A New Wave of Philanthropy

A New Wave of Philanthropy by Don Chamberlin

Traditionally, philanthropic efforts have been fairly localized and dictated by somewhat limited exposure to causes, often introduced through religion or specialized education. But nowadays, thanks to changes in technology and the way newer generations interact with that technology, the way people give is radically changing.

Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, a philanthropist and philanthropy professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, sees a noticeable trend in millennials. As she claims, they are a generation that are eager to give. She attributes these philanthropic interests to a few key factors.

First, technology has allowed this generation to be more aware of the world and the needs around them. Technology and philanthropy have begun to converge in a way where people are more informed of how they can help and who needs help, but moreover technology has made the process of donating easier and more accessible for people in all social classes.

As Arrillaga-Andreessen recently told the Wall Street Journal, “millennials have more social consciousness than any other generation.” This is illustrate by a 2012 study where 72% of college students said working for a firm that creates some kind of social impact is important to their happiness, and 65% of those college students would take a pay cut to work for those kinds of companies.

As philanthropy and technology continue to meet, trailblazing companies like Airware and Palantir Technologies set high standards as to how far for-profit organizations can incorporate non-profit and pro bono work into their initiatives for the greater good. For example, Airware is a commercial drone company that uses its drones to help protect African rhinos from poachers. Palantir Technologies uses its data analytics to deploy and analyze slave trafficking and natural disasters in developing countries. While Airware and Palantir Technologies have figured out useful ways of giving back through the services they provide on a regular basis, not everyone has caught on to the new way of philanthropy.

According to Arrillaga-Andreessen, the goal is to teach people on how to give back effectively, to have companies reprogram how they operate as a business and incorporate philanthropy as part of their purpose. Change has already begun to happen; now it’s just a matter of time. Arrillaga-Andreessen is confident that eventually even mobile phones will facilitate philanthropy by enabling services like mobile micro financing, money transfers, etc.

At the end of the day, philanthropy is about giving back, no matter the amount. It’s not something only those who are affluent enough can do. Giving back can take many shapes and forms. Giving back can be defined by a monetary contribution, by volunteer time, by offering services, etc. It’s exciting to see a new wave of philanthropy emerge. Technology will help us spread the good news.

Tiny Charities

There are millions of charities in the world, each with their own mission and problem to solve. In 2014, more than $350 billion was donated to nearly one million charities, but how many of those were reputable. In the flurry of holiday feelings, a crafty thief can easily profit off of the kindness of strangers by using names of mega-charities for their ill-gotten gains. What are some smaller charities that are deserving of your attention, and can insure that your dollar goes far as possible.


Don ChamberlinArcadia: An interesting take on the traditional non-for-profit, Arcadia’s approach is one that benefits us all. Research clean, renewable forms of energy, this small company in Rockport, Maine, has big dreams. With the right amount of help, we could help make the world better for our children, and their children’s children.

Pediatric Cancer Foundation: Children are the best of us. Innocently unaware of the world, youth affords an ignorance of hardship, but sadly not everyone is able to enjoy it. The Pediatric Cancer Foundation raises money for children battling cancer. Funds are used to help afford the best doctors and their flights to the children, ensuring they get the very best care.

Alpha House Tampa: A brilliant charity offering aid to women during their most vulnerable, Alpha House has several programs to help women who are expecting. Whether finding affordable medical care or vocational programs to help them get back on their feet, Alpha House wants to do everything they can for the next generation of mothers.

No matter who you choose to support, contributing to a charity brings its own set of returns. The feeling of giving without expectation of return, aiming to improve someone’s life, is a gift all on its own. So when choosing which charity is deserving of your hard-earned money, consider the little charities. A dollar given for a better world is a dollar for us all.

Giving on a Budget

Giving is a gift unto itself. Whether donating to a charity or simply giving food to someone with an empty stomach, charitable donations come in many shapes and sizes. However, not all of us have the ability to donate thousands of dollars, even if the cause is something we feel deeply passionate about. But did you know there are a number of things you can donate without breaking the bank that can still make a difference? Below is a list of the best things to give when money isn’t the most abundant.

Don ChamberlinDid you know that almost 75% of accrued airline miles go unused in their lifetime? Well, if you are in the mood to give and have a few spare miles, why not put them to good use? The Hero Miles Program, designed to help veterans and their families, have produced nearly 50,000 tickets over its several years of operation. Giving back to wounded veterans is an honorable task, and you don’t need to be bursting at the seams with spare cash to do it.

Another excellent way to turn your rarely used rewards into donations is by giving away your credit card rewards points. Many card companies have adopted this process, enabling you to direct your rewards to whomever you choose. Whichever charity you decide, they will surely be happy to receive your generous gifts, and the tax-deductible donation is an excellent bonus for a good deed.

Few know that the excess energy produced by solar panels can be given as charitable donations. Gridmates, a Texas-based organization, uses the excess energy and redistributes it to low-income residents struggling to keep the lights on. A brilliant way to turn a naturally occurring resource into an act of kindness, you can donate the gift of light and heat for little to no cost.