Connected Philanthropy, Warren Buffett And The Future Of Giving

The area of philanthropy is going to be a major force in helping the world meet global needs as the governments around the world take a step back from this endeavor. What is now being known as the “Giving Pledge,” there are a total of 81 billionaires that have willingly committed to give up half or more of their wealth to organizations dedicated to helping people charitably. Warren Buffett alone has pledged over $37 billion, and this overall level of philanthropy is actually unprecedented anywhere in history at this time.

You might think Warren Buffett’s biggest contribution to the world is going to be his money, but you’d actually be wrong. He used his status of success and leveraged the media and social networks to convince and inspire other billionaires to part with large portions of their money in order to help the world in a charitable way. He is seriously causing the rich to re-evaluate their entire thought processes about giving and money

What Is Connected Philanthropy?

There are many people all over the globe using social media as a way to raise money for their charitable organizations, and they inspire networks of other people to join them, just like Warren Buffett used media to get billionaires to promise large fortunes of their overall wealth to charity. Philanthropy has always been a social activity, but social media and the tools that provide make it so much easier for individuals to have an influence over their social networks, which makes it simpler to connect with them and raise the funds that they are trying to obtain.

There’s no question that social media has given individuals the ability to raise money at an accelerated pace, and really support their cause and help other nonprofits expand their reach. Some of the charity types that tend to benefit from social media are walks, birthday fundraisers, runs, expensive charitable galas and host committees in need of members. Some information posted by Blackbaud shows us that people are more likely to give up to 200 times more if a friend asks them to donate to a cause or support a specific charitable organization, and this is compared to somebody receiving an e-mail notification from an organization asking them to donate their time and money. They just aren’t as willing to part with their money for the charitable organization itself, but if a friend asks, then they will gladly support this individual and their cause.

There is a major cultural shift taking place which shows us that you do not have to be a professional any longer if you want to raise funds. That idea is finally being left behind, and giving is recognized as a private action between the people receiving the money and the giver who is providing the money, time or donation of whatever is being asked of them. It’s good that these donation requests are being shared online by friends, because this will inspire other friends and co-workers to give of their time and money when needed.

70% of the people between the ages of 20 through 35 say that they prefer to give a donation online, and online donating is actually the number one preferred method of giving. It is expected that this type of sharing and asking for donations on social networks will actually accelerate throughout the years. This is known as connected giving, and since it is so prevalent you can expect a lot of social data for fundraising to come out of this. And this data is obviously going to be very good for nonprofit organizations.

Can We Finally Track Data for the Good of Mankind?

A technology research firm known as the IDC, shows us that the amount of charitable data received through online donations doubles about every two years. And the social media data being provided is the major reason why this growth is taking place. There are a lot of marketers in the world who are very interested in learning the social network value of a potential customer, and how a single person that purchases something can influence others to buy that same product. That’s why the nonprofits are also recognizing the ripple effect of donations throughout the network of a specific donor.

It’s quite obvious that there is a tremendous amount of power in celebrity endorsements. As an example, Lady Gaga has over 27 million twitter fans. Nonprofits and other organizations understand the true power of this amount of influence that Lady Gaga holds over those 27 million people. But they also recognize that there is a lot of power that people hold over their individual social network groups and social environments.

Having influence and fundraising doesn’t necessarily mean that you are generating engagement. It’s not necessarily the same thing to convince somebody to open up their wallet, as it is to convince them to like one of your posts or even re-tweet it. As these nonprofit organizations recognize this, they are certainly going to use the data being presented to them that will tell them:

  • which people have the most influence to convince their social network to give more of their time and money
  • what people have the greatest potential to become major fundraising players

Many believe that social media and digital data will tell us the true impact of our new currency in the 21st-century which is influence. Most charitable organizations do not have access to this information throughout their own networks, so they’re going to have to partner up with external organizations in order to receive this information.

Whatever organization is capable of making information about influence both affordable and accessible will be the true leader in helping their nonprofit clients achieve greater heights. People are already able to leverage this data on a small level, but using this data will provide organizations with the ability to raise money in a very precise and powerful way as the use of this information grows.

Do We Have Any Privacy in the Digital Age Where Data Is Plentiful?

As a consumer, you need to recognize that there are many different ways for marketers to leverage the information that you provide them digitally by using a rewards card to get discounts at your local supermarket, searching for specific things on the Internet, or even updating preferences on your profile page of your favorite social network. You may not realize this, but the social networks are requesting you to share some of this data that is very specific to you, and in return they are providing you with a “free” service.

Nonprofit organizations should not feel like they’re doing something wrong if they use the data from social media to help influence other people so that they can raise money. It actually would make more sense for you to create a strategy to leverage this data so that you can support your own campaigns for fundraising. You have to come up with a privacy policy and be completely transparent about the ways that you collect this data and use it. We are in a time where data on the purchasing of consumer goods, as well as any charitable donations we make, is here to stay. Don’t let your nonprofit organization get left in the dust by ignoring this information.

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