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Lucy Bernholz Headshot

Top Ten Philanthropy Buzzwords of 2007

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The point of this list of buzzwords is to point out some silly ideas, flag some valuable ones, remind myself and you that the jargon and hype grows faster and with more flourish than meaningful change, and, really, just to have a little fun.

In the spirit of New Year's Eve countdowns everywhere, here then is the full list of 2007 philanthropy buzzwords.

10. Philanthropy 2.0

This is the newest one to the list so here's an explanation. Philanthropy 2.0 (or giving 2.0, charity 2.0, etc.) is a riff on Web 2.0 and refers to any of the zillion efforts or applications out there that are trying to make philanthropy more interactive and user-generated. Examples include the spread of charity badges and widgets, community giving sites such as or the much hyped causes application for Facebook,, etc. etc.

And the rest of the list....
9. B Corporation
8. Endorsement Philanthropy
7. Social Stock Exchanges
6. Embedded Giving
5. Aligned investing
4. Open Philanthropy
3. Microfranchising
2. Microphilanthropy
1. Hyperlocal

Being named a buzzword doesn't mean that the ideas matter. It also doesn't mean that an idea is nothing but fluff. This list is deliberately a mix of both fluff and matter.

I believe that some of these ideas matter in profound and meaningful ways - whether or not the actual buzzword is the term that sticks. Notably, the ideas, purposes, and mechanics behind B Corporations, Social Stock Exchanges, Aligned Investing, and Endorsement Philanthropy have the potential to make lasting and significant change in the business of giving. Microfranchising also stands to change how aid and development efforts are organized. The concepts that underpin open philanthropy are critical to a more transparent, accountable, and leveraged set of giving practices - let's hope they take hold.

If I'm right, these buzzwords will go far beyond buzz to actual impact and acceptance. That would make for a good 2008. Regardless, starting January 1, I'll be on the lookout for the next ten buzzwords.