“Help others achieve their dreams and you will achieve yours.” – Les Brown
We often think of charity as a simple transfer of wealth – the haves give to the have-nots.
Our part in this process as donor typically starts, and ends, with reaching into our pockets and parting with dollar amounts we think we can live without. We might even forget this fleeting involvement until tax season comes along and we remember our tax-deductible donations.
The advent of crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo (fundraising for products to personal projects) and Kickstarter (for creative projects) makes it easier for people of all ages, with plenty to give or with just a little to spare, to contribute to causes they deem worth
While the process is not necessarily tin-cup supplication, this one-time charity can be expanded to inspire the donor to be curious as to what else he or she can do to make a broader and more sustained difference in the lives of beneficiaries.
Contrary to how fundraising is normally done, a new breed of philanthropy rises, and it involves more than just effective presentation skills to persuade a donor to write a check.
Jennifer McCrea, who is at the forefront of changing the way fundraising works, has exemplified that with an open-spirited, curiosity-driven, and person-to-person approach, fundraising can start genuine partnerships. These are partnerships wherein donors don’t just pour money into the endeavor, but also their time, talents, creative thinking, and personal networks to achieve amazing results that otherwise would have been impossible.
Finding out people’s passions and engaging them as partners will tap into a vast reserve of social capital that often seems scanty, but is actually abundant and just waiting to be uncovered and mobilized. This is the appeal of crowdfunding platforms – it makes it easy to tap public support and show to them where, and how far, their contributions have gone in return.
To make the most of their potential, however, the leadership and management of these crowdfunding platforms need to adopt a whole new mindset and way of thinking about charity.
For a more profound impact, generosity should not only change the lives of the receivers, but also of the givers, making them not just one-time donors, but philanthropists for life.
Icon Credits (thenounproject.com):
Denis Sazhin; Kari Svangstu