Celebrities are often touted as philanthropists by their publicists, that is, they donate money to what they deem to be worthwhile causes. However, it’s not just the rich and famous who do this. Studies of average people find a trend of charitable giving; although, they do not necessarily do so in the same way as the wealthy. The celebrity and average giver represent the concepts of philanthropy 1.0 and 2.0, long-term investing and activism, respectively. However, there is another philanthropic concept that might be right around the corner.
Both of the existing types of investment often rely on a middle-man to collect and disperse funds. However, that all can change with philanthropy 3.0, a concept where donors and organizations are directly connected. How would this happen? With the aid of technology and startups, some of which may not yet exist, that help to build trust between the two parties. This is done through analysis of charities, and companies such as the Epic Foundation are up to the task.
With the Epic Foundation determining which organizations are most in need of funding, they can direct donors to those companies rather than better-known companies that may not need the funding as much but that receive more money because of donor confusion. Epic Foundation isn’t focused on wealthy investors, either. Founder Alexandre Mars notes how big of an impact individual donations can become when an entire company, for example, donates a small amount of money periodically. This is especially true because wealthy people are not necessarily the most charitable, according to recent studies.
Furthermore, the foundation takes on all of the costs itself, so all of those donations, no matter how small, go to the intended recipient. When overhead is removed, this can make even a small donation that much more powerful.
Mars hopes to disrupt the face of philanthropy with his Epic Foundation and that seeing how charitable the less-well-off are will encourage those who do have greater means to be more generous with it; although, the Epic Foundation is still in its infancy and working on partnerships with other companies to realize that dream. There’s room for other companies to take on philanthropy if they are willing to be disruptive, as well.