It’s Time for Philanthropy to Open the Door to Open Source

Innovation is driving technology and change faster than ever before. Yet, when I am asked about technological innovations that have the best chance to make an impact in the future of philanthropy, I often cite a collaborative approach that is closely aligned with the technology world, but can no longer be considered cutting edge: open source.

This may not be the answer that many are expecting, but open source’s collaborative and transparent nature is well suited for philanthropy and its ability to leverage the power of many to do good at minimal cost lends itself to being one of the keys to the next phase in the evolution of philanthropy.

Open source software allows anyone to read, study, modify and redistribute a software’s source code with little restriction other than that free access is maintained. It is often developed in a highly collaborative manner with many people contributing pieces of code and it is found in a wide variety of places – the overwhelming majority of consumer devices include some open source code.

For many philanthropies and non-profits, open source provides the opportunity to save money and time. There is a growing community of coders experimenting openly and sharing ideas and software covering everything from website and app development to artificial intelligence and blockchain. By embracing open source, foundations and nonprofits can tap into this space of bright technologists and innovators for free. In doing so, they will gain access to battle-tested code and ideas, allowing them to focus on their core missions.

For others, it is an opportunity to leverage the time and money they have put into building software and programs so others in the field can use them. In our network of changemakers, we see many organizations producing innovative platforms and technologies that are used to create social change. Why not further that effort by open sourcing that work so that many more can use, improve and share it? Our experience shows that by including open source from the outset of a plan, you reap the benefits of including a community in your work and have a product that can be shared with the larger community with minimal effort. And, frankly, isn’t the act of open sourcing software in line with most philanthropic missions?

Open source has other benefits as well. The collaborative nature of open source can encourage philanthropies to engage with new audiences and to connect technical and nontechnical participants. We have seen that reaching beyond your bubble and forging unlikely alliances between those working to solve the same problem can yield impressive and transformational results.

We’re already seeing philanthropies embrace open source. For example, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation developed an open source platform to drive the adoption of digital financial services in developing countries. Mojaloop, the platform’s name, creates a standard system for banks and other financial service providers to communicate and execute transactions at a lower cost than competitors for the nearly two billion unbanked people in developing regions.

Throughout the Case Foundation’s history, we’ve recognized the value of open source software by both using it in our work and supporting others who are a part of the community. Some of our greatest efforts such as Make It Your Own and America’s Giving Challenge succeeded because open source software enabled us to move quickly and experiment with new ideas without having to start from scratch. We were also early supporters of groups such as Code for America which produces open source software and organizes communities of citizens to also create and contribute open source solutions for their towns and cities.

And we are now building all the software we produce for specific campaigns with an eye on making them open sourced as well. For example, we have provided the open sourcing code from our #FacesofFounders campaign allowing any organization to launch a similar campaign focusing on user-generated content. And this year, we plan to release even more open source projects produced through our broader work here at the Case Foundation. We hope that–along with many others–we can help the social sector see the benefits of open source, spark innovation, accelerate social good and ultimately help change the world.

We hope you will join us.

The Best Newsletters for Philanthropy News

The world of philanthropy is always evolving, and our team is inspired each day by the tremendous giving that is taking place across the globe. From families and entrepreneurs lining up to give a majority of their wealth away through the Giving Pledge, to the boom of online giving platforms being modernized and democratized, to open source emerging as a new form of  philanthropy, there’s a lot to keep up with and celebrate. The many advances in the practice of giving back have opened the doors for new givers, both large and small, who are supporting nonprofits that are changing the world.

At the Case Foundation, we want to empower people to use their time, their talents and their treasures, and the first step to doing so is understanding the field. We are often asked how we stay up-to-date on the news across the sector, so we’ve compiled a list of newsletters we read each week that will bring you up to speed on all things philanthropy.

  1. Philanthropy News Digest from Foundation Center is a weekly news digest of the top philanthropy news. Sign up here.
  2. Inside Philanthropy has the top news in who’s funding what, and expert commentary on the philanthropy world. Sign up here.
  3. Future of Philanthropy from Fast Company has weekly updates on the individuals, groups, ventures and tactics leading the way in philanthropy. Sign up here.
  4. Philanthropy Today from the Chronicle of Philanthropy is a daily roundup of the news in the nonprofit world. Sign up here.
  5. The NPQ Newswire from Nonprofit Quarterly has a rundown of the latest events and trends on fundraising, philanthropy, nonprofit board governance and nonprofit management. Sign up here.
  6. SSIR Now is Stanford Social Innovation Review‘s weekly roundup of their top news stories covering the world of social change. Sign up here.
  7. Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy’s newsletter covers philanthropic, foundation and changemaking news with a focus on the next generation of innovators. Sign up here.
  8. Causeartist shares news in social impact with a focus on socially conscious consumerism. Sign up here.
  9. The Daily Good is a daily digest from Good Magazine that shares the top news geared towards next generation conscious consumers. Sign up here.

With these great newsletters, you can be better informed as a practitioner and as a philanthropist just by checking your email. And if you’re interested in the news on our other movements, check out my roundup of Inclusive Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing newsletters.

#GivingTuesday: a Chance to Use Tech to Give Back

Some time ago, the idea of putting your credit card number on the internet seemed unthinkable, but today almost 80 percent of Americans shop online. And with the holidays coming up, online marketplaces are seeing an impressive spike in both traffic and orders. In fact, this year, more people are expected to shop online than in-store.

While e-commerce has forced traditional brick and mortar retail to evolve, the convenience of online shopping for consumers has been advantageous for online giving. This summer, we talked about how tech trends like the emergence of online payment platforms have made it that much easier for everyone to jump into philanthropy. Millennials are key players in that trend too; the Millennial Impact Report found that 80 percent of Millennials made donations last year, and 62 percent have expressed interest in using mobile as a giving platform.

In 2012, we helped support the first official #GivingTuesday campaign, founded by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation. We were very excited to play a part in #GivingTuesday’s transformation from a campaign to a movement, both through our own donation matching campaigns and by supporting the overall tracking of fundraising activity each #GivingTuesday.

Five years later, it’s more convenient than ever to give. New platforms allow users to search for charities that match their interests, donate by shopping for things they’d already buy and use social media to donate and fundraise.

Here are some easy ways you can use tech to give on #GivingTuesday.

Donation Platforms

If you’re not sure where to start, there’s a variety of platforms that can help you find a cause you’re passionate about and verify the credibility of the organization behind it so you can donate with confidence.

If you shop online, you’re already familiar with PayPal, but did you know that you can also use the payment service for donations? The Paypal Giving Fund lets you browse charities and donate to them online through your PayPal account.

If you’re searching for a specific charity, or already know which issue you want to support, Network for Good* has an online database of over a million charities of all sizes and issue areas. You can also purchase Good Cards on the site if you want to give someone else a gift card that they can use to donate to the charity of their choice.

Interested in taking a more international approach to your giving?  Global Giving allows you to donate to vetted projects from around the world and will send you updates on how your money is being put to work.

And if you’re interested in helping educators in the U.S., Donors Choose can connect you to a public school in need. Teachers use the site to share the projects for which they need funds, and how much they need to reach their goals. You can use the site to donate to the classroom project of your choice.

Crowdfunding platforms

Donating to a crowdfunding campaign is a great way for people on a wide range of budgets to work with others in the online community to help someone in need, and there are several platforms you can use.

GoFundMe allows online donors to contribute to individuals or groups taking on a wide variety of projects and problems. And it’s making a real difference—more than $4 billion has already been raised through the site. If you’re looking to contribute to an individual or a new organization that hasn’t registered as a charity yet, GoFundMe provides that flexibility.

Crowdrise is a social fundraising tool that supports corporations, nonprofits and events. Nonprofits and individuals can set up fundraisers for their favorite cause with specific goals and timelines. Do you want to use your network to expand your impact on #GivingTuesday? Crowdrise can help you do that. The website also allows users to explore trending fundraisers and look for ones in the categories they’re interested in.

A different type of online crowdfunding source is Kiva. Kiva gives users a chance to lend as little as $25 to help people across the globe with everything from going to school to launching a business. Kiva donors get their loans repaid, and then can reuse the repayment for another loan, or withdraw it.

Purchase roundups

When checking out at a brick and mortar store, you’ve probably been given a chance to round-up your purchase to the nearest dollar or more and have that extra change go to charity. Now you can do that online, and you can choose which charity receives that extra money.

We micro give is an online platform that rounds your online and in-person purchases up to the nearest dollar and donates the change to the charity of your choice. The site allows you to set monthly maximums and provides users with an online dashboard to summarize their giving activity.

Similarly, Coin Up offers a website and an app that donors can use to have their credit and debit card purchases rounded up and donated. The site tracks your donations over time and sends a year-end donation total so you can see your yearlong impact.

Network for Good* recently launched Hippo Give, an app that also helps you make secure donations through purchase roundups. You can support multiple organizations with your spare change and see your donation activity tracked in real time. Hippo Give even makes a donation on your behalf when you get started. It should be noted that this is still in minimum viable product development stage (MVP), but it’s an exciting new platform that shows promise.

And finally, if you use, you can give back without spending an extra dime just by changing the URL. If you use, 0.5 percent of your purchase total will go to the charity of your choice.

#Donate Using Social Media

Organizations and individuals often use social media to give their fundraisers a promotional boost, but now there are ways to donate directly though the social media sites themselves.

Facebook has a donating platform that organizations can use year-round to give their followers an easy way to donate and share. And this #GivingTuesday, the site is stepping up its commitment to support online giving through an up-to-$2 million matching campaign in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

You can also donate instantly across social platforms with Goodworld. All you have to do is comment or reply #donate on a participating cause’s Facebook or Twitter post, and you’ll be sent a secure, one-time link you can use to apply your donation.

Last year, #GivingTuesday saw a record $168 million in charitable donations, and we expect to see similar results from today’s activity. Every year, online platforms like these make it that easier, more interactive and more fun for users to donate to causes close to their hearts. Charitable giving is truly just a click away. We hope you’ve been inspired to give to a cause you care this #GivingTuesday (November 28 this year) and throughout the year.


*Brian Sasscer is on the Board of Trustees for Network for Good

A New Form of Digital Philanthropy: Open Sourcing #FacesofFounders

Open source software, by its simplest definition, is a work of software whose source code is available for others to read, study, modify and redistribute with little restriction other than that the free access is maintained. Earlier this week, I wrote in an op-ed in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) about how we at the Case Foundation see open source as another form of philanthropy—a digital one whose contributions influence the success of many by providing publicly accessible software. In the article, I shared how we see the potential of open source software and how it can spark innovation, accelerate social good and ultimately help change the world.

Building on the early work of Jean and Steve Case—pioneers in the democratization of information with AOL—technology has always been a crucial part of how the Case Foundation works, and our tech-centric legacy has led us to champion early ideas that are now commonplace such as online giving and digital advocacy. In the course of that work, we have often used open source technologies because of their scalability and opportunity for customization. Giving the technology we create for projects at the Foundation back to the open source community is the next logical step. As we take on new challenges and new campaigns that serve our movements, we will also begin to take the time to ask ourselves and the community if a project that we think would be good for our efforts would also be good for others’ efforts. If that is true, we will dedicate time and resources in the project to open source the components that the community needs. Our contributions will always follow the needs of our broader goals, and we will open source the work in which we and the community find of real value.

So, as a part of our commitment to this open source ideal, we are excited to release the code that powered our #FacesofFounders campaign. This open source code includes features that powered the social photo upload and filters, applicant and story submissions, and the distributed judging platform. By releasing this platform’s code into the community, we are aiming to help those looking to launch similar campaigns where applicants must submit information and have a pool of judges evaluate the submissions.

We designed this platform that powered the first phase of the #FacesofFounders campaign to attract entrepreneurs, particularly women founders and entrepreneurs of color, to share their photos and stories of entrepreneurship on or on Twitter using #FacesofFounders. Launched at the White House’s South by South Lawn festival, in partnership with Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Google for Entrepreneurs and UBS, along with Fast Company, #FacesofFounders sought out and lifted up America’s dynamic entrepreneurs who are key to driving innovation and job growth. The winners of the crowdsourced contest, who were reviewed by our panel of 40 guest judges, were selected because they bridged innovation and a commitment to inclusiveness. We then featured the winners of the contest on and our #FacesofFounders Medium publication.

The technology powering this campaign was a huge part of its success, and we’re excited to share this code with the open source community. Throughout the judging process, we received numerous comments on how easy it was to use. The platform has three unique components that are all a part of a combined codebase.

Social Media Profile Photo Filter

The first of which is the photo upload feature that allowed visitors to upload a photo (or select their Facebook or Twitter profile photo) and place a campaign-themed filter on top of it. The visitor could then make that filtered photo their profile image on their social media profiles, and the photo was added to a shared photowall on the homepage, which continually displayed all new and past filtered photos. In addition administrators had the ability to remove inappropriate photos from the homepage.

Story Submission

The second feature is the story submission system. In addition to, or instead of, uploading a photo, visitors could submit their story to the judging platform. This submission tool contains customizable forms and can be placed in a “closed” state once judging begins. All submissions entered through the form then go into a queue for a site administrator to assign to judges. Because the platform is built into WordPress, it is also possible to directly upload submissions via WordPress’s dashboard.

Story Review and Judging

The third and final component of this codebase is the judging platform. As visitors submit stories, they queue in the judging section of the backend. Once all submissions are final, assigned judges can log into the platform and request submissions to review. The judges score each submission on a numeric scale, and the platform uses those scores to begin ranking each submission. Site administrators can then log in and view the stories ranked by their aggregate scores to determine winners. The entire codebase comes packaged as a WordPress theme for easy deployment and visual customization using WordPress’s robust theme system.

This open source #FacesofFounders platform is a useful tool for organizations running any sort of applicant submission and review process, and it could be modified to accommodate a grant or scholarship application review, among other uses. If you have a pool of judges or reviewers who are geographically separated or difficult to coordinate on schedules, the platform accommodates such logistical challenges by facilitating an individualized back-end review process. We believe that this code will be integral for the prizes and challenges community.

Given the collaborative nature of the open source community, we are looking for organizations interested in using this code in their own campaigns, as well as suggestions for ways to improve the #FacesofFounders codebase. Moving forward, we plan to share more of the software powering other campaigns and efforts with the open source community.

We at the Case Foundation hope our work can help others, and we’ll do our part to help catalyze the open source movement as we share our resources, our time and our talents with the community. We are excited to share this multifunctional platform with the community, and we look forward to further contributing to this part of digital philanthropy.

You can find the #FacesofFounders platorm here.

SXSW 2018 PanelPicker—Cast Your Vote by August 25!

Every year, the Case Foundation and our partners love to share some of our exciting work and ideas that we find compelling from the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive stage. This past March, we celebrated the Case Foundation’s 20th anniversary at SXSW by hosting the #GetInTheArena lounge and presenting on four panels. We got to talk about Inclusive Entrepreneurship, Impact Investing, millennial engagement, social good and the important role citizens play in science in the 21st century. We worked with incredible speakers and learned invaluable lessons on innovation across movements.

This year, we submitted 14 panel ideas for the SXSW PanelPicker that discuss topics like diversity in entrepreneurship, women in Impact Investing, millennial engagement, open source technology, business journalism, user generated content, digital analytics and more.

We need your help getting them to SXSW 2018. Below you’ll find out about each panel and how you can vote for them. In addition to casting your vote, you can help these important topics be part of the discussion at SXSW by spreading the word with the social messages below and encouraging your friends and networks to vote as well.

See our panels below and be sure to vote before SXSW PanelPicker voting ends on August 25th!

Under Her Eye: Women Are Our Future

Women—nearly 4 billion strong—are our business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, global leaders, journalists, scientists, philanthropists and CEOs making their mark on the world today. Women multiply the impact of an investment made in them by building businesses that outperform, creating better lives for their family and cultivating strong communities. Explore why women are vital to long-term business and community success and meet dynamic female leaders championing other women.


Vote Here

Tweet this: Why are women vital to long-term business success? Vote for @CaseFoundation’s #SXSW2018 panel to find out:

Gen Unaware: Can Millennials Invest for Impact?

The next generation of investors are bringing increased attention to the world of sustainable and impactful investing. As more investors and consumers put real focus on how companies stack up on environmental, social and governance criteria, these factors influence markets, and by extension, business. Learn new strategies that can turn you into an impact investor today.


Vote Here

Tweet this: Interested in learning about how Millennials can invest for impact? Vote for this #SXSW2018 panel from @CaseFoundation

Building a More Inclusive Startup Culture

Leading women in tech continue to speak out about injustices in working with tech executives and investors, but gender and racial imbalances remain. Meanwhile, Paris, London and other European cities are pouring money into innovative startups. This panel will explore how government, big tech and investors can help build a more inclusive and innovative startup ecosystem. The panelists will also discuss getting past the unconscious biases of VCs that tend to invest in founders who resemble them.


Vote Here

Tweet this: I’m hoping to discuss how to increase diversity in the startup world at #SXSW2018. Vote for my panel here:

Get in the Arena: Fearless Changemakers Tell All

Meet the leaders, activists and social entrepreneurs who drive and inspire us to change the world. From igniting civic engagement, to creating sustainable oceans, and leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs of color, these social impact champions are catalyzing efforts to create transformative change. Join the Case Foundation as they explore the breakthrough organizations and individuals who are taking bold risks, and failing forward in order to produce exponential social returns.


Vote Here

Tweet this: Want to know how social impact champions are living our #BeFearless principles? Vote for this #SXSW2018 panel

The Overlooked Future of Entrepreneurship: Latinx

The Latinx community accounts for more than half of the population growth in the US, but Latinx entrepreneurs represent less than two percent of venture-backed companies. Hear from Latinx entrepreneurs and the investors who back them to understand who they are, what they’re building and why investors should be paying attention to this important group of entrepreneurs.


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Tweet this: Want to hear about the future of Latinx entrepreneurship at #SXSW2018? Vote for @CaseFoundation’s panel here:

Creating a Movement through User Generated Content

User Generated Content (UGC) has quickly become a valuable form of marketing, and today’s rich analytics environment means we have more information than ever about how people are reacting to brands and using different platforms. But creating a campaign that leverages UGC across multiple channels—playing to each of their strengths—remains a challenge for many marketers. Join Nat Geo, ONE Campaign, NBCU and the Case Foundation to see how they are creating cross-platform campaigns centered on UGC.


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Tweet this: Want to learn how to create a movement w/ user generated content @ #SXSW2018? Vote for @CaseFoundation’s panel here

Women and Wealth: The Drivers of Impact Investing

With news of the $41 trillion intergenerational wealth transfer, there’s a real opportunity to change the face of social impact. Wealthy women are taking over familial decision making, armed with a view of the world that blends profit and purpose. Young millennial women are also making waves to disrupt traditional structures and try their own hand at changing the world. This panel will examine the role women will play to truly tip the Impact Investing movement.


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Tweet this: How are women driving Impact Investing? Help @CaseFoundation discuss at #SXSW2018 by voting for this panel on #ImpInv

No Margin, No Mission: Building Social Enterprises

Social enterprise is not always not-for-profit and having a great idea is not enough to create a sustainable impact venture. Generating revenue via sales or fundraising is critical to the sustainability of social enterprises. Learn from experts on how to weave mission throughout the fabric of impact ventures, while transforming idea into viable businesses. Join Halcyon for this session to see how we do it!


  • Sheila Herrling, Senior Vice President for Social Innovation, Case Foundation
  • William Eggers, Executive Director, Center for Government Insights, Deloitte
  • Melissa Bradley, Professor, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University
  • Ryan Ross, Program Director, Halcyon Incubator, Halcyon

Vote Here

Tweet this: Want to know how a for-profit startup can be a high-impact social enterprise? Vote for this #SXSW2018 panel:

Build It & They’ll Come! Data Viz for the Dataless

Data visualizations are a great way to communicate a complex subject or issue, but how can you leverage this powerful storytelling tool with imperfect data? By being fearless! Using the Case Foundation’s Impact Investing Network Map as a case study, we’ll dig in with data science & impact investing experts to discuss leveraging available resources & creative problem solving to build a useful data visualization platform, while creating conditions and infrastructure to meet your eventual objective


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Tweet this: How does the Network Map leverage data visualization with imperfect data? Vote for this #SXSW2018 panel to find out:

The $1 Million Club

Fewer than twenty African American woman have raised more than a million dollars in venture capital. What’s going on here? Meet some of those women and the investors who back them. Learn why they are building the next breakthrough businesses that will change America.


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Tweet this: <20 African American women have raised over $1M in VC. Vote for this #SXSW2018 panel that will discuss the issue

Improving Digital Communications Through Analytics

In the fast moving world of digital communications, it can be hard to find the time to step back and evaluate what is working, what is not, and where there is room to innovate—but doing so has never been more critical. In this hands on workshop, take some time to learn how to build an internal Analytics, SEO and KPI’s (ASK) team, set up regular, smart digital experiments and report them out to senior staff in a way that is relevant, interesting and actionable.


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Tweet this: Want to learn how to step up your digital comms & analytics game @ #SXSW2018? Vote for this panel from @CaseFoundation

Next Frontier in Philanthropy: Open Source

As technology continues to be a pivotal element of social-change oriented activities, it is imperative that these efforts have access and tools to use open source software. Leaders from both the nonprofit and technology sectors explain why recognizing open source contributions made by individuals and organizations as a new form of philanthropy is crucial to the future of both sectors. This includes well-established projects but it also increasingly includes purpose-built technologies.


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Tweet this: #OpenSource is the next trend in philanthropy. Vote for this #SXSW2018 panel that will discuss how the 2 come together

Millennial Activism in the Trump Presidency

On Saturday, Jan 21, 2017 we witnessed a massive shift in social issue engagement. Millennials took to the streets with an energy, never before seen for this generation. Petitions began to drive online voice to real-life action, showing Millennials what issues affect them, how to contact reps and where to meet for protests. But what does all of this energy add up to? What do Millennials really care about and what action are they taking? Join a discussion on the research tackling these questions.


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Tweet this: How did the 2016 election affect Millennial activism? Vote for this #SXSW2018 panel that will look at the research

Covering America: Journalists Challenging the Business

Journalists are conquering stereotypes and busting myths everyday through their digital, online and print platforms. Meanwhile, newsrooms are taking increased steps to cover diverse audiences and the changing demographics of business in America. The Case Foundation leads the conversation on how news agencies are sharing stories that shatter the status quo. Seasoned journalists share how they are covering communities of color, inclusive networks and entrepreneurs who are the new faces of business.


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Tweet this: How are journalists’ stories changing entrepreneurship? Vote for @CaseFoundation’s #SXSW2018 panel to find out:

Four Trends Democratizing Philanthropy

Democratizing philanthropy. Isn’t that a simply wonderful concept? The notion that giving—of your time, talent or treasure—isn’t something just for an elite class of individuals, but for all individuals. That the idea of an “every person” giver and “every day changemaker” has the potential to accelerate social impact. At the Case Foundation, as we celebrate 20 years of changemaking, this very idea has been at the core of our approach. Our anniversary call to action to Get in The Arena is a call to everyone, everywhere to engage as a community of social change agents in any way you can.

From early experiments testing the power of technology to drive more financial donations to social causes, to creating alliances of private-public partners to drive talent and time donations to the nonprofit sector, we’ve been pushing against the status quo of what it means to be a “philanthropist” and how to maximize resources to improve the social condition.

So we were thrilled to see the Giving USA 2017 Report find that charitable donations from America’s individuals, estates, foundations and corporations increased to an estimated $390.05 billion in 2016. That represents a 3.5 percent increase in foundation giving from 2015, a 3.5 percent increase in corporate giving and a 3.9 percent increase in individual giving! And how about this fun fact as evidence that individual giving is democratizing philanthropy—more people give than vote.

Against that history and mission, it was such a pleasure to explore trends in “microgiving”—the opportunity for more individuals to give with small donations—with the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy for a piece on how, with time and technology, more people are turning into philanthropists.

Expanding on what I was able to share in that article, here are my thoughts on four trends that are driving that movement and catalyzing the democratization of philanthropy.

Trend #1: Going mobile and frictionless

In order to truly make giving ubiquitous, donating must be frictionless and easy for people. This quote from Aaron Strout at W20 Group sums it up for me: “The new “Holy Grail” for any business should be to make it as easy as possible for any customer to buy a product or service whenever and wherever they like, with as few clicks as possible. With the evolution of location-based technologies, mobile payment systems and a continual decrease in technology costs, this concept of true ‘frictionless commerce’ is quickly becoming a reality.” And the “business” of giving is no exception. In 2016, online giving increased by almost eight percent, and 17 percent of all online donations came through mobile. I see this trend only growing.

Why? In part because of who is driving online giving: Millennials. The Case Foundation sponsored Millennial Impact Report found that 84 percent of Millennials made donations in 2016. Blackbaud’s Next Generation of American Giving report also found that 62 percent of Millennials expressed interest in making donations on their phones. With Millennials surpassing Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation, their habits and preferences will inevitably drive the future of philanthropy.

We’re also seeing a surge of entrepreneurship and innovation in online platforms aimed at maximizing a seamless experience for users. Check out platforms like Goodworld, on a mission to make it easy to donate in the moment by using a hashtag on social media, or Spotfund or Google’s One Today, all aimed at easing in-the-moment donations when you’re thinking about moving your interest in a social causes to action. And last year’s exciting news from Facebook that users could choose from a list of over 750,000 charities to support by building their own fundraising pages or linking donate buttons to Facebook Live videos. All of these are part of a trend toward simplifying and democratizing philanthropy.

Trend #2: Creating “communities of giving” through crowdsourcing and crowdfunding

In general, people want to belong. To a club, a tribe, a social network, a church, a movement…something bigger than themselves. The beauty of microgiving is that all of the smaller individual donations become part of a larger social cause community driving collective impact.

And technology and tech platforms have made it easier to find your tribe, engage and see your impact. Who can forget the viral activation of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? Clever concept meets social media sharing capability meets information awareness and donation surge. And these “everyday philanthropists” became part of tribe that resulted in the discovery of a new ALS gene, NEK1, known to be among the most common genetic contributors of the disease, and impetus for a new target on drug development. Crowdfunding sites allow people to donate to social ventures year-round. GlobalGiving, Kickstarter, Kiva, Crowdrise and Indiegogo have all gained popularity in recent years, especially among Millennials.  We’ve seen this trend play out through our partnership launching #Giving Tuesday, which hit a record donation sum last year of $168 million from 1.6 million donations around the world.

Trend #3: Conscious capitalism is taking hold

The notion of “conscious capitalism”—aligning your values with your spending, investing and business operations—is moving from niche to mainstream and putting individuals at the core of driving social change alongside profits. Consumers are paying attention to brands that put social impact at the core of their business operations. In fact, 66 percent of global consumers are willing to spend more on products if they’re from a sustainable brand. 73 percent of Millennials express the same preference. That buying behavior is driving profits alongside purpose at companies like Patagonia, Method and Warby Parker.

Similarly, as Impact Investing—investments into companies, organizations and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside financial return—has taken hold with the high net worth investor community, large institutional investors and foundations, we are also seeing a trend toward making it more accessible for everyone. Check out Benefit Chicago, an initiative to put $100 million in nonprofit investments in the city to work with investors with as little as $20, or Calvert Community Investment Notes, similarly putting $20 investments to social good, while getting a bond-like return. These kinds of vehicles enable everyday people to be everyday impact investors.

Trend #4: It’s more than money

Money matters, but so does time and talent when it comes to driving social change. Finding ways to tap the extraordinary talent across the nation and “donate” it to social service has opened the aperture of philanthropy and allowed many more people to give. The Case Foundation’s early experiment in this arena—A Billion + Change—tapped into this potential to democratize giving.

Also, through the Case Foundation’s Millennial Impact Report, in partnership with Achieve, we’ve found that employers of the Millennial generation will need to embed talent-giving strategies into their employee retention efforts. Similar to financial donation platforms, technology is and will continue to accelerate and make more accessible this type of giving. Check out NationSwell and Service Year for inspiration.

What trends are you seeing? Share your thoughts on how people are turning their interest into action with us on social media using #GetInTheArena. It’s an exciting issue to follow for many reasons but, for me, because microgiving and small-dollar philanthropy create a global culture of giving. Our CEO, Jean Case, often reminds us that the Greek root definition of the word “philanthropy” is the love of humanity. Imagine a world where decisions—by individuals, investors, government and corporations—are made and measured by their human impact!