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

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!

The Gift of Warmth

A special series on the 5 Giving Tuesdays—a campaign launched by the Case Foundation to celebrate the gift of giving this holiday season. Each week we will feature stories and resources showcasing the different ways you can give back to make a greater impact in your community.

Today we’re kicking off the fourth week of our 5 Giving Tuesdays campaign with a special focus on giving the gift of warmth—donating warm clothing items to help others in need. Why is this important? Health experts report that even a two-degree drop in body temperature can result in a reduced heart rate, loss of coordination, and confusion. With those conditions, adults often cannot work effectively and children find it difficult to learn. For most, a warm coat solves the problem. Yet for the now nearly 15 percent of Americans living in poverty, a warm winter coat is a budget “extra.”

Here are three ways you can get involved today!
Commit to Give: Join in on our celebration of giving by entering The 5 Giving Tuesdays sweepstakes and help us to award $100,000 in grants and prizes ($90,000 to nonprofits | $10,000 to individuals)! We invite you to commit to “Give the Gift of Warmth” and donate warm clothing items such as coats, gloves, or scarves, or pick one of the four other featured acts of giving.

New prizes are up for grabs each week! This week 10 lucky winners will each receive a $100 shopping credit to Twice As Warm, a clothing retailer specializing in warm weather gear and accessories. The purchase of each product results in a donation of the same item to an individual in need. Enter today!

One Warm Coat: One Warm Coat is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to collect coats and distribute them to people in need, free of charge. The organization helps individuals, groups, companies, and organizations across the country collect coats and deliver them to local agencies that distribute them in their local communities. One Warm Coat’s goal is to ensure that anyone who needs a coat can get one. Providing this simple yet vital need helps people live productive lives year round. Nearly 4 million coats have been collected and distributed through One Warm Coat activities since 1992.

Twice As Warm: Twice As Warm is a movement to help neighbors in need stay warm. Each purchase of Twice As Warm apparel is matched with a donation of their same apparel to children and families in need. The organization’s mission is to provide warmth, hope, and support to people in need, and create a sustainable way of providing new winter clothing.

Share your story of giving with us on Twitter (@CaseFoundation).