Brainstorming charity from the ground up

I’ve been giving to charities and working with charities for a long time. During my consulting days in DC I independently worked on fundraising projects for LiveStrong and Make A Wish, and fundraised for Room to Read during TechBikers and the Christina Noble Foundation and the John Smith Memorial Trust as an MBAdventurist. I’ve also given independently to charity.

But what I’m fascinated about is thinking about how a new charity model would look like.

The traditional charity model is this:

  1. Person fundraises for an organization, which supports a cause

  2. Organization receives money

  3. Organization has the power to distribute money on projects as they please (unless the dollar amount is huge so said person can say what specifically they want to invest in)

  4. Organization doesn’t quite disclose the economics of the fundraising

What if the model was turned around, thus:

  1. Person says what cause they want to support, and how much they’re aiming to fundraise

  2. Organizations bid for the money

  3. Organization must distribute money in the way the person prescribed

  4. Organization discloses exactly the economics of the fundraising

It just seems strange that in a day and age where people are more careful about where they spend their money and measuring the ROI that there are industries where there is little questioning of what the money actually achieves.