On the Web, A Revolution in Giving

By Tina Rosenberg

On Tuesday, I wrote about how crowdsourcing Web sites are allowing people to contribute knowledge and ideas to bring about social change. But virtually every social change organization will say that what it needs most is money. Giving to charity did not start with the Internet. But crowdfunding offers donors new ways to get more involvement and impact for their charity dollar.

In traditional giving, one of the things big donors can buy with their big checks is a sense of partnership with the organization — they can choose or even invent a project to finance, meet the staff, receive private briefings and get asked for their advice (sincerely or not). They know their largesse matters.

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