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New technology will make philanthropists of us all, says white paper

New technology will make philanthropists of us all, says white paper


A white paper suggests that the use of mobile technology could revolutionise the way the arts are funded with more people becoming ‘philanthropists’. The increasing use of smartphones and social media channels provide a powerful platform to engage a wider range of donors, according to consultancy firm Panlogic’s paper entitled entitled We’re all philanthropists now.

Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, who was at the launch of the white paper said: "Harnessing digital technology is part of our 10 point plan to boost philanthropy. Panlogic’s White Paper will be very valuable in helping us understand how arts and cultural organisations can develop alternative, sustainable and innovative means of raising money from as wide a base as possible.”

The paper suggests arts organisations need to look to a wider audience of potential donors. It says that even small, local arts organisations can build up a network of friends on Facebook or via Twitter followers and turn them into highly engaged audiences who can help to raise funds, provide expertise or volunteer. Individual philanthropy in the arts decreased by 4% in 2009/10 and business investment fell by 11%. Meanwhile mobile ownership soared from 26% to 89% between 1999 and 2010.

The report says digital media contributes to philanthropy in two ways:

a) It provides a set of tools which improves the efficiency and cost effectiveness of each stage of the fundraising process, from prospect identification, communicating the cause, to receiving payments

b) Correctly used, it enhances the motivations for giving.

Panlogic’s chief executive William Makower says: “Arts institutions need to urgently re-consider all options to build for the future. Digital philanthropy presents an enormous opening to create a new, exciting and engaging platform.”

The white paper outlines a number of key trends that will shape the new era of digital philanthropy:

• Emotion is the key reason why people give. To be able to tap into that, arts organisations must be able to optimise the giving process and give donors a reason to look and feel good

• Donations made via text message will be the future of fundraising for the arts world

• A national mobile-giving platform must be established to help drive impulse donations

• Crowd funding has the potential to be enormously powerful.

If used in the right way it can generate significant income for one off projects – but only if the Arts world accepts the shifting demographic of donors that embracing digital philanthropy will bring.

To download the paper for free click here