More than any other innovation, the digital revolution has had the most influence on helping donors choose the causes they want to support. On the one hand, charities have more free and low-cost digital media options to market themselves and spread the word about the great work they are doing beyond their immediate network. On the other hand, donors can use an array of resources (GuideStar, Charity Navigator) that perform due diligence and ensure that the charity is in compliance with government regulations.

One new website – the Giving Library – steps up the standard vetting of charities, and allows the charities to answer for themselves some of the standard concerns donors often have. The Giving Library features videos from over 250 nonprofits all jostling to captivate donors by telling personal stories of triumph and tragedy. While the Library is still gathering nonprofit stories and remains a relatively small venture (considering that there are more than 1.5 million active nonprofits in the U.S.), the website aims to be a one-stop showcase for charities making impact across sectors.

Another newly-released piece of technology was developed by the OneVietnam Network (with support from the Ford Foundation). OneVietnam is revolutionizing diaspora philanthropy through their innovative charitable giving platform. The organization’s website acts as a social network for the Vietnamese diaspora in the U.S. It integrates with already existing social network giants, but prominently features vetted 501©3 organizations that operate community development projects in Vietnam. Donors can choose to give to these organizations “back home”, and are supported by easy-to-use technology, a peer network, and the knowledge that the due diligence has already been done for them. We look forward to seeing this exciting technology spread to other identity-based philanthropy organizations!

While we’re all for technological developments, we like the personal approach to choosing charities as well. When establishing a donor-advised fund at CAAP, our donor services officer can help the fund-holder in choosing causes to support based on their funding preferences, the charity’s legacy, transparency, and accountability. Let us know how we can help you choose charities that will reflect your giving style and help you make a lasting impact on worthy causes.

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