Social Ventures

The Original Crowdsourcer – Why It Matters for Philanthropy

In 1731, a 25-year-old Philadelphia printer set out to solve a problem – one that affected the future of his industry and the social good. Despite innovations in technology, popular books still cost too much for the average citizen. Yet getting more books into circulation would clearly increase interest in his own craft, and lead […]

Social Ventures: Tom Watson’s New Blog at Forbes

I’m late in announcing this here (on my own site – the cobbler’s children run barefoot, I know) but I’ve signed to write the new Social Ventures blog over at Forbes. I admire what Forbes is doing in terms of bring in a variety of new voices, and I’m enjoying engaging a new audience there […]

Mario Morino’s Leap of Reason – Challenge and Reward

I’m a story teller by nature and by vocation, so I shivered a little bit when I read this sentence in Mario Morino’s excellent Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity, released earlier this year by his Venture Philanthropy Partners: Public funders—and eventually private funders as well—will migrate away from organizations […]

Jumo Grabs the Hype, But What’s the Value?

You have to admire the ideals of Chris Hughes, the young co-founder of Facebook and one of the key strategists behind President Obama’s successful 2008 campaign online. Hughes is the founder of Jumo, a new online community that aims to connect people with causes and nonprofit organizations. “The more connected that individual is to an […]

Why Idealist Matters (And How You Can Help)

We all know about “too big to fail” and its repercussions for the economy. But what about “too important to fade away?” To me, that’s the story of Idealist, the pioneering online community for the social sector- and its current fight to survive. A week ago, Idealist founder Ami Dar sent a warning note to […]

When Embedded Philanthropy Works (Hint: It's All in the Story-telling)

Lucy Bernholz coined the term “embedded philanthropy” a couple of years ago to describe a growing phenomenon in the consumer marketplace – well, let’s let Lucy tell it: Embedded giving is the (apparently) increasingly common practice of building a philanthropic gift into another, unrelated, financial transaction. For example, rounding up your phone bill to make […]

CauseWired Canadian

Later this week, I’m headed for Toronto to give the luncheon plenary at the AFP’s local Fundraising Day conference there. So in true crowd-sourcing style, I started pinging the network just a bit in order to hit reload on my knowledge of ‘CauseWired’ Canada – and the network responded with some great resources that has […]

Guest Post: Citizen journalism, open government, status updates, community building, information sharing, crowdsourcing, and the election of a President

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Max Gladwell. Our children will inherit a world profoundly changed by the combination of technology and humanity that is social media. They’ll take for granted that their voices can be heard and that a social movement can be launched from their laptop. They’ll take for granted that […]

Our Skoll Panel

SKW_09_265 copy copy.jpg Originally uploaded by Greg Smolonski/Photovibe Great shot by Greg Smolonski of our panel at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford two weeks ago – that’s Premal Shah of (doing a great job working a certain book into the shot), yours truly, Mari Kuraishi of Global Giving and Mads Kjaer of MyC4. […]

The CauseWired Roundup

PHILANTHROPY 2173: Moving markets Must-read from Lucy Bernholz: "I've been thinking about philanthropic and social capital markets for several years now. … We are currently in one of the most dynamic periods in this area that I've seen in almost a decade. To better explain what I'm seeing, let me clarify the analog from commercial […]

Tanzania Twitterwall: Now That's Donor Involvement!

P3091100 Originally uploaded by Epic Change Brilliant job by the folks at Epic Change in following up on their successful Tweetsgiving fundraising campaign to build a school classroom in Tanzania via Twitter. The Tweetsgiving team raised over $11,000 in just 48 hours from 336 contributors – and Epic Change found a great way to say […]

The Twittered Conference: A Richer Experience

Last week in Oxford, I posed a simple question to the audience assembled for my panel at the Skoll World Forum: who was on Twitter? About half the attendees raised their hands. And indeed, the the conference – better known as #SWF09 on Twitter – really become two separate experiences. As Peter Deitz of Social […]

Skoll World Forum Take-Away: Funding for Online Social Activism

My panel yesterday at the Skoll World Forum, courtesy of MakeGood. Lifting a pint in an Oxford pub that celebrated its 500th birthday two years ago with several Skoll World Forum attendees may have provided the exclamation point on a notion that developed during my panel on peer-to-peer philanthropy and microfinance platforms earlier in the […]

Live from the Skoll World Forum

[youtube=]Today, I hosted a terrific panel at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, UK – panelists were Mari Kuraishi of Global Giving, Premal Shah of Kiva, and Mads Kjaer of MyC4. Lots of interaction with the audience, and were teed up well by the ongoing online discussion at Skoll’s Social Edge. Here’s a quick video […]

Open Source Giving: Does It Change the Web?

Next week, I’ll be hosting a panel discussion at the Skoll World Forum at Oxford University that takes its title from one of my favorite John Lennon songs: Power to the People. The discussion will center around online social activism and peer-to-peer philanthropy via networks, and it features a great line-up of social entrepreneurs who […]