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Paul Ruth

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Reducing Cause Isolation Using the Internet

Posted: 09/11/2012 4:05 pm

The Internet is obviously a vast community connecting more people in new ways. The basis of progress centers on the concept of community, and what that community means. Throughout online portals like Huffington Post Impact, Facebook, and so on, nonprofits seem to be competing with each other. The economics of it all is apparent as foundations, charities, nonprofits, and the like work to secure a footing for their own cause. True there always are a limited number of resources, and a limited amount of attention from the general public, but the flexibility of the mind and the size of the heart is always endless.

The issue I bring up is that there might not be a need to work alone. Most charitable partnerships develop because they share a common goal. Even then one can question if having two is better than having one. It is supposed that each organization has their own niche and thus their own unique cause. Still though, the Internet and social media provides unique advantages to all kinds of nonprofits working together. In The School and Society, John Dewy said, "All waste is due to isolation." Dewy was not talking about wasting money or materials, but the waste of the human life to grow to a more productive end. The concept involves connecting with community and institutions beyond the school's own fixation.

This idea applies to causes as much as it does to an education system. In fact, I conclude that this idea applies to any social system developed in a free market mentality. A better way to think of it is in relation to time. How can I best spend my time, energy, attention, and so on.

Charities develop in such a system today. Many work as independent entities. Yet, how can one provide water with out promoting equal rights to the water? This simple example illustrates that every movement and causes cannot succeed in isolation of other movements and causes whether active or succeeded. Understanding better how such interactions work takes a communal mentality where each charity is operating with an eye to other charities. At the same time, the followers and donors of cause must also look to understand the larger picture of cause around the world or in a certain geographic region.

So how might the internet help this endeavor? One example is Charity Navigator where organizations are reviewed providing donors a better what to give. In this instance the nonprofit Charity Navigator cannot be isolated because of its sole mission to provide reports on a large list of nonprofits. Another example is the followings so many charities have on social media, some ranging into the millions. These followings big or small are a valuable resource in the fight against isolation. People advance thoughts and ideas through interaction. The following can be shown a level of interaction that allows for collaboration. A follower of one charity might have the idea for another. Public support and education from one charity to another is important in the drive for human good.

This is why I have started my new blog Charity Share that seeks to fight against isolation in terms of causes. The idea of the blog is to write reflections on a particular nonprofits. I ask the charity to help me promote the piece, and then I write another reflection. The concept is that the more charities I feature the more followers the blog gets, and hence the more collaboration and support I can find for more charities big and small.

In order to promote progress at the fastest rate, isolation of causes must be an active consideration. It is a task that should be taken on by every cause, every institution, and by every person. Education can only be flourished by knowledge, and knowledge is only prevalent if it is shared.

 
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