Wise Giving Wednesday: Creating Community

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calendar icon Jun 18, 2024

Creating Community 

The Donor Participation program hosted by BBB Wise Giving Alliance in New York City on March 21st covered a number of issues related to the decline in U.S. households contributing to charity. The last panel of that day discussed how expanding charity involvement in communities might help reverse this trend. (The full panel remarks can be viewed here.) Elz Cuya Jones, Deputy Director of the North Star Fund served as moderator for the following four speakers: (1) Margaret Richardson, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, GoFundMe; (2) Nathan Chappell, Senior Vice President, DonorSearch AI; (3) Sara Lomelin, CEO, Philanthropy Together; and (4) Darryl Griffin, National Associate Executive Vice President, Development Strategy & Effectiveness, American Heart Association.

Among other topics, speakers gave views on their approach to community building. Margaret Richardson noted that GoFundMe provides a great lesson in growing communities. It helps people share their funding story which assists them in making a connection with others who either donate or help spread the word. Nathan Chappell added that so much of today’s fundraising is transactional. Instead, he suggested that the focus might be on the quality of the connection a person has today and in the future. To this end, he believes that AI can help improve the understanding of people to help achieve this objective. Sara Lomelin explained that collective giving is a powerful movement that helps grow communities. She said, “A giving circle can range in size from ten people in a kitchen to a large group of 500 donors giving $3 million a year.” She noted these voices reflect a diversity of experiences and backgrounds but share a common interest in addressing certain charitable issues that put community first rather than just an individual’s decision. Darryl Griffin said the recent pandemic helped spark a shift at the American Heart Association to strengthen online communities based on heart disease risk factors such as blood pressure, poor diet, and lack of physical activity. For more, see the full panel remarks.

Heart of Giving Podcast

This week’s Heart of Giving podcast features Alyson Niemann, Executive Director, Mindful Philanthropy, which is dedicated to connecting funders and organizations in the mental health and substance abuse spaces, advocating for increased funding, and supporting impactful initiatives.

Building Trust Video

As part of the Building Trust Video series, we are pleased to share an interview with Rick Lofgren, President & CEO, Children's Organ Transplant Association (a BBB Accredited Charity) that helps children and young adults who need a life-saving organ, bone marrow, cord blood or stem cell transplant by providing fundraising assistance and family support. The organization also works with patients over the age of 21 who need a transplant due to a genetic disease such as Cystic Fibrosis or Sickle Cell Anemia.

Recent Reports

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit Give.org or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:

Finally, remember to let us know by going to give.org/charity-inquiry if you are interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.

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