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Online giving marketplaces facilitate one-on-one transactions between those with financial resources and those who need those resources, be they donations, loans, or the like. However, the fact that only three percent of the people who come to an online marketplace take action means that a tremendous number of visitors must be driven to one's site to make it viable.
In this panel discussion, from the Online Giving Marketplaces Conference, convened by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation's magazine, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, experts discuss what characterizes online giving marketplaces, what their organizations are doing in this new philanthropy space, what differentiates them from others, and how such platforms can be used most effectively. They also consider questions such as whether more organizations should invest in online marketplaces, how to get donors to give more, and what the differences are among such markets in the United States and abroad.
Moderator Lucy Bernholz is founder and president of Blueprint Research & Design.
Venkat Krishnan is founder and director of GiveIndia.org, which channels more than $4.5 million a year, from 50,000 individual donors, to more than 150 nonprofits throughout India. Krishnan worked for three years in a variety of general management functions at The Times of India Group (India's largest publishing house) and at Sony Entertainment Television network (helping establish its presence in India). After leaving the corporate sector, Krishnan set up Eklavya School, a private school that brought together students from some of the wealthiest and poorest families in an attempt at integrated education. In 2001, he cofounded Educational Initiatives, a K-12 assessment company in India.
Clam Lorenz is cofounder and vice president of operations at MissionFish, the nonprofit that administers eBay Giving Works. He joined MissionFish from Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, where he was a marketer and fundraiser. Lorenz previously worked as a freelance writer and researcher, and spent five years working directly with youth at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Georgia. He received a BA in communications from Mercer University and an MA in public relations from the University of Georgia.
Carol Tappenden is cofounder and managing director of GreaterGood South Africa and the South African Social Investment Exchange (SASIX). She has more than a decade of experience in fundraising, social investment opportunity identification, research, evaluation, and monitoring. Tappenden has worked with nonprofits and grassroots initiatives, as well as multinational corporations and international development agencies. SASIX provides a platform for investment in evaluated, high-impact social initiatives with varying levels of financial return. As a member of the Global Reporting Initiative’s Social Sector Supplement working group, Tappenden is now actively engaged in trying to replicate SASIX through the establishment of a Global Social Investment Exchange framework and platform.
Tom Williams is founder and chief executive officer of GiveMeaning.com, a nonprofit that connects donors and fundraisers to accomplish specific, charitable projects. He has been building and advising technology and media organizations since age 15, when he joined Apple Computer in product marketing. In 2001, Williams left his job as a venture capitalist in Los Angeles to return home to Vancouver, British Columbia, to develop a more meaningful career. In 2004, he launched GiveMeaning. In addition to running GiveMeaning, Williams now consults with nonprofits about online fundraising strategies.