There are good, effective nonprofits and similar groups all over the world, really helping people out. As part of my 20-year craigconnects.org thing, I'd like to help scale that up so that everyone on the planet gets a hand. Specifically, there are many nonprofits, NGOs, and government groups which are really good at getting stuff done without spending a lot. However, there are also a number of such groups which waste a lot of money in overhead, and there are a lot of nonprofits running outright scams, and making bad situations even worse.
I already support a bunch of honest, ethical nonprofits directly with the few resources I have at hand, specifically cash and social capital/trust, the latter via social media. (Keep expectations low; public estimates of my net worth are vastly overstated.)
How does a person of good will work with others, across the planet and across the years, to scale up to help out everyone?
I've realized, in the past few days, that a solution could involve nonprofits which focus on vetting on-the-ground nonprofits, making sure they're effective and honest, and then getting funding for their clients.
Seriously, that already helps my nonprofit dollars and social media presence go a lot farther.Funding networks can themselves be operating scams; I've considered that, but so far I've got a good base network of such groups going, including:
- The Women's Building of San Francisco
- The Global Fund for Women
- The Bob Woodruff Foundation (families of wounded warriors)
- Sunlight Foundation (governmental transparency)
- Charity Navigator (effectiveness and social impact of nonprofits)
- Guidestar (effectiveness of nonprofits)
- GreatNonprofits.org (nonprofit user reviews)
That means getting the funding networks to encourage their clients to be more effective in social media. For example, the clients of a particular nonprofit might encourage the people they help to post social media status updates. The nonprofits would share the posts with their funding networks... who would share a few with folks like me.
We'd share or retweet those updates with our own networks, which affirms the work of all involved, and generates a little buzz, and maybe more funding, for people and groups who need it.
I guess that's a "leadership by example" thing, and maybe a "leading from below" thing, which is the only approach I understand.