Can everyday people make a difference in their communities without making millions of dollars? Lucy Bernholz, a senior research scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, believes philanthropy is far more multifaceted than wealthy individuals writing checks to nonprofits.
“Most Books Written About Charity” [talk] About the rich people,” Bernholz said, “and I wanted to know what was happening to everyone else.”
Bernholz shared his research and knowledge of how people participate in acts of charitable giving during a webinar hosted by The Associated Press, The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The Conversation US called “Making a Difference Without Millions – How Americans Give”. “It is called.
Also on the panel were Tiffany Ashley Bell, executive director of The Human Utility; Maria Smith Dautruche, director of the Westchester Center for Racial Equity; and Sarah Lomelin, executive director of Philanthropy Together. Panelists share how they give and the power of community philanthropy. Watch the video below to hear the full discussion.
What is charity?
According to Bernholz, people are always faced with requests to give—whether you’re traveling to work, running around town errands, helping out a neighbor, at the drugstore register. Or just checking social media. Bernholz called these events “the givingscape”, “all these opportunities for giving time, money, and data.”
Non-profit organizations are just one part of philanthropy. “They have some advantages. And some drawbacks,” Bernholz said. needed.
Her work, including her latest book, “How We Give Now,” re-imagines philanthropy and seeks to understand how average people create, fund, and distribute shared social goods in the digital age.
giving in the digital age
Bernholz said the digital age has not revolutionized philanthropy, but brought attention to old practices and moral ideals. While things like mutual aid programs may seem new, Bernholz believes it is the same type of community involvement that people have always been drawn to.
“For my book, [my team and I] Interviewed People Who Said, I Contribute To The Same Effort To Fix My Neighbor’s Home From The Flood, But If They Hit Me With A GoFundMe [request]’I’ll actually walk up there and hand them the cash,’ Bernholz said. “The sense of connection, community and identity is what drives people to give.”
Bernholz argues that the digitization of giving has increased the need for accountability and transparency in philanthropy. She points to the fact that crowdsourcing apps like Venmo, PayPal and Cash App are not required to report their data.
“We Trust These Companies To Tell Us How Much” [money] They’re gone, because we can’t see the data. They don’t need to tell us. so we can see [crowdsourcing]But we don’t really have the details,” she said.
Data as a charitable donation?
While the lack of data from companies worries Bernholz, he believes that deliberate acts of sharing data are a part of the “givingscape.”
“for example, [people who] Take digital photos of them or digitize their family albums and contribute them as a conscious intentional choice to a collection [historical events], ” said Bernholz. “We can create archives and really uncover or reveal incredibly important parts of this country’s complex history.”
According to Bernholz, data sharing has had a “huge impact” on efforts to protect biodiversity.
“Because a lot of people now have phones with cameras, [they can take a photo of a bird or bug] While out on a walk or outing and can upload it to a particular app and add it to the biodiversity database,” she said.
Bernholz still believes that data sharing should be approached with caution. Efforts should be made to ensure that “people from different backgrounds, have different experiences with data” [and] Different experiences of structural damage set the criteria for whether we should do it or not.”
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