Charity CHAMPs – get involved with microphilanthropy now!

Where does social media fall in traditional charity categories? by sylvng

This blog is about microphilanthropy, and because everything “micro” has been hugely enabled by the Internet, this blog mostly is about online social media charities. What’s interesting is that if I try to find one of these online microphilanthropies by going to an established charity listing site, I always get stumped by what category to pick. For example, check out the list of charity categories at charitynavigator. If I’m trying to find, for example, charity:water, what would that be under? Public Benefit? Environment? Or take a look at the list of NGO categories at charityvillage. They have an Internet category, but that’s filled by charities that provide information technology to other charities, not charities that use information technology to fundraise.

Considering the growth of the microphilanthropy industry and the increasing use of social media in fundraising I would love to see a separate category for online fundraising movements. A home, if you will, for organizations like Charity CHAMPS, or, etc. So I wrote to both CharityNavigator and CharityVillage, and here’s what they had to say:

“We suspect that organizations like those would fall in our Public Benefit – Fundraising Organizations cause. Organizations in this cause have as their purpose to raise money in support of their chosen causes, but typically do not run any programs themselves.” – CharityNavigator

=> I agree, but maybe a sub-category would be nice, because social media does so much more than just fundraising. It’s public engagement, not just public benefit!

“We’ll be taking a close look at the way we manage the content on the website this year, and your feedback will most certainly give us something to consider as we move toward that project. Hopefully we will have some new categories for your organization in the near future.” – CharityVillage

=> Wonderful – I’ll have to check back and see if anything develops.

In general charity work is being done by a lot more for-profits now that companies are trying to increase social responsibility. As that part of the industry grows I’m sure there’ll be increased pressure on existing category frameworks to expand, not just to include internet-enabled philanthropy models, but to include for-profit charity programs as well.

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