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How Technology is Forever Changing the Face of Philanthropy


Beyond the enormous competition for consumer and corporate funding, today’s charities face their greatest challenges in maintaining financial transparency and optimizing resource use.

There are countless requests for donations made from a variety of sources. Social media has dramatically increased the number of direct requests that individuals and businesses receive for charity as charities seek to build support outside of their network.

Donating to a specific charity is a great way of connecting large groups of people in a meaningful way, and allows them to share the same story, values and goals. However, there are countless requests for donations made from a variety of sources, and with personal and corporate budgets tighter than ever, every dollar counts.

One of the biggest questions that potential donors ask is, “How do I know my money is getting to those that truly need it and not just going to line the pockets of executive directors?”  Donors today want transparency when it comes to what a charity is doing with their hard-earned money. In fact, according to research compiled by, some charities only put 10 cents of every dollar received toward programs that directly help their intended cause.

Fortunately, technology is providing new and effective ways of making sure money actually gets to its intended recipients by leveraging the cloud and the Internet of Things (IOT).

A few notable experts recently elaborated on these promising developments when the host of Game Changers Radio, Bonnie D. Graham, was joined by Christian Klaus of and Roger Ford of Accenture. Their discussion included how crowdsourcing is a popular way that charitable donations are collected. Crowdsourced funding has experienced dramatic growth during the last few years, but it actually isn’t all that new.

Here are a few facts on the matter courtesy of

  1.        Crowdsourcing has actually been around since 1936 when Toyota crowdsourced its first logo and brand name. The winner was chosen from over 27,000 entries.
  2.        Crowdsourcing is very popular in China. Its largest crowdsourcing agency is Zhubajie, which has over 8 million members.
  3.        Australia is home to some of the largest crowdsourcing sites in the world, including Themeforest, Kaggle, DesignCrowd and Freelancer.

The discussion on this particular edition of Game Changers Radio also included a look at an emerging paradigm within data philanthropy: Where should charities invest their precious time and financial resources? New social media platforms to boost fundraising or predictive analysis to boost efficiency and impact – or a combination of both?

The show included some interesting predictions for the future as they relate to a continued shift to data-driven philanthropy and new efforts at leveraging the cloud.

There is one fact that will always remain – there are many people who are in need that are depending upon donations to help them through rough times.

Fortunately, emerging technology is helping more effectively channel the empathy – and donations – of good people to charities that will use it best.

Listen to a recording of this episode of Game Changers Radio here:

You can also follow the conversation on Twitter by hash tagging #SAPTalks and by following @SAPSmallBiz.

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