How Technology Has Changed Philanthropy for the Better
We live in a time when tech companies and computer savvy gurus have found a way to improve just about every professional field through the means of technology. Philanthropy, likewise, has changed immensely.
The “old days” of philanthropy—before technology and social media had an impact on attracting donors—involved primarily the elite funding their favorite charities. Philanthropic giving was something a select few did at the end of their careers, after they were done amassing great wealth.
Now philanthropy is more egalitarian. It’s easy for nonprofits and NGOs to reach out (through tools such as smart phone apps and social media campaigns) to people from any socio-economic background, and enable them to donate easily and in small amounts. Philanthropy isn’t something you have to wait to do anymore—technology allows you to make donations in easy and often creative ways.
Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, who teaches a course on philanthropy for graduate students at Stanford University, put it this way (in a conversation with Bobbi Silten, president of the Gap Foundation and contributor for the Huffington Post):
“Technology now enables anyone with social passion – regardless of what other resources they have – to be a part of creating social good.”
Tools that Show Impact
At the same time, today’s donors are demanding more transparency from nonprofits. People want to know that their dollars are making an impact.
In a panel discussion with KQED San Francisco and Marketplace Morning Report, Adnan Mahmud, cofounder of Jolkona, discussed how technology has impacted philanthropic giving:
“It is more than just social media. It’s a great tool to reach donors, but we need to be more focused on outreach. Technology can actually add to transparency by providing tools to show impact and to do fundraising too… This generation doesn’t want to see the sad stories. They want to see how their donations make an inspirational impact. Sometimes, it is our volunteers, who give the most money.”
In this way, technology brings with it a wider capacity to do good but also a greater responsibility to do it right.
Governments across the globe are likewise passing stricter reporting requirements. In order to keep ahead of changing laws and regulations, automated accounting solutions are a necessity for virtually any charitable organization. Improvements, such as cloud-based accounting and reporting software, allow nonprofits and NGOs the transparency and accountability needed to continue to earn funding and keep donors happy at all levels of giving.
Nonprofit Accounting Software for this Generation’s Philanthropists
Serenic Navigator, accounting software for nonprofits, NGOs and the public sector, provides you with the tools to generate transparent reporting. It’s a solution designed for a tech savvy generation—a generation that is passionate about philanthropy and making an impact for good.