Technology has allowed our society to drastically change and evolve. With the help of technology, we can now complete tasks that were not possible 10-15 years ago. Technology has invaded almost every aspect and industry in our world, from finance to construction. One of the more important industries to be impacted by technology is that of philanthropy. With that said, I would like to highlight a few ways that technology has influenced or changed philanthropy and the way that humans give back.
One of the most popular results of the technology boom is the mobile app. These carefully created applications designed to perform specific tasks have blown up in the past decade, and range vastly in their functionality, from mobile banking to media consumption. Charitable giving and philanthropy have seen their fair share of applications. For example, Donate A Photo is an incredibly simple application that allows users to “donate” photos on a daily basis. You simply donate a photo, and for every photo you donate, Johnson & Johnson will donate a dollar to a charity of your choice. Charity Miles is another great application with which sponsors can donate 25 cents per mile logged by users; in essence, it is a fitness application that allows you to log miles and workouts, and doubles as a charity app. These applications make it as easy as the tap of your finger to donate to a great cause.
The Cloud has been something of an enigma to many of us. While it sounds simple at first, it can get a bit confusing. Where is the Cloud? How does it store our information? Is it a limitless storage space? How many Clouds are there or is it one singular entity? And as important as these questions may be, it must also be noted that, despite the confusion the Cloud has caused civilian life, it has done tremendous things for philanthropy. RED, the worldwide organization dedicated to eradicating AIDS, has been able to use the Cloud as a means to streamline communication and improve efficiency. Cloud services have allowed members of the organization to access documents from virtually anywhere in the world, share statistics and progress numbers with sponsors and other institutions and improve upon several other facets of running a charitable organization. And RED is not the only organization that can benefit from Cloud services. By using Cloud storage and services, charitable organizations around the world can communicate with each other and make their processes much more efficient, which can increase the rate of which they contribute or donate to their individual efforts.
Technology made social media possible, and since its creation, it has been subject of both controversy and acclaim. And while social media does have its problems, I propose that it has brought the world far more positivity than negativity. A terrific example of that is #CharityTuesday. In an effort to create awareness of being charitable, voluntary organization LoveBox created #CharityTuesday. The process is simple: any charitable organization looking to create awareness for their efforts or institution can publish a tweet or post on Facebook or Instagram and include the hashtag #CharityTuesday. What makes the hashtag great is that it can be applied to any single charity, and that it has been effective thus far. It has created an open dialogue for charities on social media and has garnered several philanthropists and charitable contributions.
Technology, much like everything, has its pros and cons. It has vastly changed how we communicate, how we eat, how we live, and most importantly, how we give back.