement Undermining Social Change?"

Philanthopy.blogspot.com looks at wisdom of crowds.

Also, PC (USA) has just put aside 20k for emergent churches. Details here.

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • joe says:

    It strikes me that we need to do some serious examining of our concepts of charity and how they relate to the Way of Christ.
    Our culture seems to be drifting towards* the idea that the ‘right’ form of giving involves very little commitment and very little cost. Even in church we think that throwing spare change at an issue will make it go away.
    But it seems to me this is far from the demands of the Sermon on the Mount and far from the life of sacrifice we are called to.
    I believe that giving which costs nothing is worth nothing, even if it contributes to a total of $7 million.
    *of course this is arguably just a new version of an old cultural phenomena.

  • andy says:

    in defense of Onehitwonder i think one of the things Christians in the west think is…
    “well what can I do? my little bit really doesn’t make a difference”
    Something like this says that even a little bit makes a big difference… and that our small choices can have huge consequences…
    BTW dont be stingy go and give one dollar anyway!

  • joe says:

    Yes, I see what you’re saying Andy.
    The problem is that too often people are encouraged to ‘give away $1’ or ‘click on this website’ or whatever. Which is all well and good, but the demands of Christ are much greater than that.
    I will not be contributing $1 (partly because I don’t see the sense in supporting an organisation in Australia when I can support one locally). I will however be continuing to wrestle with what carrying my cross means and how that could turn my life upside-down.

  • andrew says:

    “I don’t see the sense in supporting an organisation in Australia when I can support one locally”
    Joe – is there a place in your cross carrying for overseas or non-local ministry?

  • joe says:

    Um, dunno Andrew.
    If my giving costs me nothing, it makes no odds if it is closeby or the other side of the world – it is still worthless.

  • andy says:

    is it the $1 that counts for Christ? or is it the group of 4 or 5 people who have already given a year of development to set up this idea in order to give away $7m to the worlds poorest people that counts?
    the least we can do is bring about that reality for these guys… as opposed to crushing a dream for a better world through “theological technicality’s”
    and if that $1 starts 1 person on the course of aligning their life with Gods kingdom .. is that not worth it? Faith the size of a mustard seed?

  • joe says:

    It isn’t a theological technicality, Andy. It is a very real failure of western christianity – of the kind that encourages people to play-act rather than follow the Way of the Cross.
    I’m not interested in ticking boxes or filling in forms or any of the other pseudo-management speak. Jesus calls me to do the outrageous – to sell all I have and then give myself to the poor. To go where others refuse to go, to hope for the hopeless, love for the loveless.
    All this other stuff is gloss, in my opinion. If we seriously took on board the beatitudes, this kind of thing would register maybe a few seconds in our life of sacrifice – rather than becoming an emblem of avoiding doing anything at all very much.
    I’m not really bothered if people support these initiatives or not, as they are of minimal importance to most of us.

  • andy says:

    so have you done that Joe?

  • Steve Cramb says:

    I signed up a few weeks ago on the “onehitwonder” site. Is it sacrificial giving to add $1? Not unless it’s your last $1 (or $1.12 Australian including PayPal fee to be precise). But I do think it is (or hopefully will become) a useful ONE OFF model of how many people doing a little can achieve a lot – a model for many other, greater, actions in the future. And there is no limit to the amount that CAN be given at one time.
    Andrew, I read over the guarantee (my brother, who has a marketting blog at http://www.beuncommon.com.au is a bit of a guarantee Nazi) at Grassroots and I think they address the whole issue very well. It brings an acountability to what they are doing. There IS the question of whether, if it was a gift, I would want to pull the money back, but there is also the issue about seeing funds used appropriately. It’s possible that I would just give elsewhere next time, while the way they are setting this up essentially requires them to make sure (1) there is no need to change and (2) there will be a next time. They don’t give the money back but they do give the control of the money to the giver – and THAT increases ownership and participation.

  • andrew says:

    yeah – i think they give a voucher that can be invested in another project. but they would have to have some reserves in order to do that. still . . . like you say . . not a bad idea.

  • joe says:

    Done what Andy?

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