IsraelGives.org (Israeltoremet.org in Hebrew), an online portal for Israeli charities circulated a press release noting that 2010 saw a 289% rise in online giving to Israeli causes, with the average online gift reported at 400 shekels (about $111, at current rates). (Also reported in eJewishPhilanthropy.com this morning.)
“The rise in Israeli e-philanthropy is tremendous, but also not surprising, considering the rate of computer and internet use in Israel, among the highest in the world. It makes sense that the internet would become the means that Israelis use to connect and donate to charitable organizations”, said (Mr.) Yonatan Ben-Dor, Founder and Director of IsraelGives. “Israel is still many years behind the U.S. in its e-philanthropy, but we see a very clear trend towards online giving in Israel, and growing usage of the web and social media as fundraising tools by non-profit organizations”.
This is great news for Israel-based organizations, as well as for non-Israelis who want to find a charity that matches their interests and passions.
But what if you don't have a lot to give, or you want to spread your philanthropy dollars out over multiple charities, but worry that your contribution won't make an impact? Enter Philanthroper, which turns microfundraising into an art that relies on the symphonic contributions of the crowd: if many people give a dollar, that's a lot of dollars. (reported in FastCompany, via Chronicle of Philanthropy)
From the Philanthroper site:
You know those daily deal sites? We're another one of those. But instead of selling something, we're sharing the story of a new 501(c)3 nonprofit every day. And if you'd like, you can give them $1. We're trying to make doing good a habit.
Payments are processed not through Paypal (which would take .30 of every donated dollar), but through a site called mPayy, which only takes one cent per dollar for "unavoidable banking fees." You do have to sign up for mPayy by submitting your bank and routing information, but the charities receive your donations in three business days.
What I think has great potential here isn't just the ability of lots of people to give small amounts of money that can really make a difference, but that it cultivates a culture of philanthropy in its most literal sense - loving humanity - that says "no gift is too small, and there is always something you can do to help other people, every day." It also provides exposure to new charities every day, which builds awareness of what kinds of causes are out there - although Philanthroper doesn't permit donations larger than a dollar, it links to the organizations, so if a cause moves you, you can follow through with a larger contribution.
What organizations did you contribute to in 2010 - and how do you think microfundraising changes the game for smaller organizations?