The Democratization of Philanthropy: GivingTurtle.org
What (or whom) do you associate with philanthropy? Rockefeller and Carnegie immediately come to mind. More recently, I would think of Gates. To be more general, I think of exclusivity and a *lot* of money.But over the past few years, there has been a call to change this. Katherine Fulton, speaking at TED called for the democratization of philanthropy. Entrepreneur and philanthropist Reid Hoffman described how Web 2.0 would revolutionize philanthropy by letting the people dictate the causes that were important to them. Since then, there has been a movement led by such organizations as Kiva, DonorsChoose, and CitizenEffect.org to empower the general public to make a difference without requiring individuals to be absurdly affluent.GivingTurtle.org takes the democratization of philanthropy literally, and to the next step. It features a different charity every day and lets everyone donate a single dollar -- no more, no less -- with just a click. This puts everybody on the same playing field -- a minimum wage worker is the equal of a billionaire. But perhaps more importantly is the way the charities are chosen. Users vote on and submit the charities themselves, with the most voted organization being featured for the next day. It is truly democratic.The hardworking single mother that doesn't have the time to find a worthwhile charity or the money to feel like she's changing the world can now do her part, knowing that her little bit will help. It's almost like voting in the presidential elections -- each individual becomes empowered as part of a larger whole. It's almost cliche to say, but absolutely true -- when everyone comes together, that's when the world will change.GivingTurtle.org is the next step in a movement to put the power to change the world in the hands of the general public, not the wealthy few. Help it succeed.What will you do with your dollar?