Building Social Capital: A Call for Action
Many failed enterprises and organizations will attest that, more than anything else, the inability to raise funds is what spells certain doom, even for the worthiest of causes. And so, while many of us would like to believe that money does not make the world go 'round, in reality, it does.
This was what compelled me to make the switch in my marketing practice, leaving the corporate world to focus on helping nonprofit agencies and social entrepreneurs. And over time, I have discovered that many tools honed in the private sector offer real value to changemakers, especially for purposes of fundraising.
An interesting fact: a recent study in the US revealed that, although most jobs in large nonprofits and charities are held by women, leadership positions tend to be cornered by men. The figures for the fundraising field are even more dismal. (See articles at http://goo.gl/vFW3 and http://goo.gl/knMk.)
Exchanging Best Practices: Women in Fundraising
Meanwhile, a quick look at the PulseWire Resource Exchange proves that there is no shortage of funding needs or offers in women-led organizations. Perhaps, there is space for specialists that could help bridge certain gaps between funders and fundraisers. If so, will it not be useful to develop a “training the trainers” online program to help create a new breed of changemakers focused solely on fundraising?
I will be more than happy to contribute in such an endeavor and, surely, many experts in PulseWire and other organizations will be willing to share their know-how through videos, Webinars, podcasts, or similar facilities. In fact, this year’s SOCAP10 event (San Francisco, October 4-6) showcased the accomplishments of women leaders in the fundraising field like Emily Bolton (Social Finance), Justina Lai (The Rockefeller Foundation), Nora Sobolov (Community Forward Fund), Kim Scheinberg (Presumed Abundance), Monica Brand (ACCION), and Gwen Edwards (Golden Seeds).
Philanthropy 2.0: Matching Funders and Fundraisers through Technology
Equally exciting is the rise of micro fundraising solutions that leverage Web 2.0 tools, in order to establish social capital markets at the community level. Such emerging technologies help bring donors closer to their target beneficiaries.
Kiva.org is one such site, whose mission is “to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty”. Facebook Causes, a module in the world’s most popular social networking site, is another online platform used to raise funds for pet advocacies.
Twitter also lists a wide range of promising technology-driven solutions for micro fundraising: @MissionMarkets promotes a “private investment exchange” for social and environmental organizations; @SlowMoney connects investors, donors, and farmers in order to establish “local food economies”; @tippingbucket advocates for “micro-crowdfunding for great ideas”; @MicroPlace works to address poverty by “enabling everyday people to make investments in the world’s working poor”; Froggy Fundraising (@Froggyfr) markets green products for fundraising.
It is high time for more women to get involved in fundraising. Empower and be empowered!