Philanthropy & Online Charity: The New Nonprofit

Sparking Social Change through Emerging Media

Philanthropy has long been a force for social change around the globe while today’s technology has connected our world like never before. Digital charity has completely transformed the nonprofit sector, allowing philanthropists and donors to support causes they truly care about with the click of a button. Crowdfunding, social media volunteerism, and electronic outreach make today’s philanthropy a constantly evolving yet powerful medium for helping others no matter their physical location on Earth.

Innovative online resources for nonprofits help digital philanthropy thrive in the modern age.

At Emergent Digital we use online marketing to help nonprofit organizations and purposeful companies reach the vast digital community to make a difference. We like to stay on the cutting edge of philanthropy, learning from the exciting ways new media is used to encourage charitable giving and enact social good across the globe. Our team explores emerging digital tactics for social good, the world of modern charity, and news from the nonprofit sector, and are pleased to bring you the latest in today’s philanthropy.

The Rise of Online Charitable Giving & Youth Philanthropy

It should be no secret that philanthropy has gone digital, a striking trend that will continue for the foreseeable future. Online giving, via electronic donation and online fundraising, is now the primary source of charity funding in the world. The rate of digital giving is increasing much faster than charitable giving overall, contributing more than $250 million to over 45,000 nonprofit organizations in the last year alone. Branded giving pages and peer-to-peer donations are the most popular channels for digital philanthropy, one of several insightful trends from the past year:

  • Online Giving inforgraphic
    The 2015 Digital Giving Index, Courtesy of Network for Good

    Digital giving increased 13% from 2014 to 2015

  • Website traffic grew 11% for organizations in the nonprofit sector
  • Online philanthropy via monthly donation rose 32%
  • One-time online giving increased 9% from the previous year

Along with the rise of charitable giving in the digital space, youth philanthropy has grown immensely in both popularity and prevalence. This inspiring trend gives hope for the future, as young philanthropists are taking an active role in supporting local causes and promoting social good online. Philanthropy education is finally being taught in schools, online charity resources like connect young donors with grantmakers, and youth philanthropy clubs are becoming commonplace. The next generation of philanthropists is already working to make our world a better place, and online giving is the perfect catalyst for their activism.

The MacArthur Foundation’s $100 Million Competition for Social Change

This is big, bold, and boundless in opportunity for inspiring social good.

The MacArthur Foundation has announced a groundbreaking open-ended contest calling for solutions that resolve any important social problem. Using intentionally vague language, this competition is “open to organizations working in any field of endeavor anywhere.” This idea is creative and unprecedented, offering a massive reward to encourage social change without stipulation. Proposals can be related to any field or issue and serves as the flagship of their “Big Bets” initiative:

“MacArthur’s next chapter will be characterized by big bets that strive toward transformative change in areas of profound concern. This is not a search for quick fixes or easy wins, but an all-in, timely commitment – of talent, resources, time, and reputation – to real change that matters for many, many people.”

– MacArthur President Julia Stasch

Another “Big Bet” by the MacArthur Foundation is Benefit Chicago, a collaboration with the Chicago Community Trust & Calvert Foundation. This social enterprise will provide $100 million in funding for non profit organizations to spur social enterprise in Chicago.

Hear, hear!

Benevolent Connects Online Crowdfunding to the Community

Benevolent has launched a unique online giving solution ( in the United States and just unveiled plans for vigorous international expansion. Founded in 2011, this inventive digital philanthropy software connects those in dire need with local professionals in their community. The volunteer personally validates the need, helps share the story online, then receives and disburses the grant earned through the digital campaign. The Benevolent crowdfunding platform ensures the authenticity of each story, engendering donor trust and establishing a community connection in person.

Benevolent adds a tangible, human element to online giving and the crowdfunding process. Furthermore, their focus on small, physical, but pivotal resources like work gear, bus passes, and car repair offers real help to those stricken by poverty. Basic necessities like a bed are imperative for the poor but unavailable from a typical nonprofit program in the digital space. Benevolent community volunteers come from various professional backgrounds including education, public works, and the nonprofit sector. With a trusted source of validation and a connected human element, Benevolent provides online donors with the opportunity to confidently help low-income families anywhere.

Are you involved in online giving or the nonprofit sector? Are you interested in digital philanthropy or want to know how to get involved? Please contact us or leave a comment below because we want to hear from you!

Posted in: Digital Media, News, Nonprofits, Philanthropy, Social Enterprise, Social Good