Thursday, November 30, 2006

Philanthropy 2.0 and Voluntourism

Leading philanthropy consultant Katherine Fulton's November 2006 talk at the LongNow was interesting and informative but unfortunately ignored the Accountability 2.0 and Effectiveness 2.0 that should be accompanying Philanthropy 2.0. It becomes increasingly clear that the roadblocks are more about political, structural, procedural, institutional and organizational issues than the receipt of funds. As Amy Chua points out in "World on Fire," there is no incentive for ruling elites to take any action to diminish their power. Philanthropy 2.0 should be about the effective usage of financial and other resources not simply their presence.

Peer-to-peer finance is the Markets 2.0 improvement - a more direct way of allocating philanthropic resources, using services such as third-world entrepreneur lender Kiva, international grassroots project donation site GlobalGiving and livestock donation service Heifer.

Even better than personally-directed philanthropic capital is moving into an active role by being a volunteer tourist, voluntouring for two or more weeks in a country of your choice with programs run by UniversalGiving, Social Venture Partners and other organizations. A nice antidote to regular travel, adventure travel, extreme travel and eco-travel.