The Internet is enabling an entirely new type of charity - one where you can make direct and long-term contributions to your chosen causes and continuously monitor the results. This type of Charity sets up direct channels to properly validated causes with personal recipients, so that all of the donation goes straight to the worthy recipient.
Charity work is often too campaign-based and too much on a fire-and-forget basis. There is now also an overwhelming abundance of different charities vying for your donations. At the same time there is a heightened sense of suspicion from the general public as to exactly how much of their money ends up being passed along directly to the cause, and how well defined and targeted some of those causes are.
A lot of the charities now are enormous behemoths of bureaucracy - with several layers of management and support personnel - all needing to receive some form of compensation for their activities. The new form of charity combines crowdsourcing with crowdfunding and fundraising technologies - and bypasses the need for various admin personnel. There are no overarching seasonal campaigns - just a series of individual worthy causes - which are vetted by the local care-givers and service providers.
As a donor to one of these charities’ causes, you select which recipient is most worthy of your donation, and you can ongoingly follow the recipient’s progress / rehabilitation. Social networking tools allow you to participate / engage on a much more personal and longer-term basis. It’s pretty much proxy for you handing over your donation in person and maintaining a shared interest in the success of the outcome.
A lot of existing charities have to fake this level of directness and detail by scripting narratives about the recipients (using additional staff of course), but the new charities use personalised videos and genuine progress updates to maintain the relationship between donor and recipient - it’s a form of direct care in the community but across global, religious and politcal borders.
Combining social and crowdsourcing technologies allows key sponsors / donors to be recognised for their activities. It’s the clever automation capabilites of the web platforms used though that empower this whole process. Technology cuts out most of the traditional costs asscociated with such an endeavour. Technology does not simply just enable this process, it improves efficiencies and increases effectiveness.
Beyond the technology though are the figureheads behind these charities - the individuals who dedicate their own time and resources for the sake of others. Technology allows you to focus in on these indivduals and see if they practice what they preach. Larger charities become more anonymous and nebulous while the new leaner charities are much more personal in every way. It has often been the case that bigger is better, that is certainly no longer true for charities. Economic technological progress has seen the evolution to small-batch manufacture and even domestic 3D printing. Smaller charities can compete far more effectively now in a similar fashion to manufacture, as you no longer need the scale of economy to be succesful - in fact nowadays too much scale is just considered wasteful.