Disrupting Philanthropy

Technology and the Future of the Social Sector

May 2010, 49 pages. Center for Strategic Philanthropy and Civil Society, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, Box 90524, Durham, NC, 27708, 919-613-7432 www.sanford.duke.edu

This Duke University study, authored by a team led by Philanthropy 2173 blog publisher Lucy Bernholz, considers the intersection of digital technology and philanthropy from past, present and future vantage points. The authors define the system-wide impacts of technology (modifications in commerce, in professional and social behaviors, and in creativity and copyright) and provide examples of funders that have used technology to improve business and networking practices. The report also identifies largely untried opportunities for funders to embrace existing and developing technologies: the employment of data as a platform for change (data proofs and data mixing); the creation of new business models to promote social good (peer networks and online giving marketplaces); and new models of governance that are volunteer driven, data enabled and solution oriented. The authors warn, however, that certain technological tendencies, such as online content monopolies and the inefficiencies of technology in human-based services, will continue to be sticking points in digital developments.

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