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TitleDisrupting philanthropy : technology and the future of the social sector
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsBernholz, L, Skloot, E, Varela, B
Pagination49 p.; 2 fig.; 1 box; refs
Date Published2010-05-01
PublisherDuke Sanford School of Public Policy
Place PublishedDurham, NC, USA

This monograph explores the immediate and longer-term implications of networked digital technologies for philanthropy. The claim is that information networks are transforming philanthropy. Enormous databases and powerful new visualization tools can be accessed instantly by anyone, at any time. A brief overview of the philanthropic landscape is provided, followed by an explanation of the “long tail” of giving and receiving. Case studies of FasterCures and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation show how information networks have transformed the grantmaking strategies of some institutional funders. Examined is how networked technologies are affecting five philanthropic practices. Then a glimpse of what is to come is offered. While the future is unknowable to a large degree, confidence in predicting an increase in some phenomena. Concluded by pointing out that inequities of access and capacity prevent many individuals and institutions from benefitting from information networks. We believe the next decade will see explosive growth in networking for good, creating opportunities for creative solutions to large social problems.

(authors abstract)


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