#GivingTuesday: An Open-Source Philanthropic Movement

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Listen to Andrew Means, Asha Curran, Mario Lugay, Micah Sifry, and Lucy Bernholz discuss #GivingTuesday, civic tech, digital data, and current and emerging trends in philanthropy.


Markets for Good partnered with the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at 92Y to host a virtual roundtable discussion examining #GivingTuesday as a model for “open-source” philanthropy.

Moderated by Andrew Means, the panel included Asha Curran, Chief Innovation Officer and Director of the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at 92YMario Lugay, Project Fellow at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at StanfordMicah Sifry, Co-Founder of Personal Democracy Forum and Co-Founder and Executive Director of Civic Hall; and Lucy Bernholz, Senior Research Scholar at Stanford PACS and Director of the Digital Civil Society Lab.

A few highlights:

  • #GivingTuesday is a participant-driven movement: Asha Curran discussed how #GivingTuesday’s open, decentralized approach fuels giving and organizing – both globally and hyper-locally – by spurring creativity, resource-sharing, collaboration, capacity building, and other means for engaging and empowering participants across geographic and cultural boundaries.
  • Giving as transformation, not transaction: In considering current and emerging trends in philanthropy, Mario Lugay spoke about embracing perspectives that see technology as an intervention, rather than a solution, and that reimagine giving as an identity, rather than an act. He also noted that in a digital landscape of “followers,” #GivingTuesday “actually empowers people to be leaders.”
  • #GivingTuesday as “cultural jujitsu”: Describing it as a “culture hack” that taps into traditions of giving, Micah Sifry discussed #GivingTuesday’s open, unbranded approach within the context of civic tech and argued that, while it catalyzes powerful social moments, #GivingTuesday still has room to grow to become a true social movement.
  • Data is an asset and a liability: Lucy Bernholz discussed the challenges and opportunities that a distributed model like #GivingTuesday presents in terms of data management and analysis, and she addressed the issues of digital privacy and ethics in an era in which the possibilities of data can overwhelm the responsibilities inherent in its use.

To listen to the full discussion, use the audio player above, download the podcast (mp3, 35 MB), or visit the Markets for Good podcast on iTunes. You can also read the full transcript.

Be sure to also check out #GivingTuesday.org for its many resources for making the most of this worldwide giving day.

Have tips, stories, or thoughts to share about #GivingTuesday, civic tech, or other trends in philanthropy? Chime in below with a comment!


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