In the old days, small donors may often have had good reason to feel that their contributions were lost in the maw of a mammoth charity. No longer. Technology — the Internet and mobile communication — has changed everything, to the point where the $5 you give online today can be half a world away tomorrow, on the ground and doing good.
Experts like Kari Dunn Saratovsky, a vice president of social innovation at the Case Foundation, which is pushing the use of new technologies to “democratize” philanthropy, say that it’s all about empowering people whose sense of social purpose may run deeper than their pockets.
“There is a great deal of good that can come from opening up the process of philanthropy and helping redefine what it means to champion a cause you personally care about,” she says. “We feel strongly that social media are helping level the playing field to allow all of us to see ourselves as philanthropists.”