Thursday, October 04, 2007

A pragmatic suggestion for the Philanthropically inclined

Phil Cubeta at Gifthub offers many in the philanthropic community the opportunity to encounter -- in the marketplace of ideas, if not in an actual agora -- a wide spectrum of viewpoints, analyses, beggaring tutors, situationists, scabrous satirists, righteous indignationists, dedicated world-changers, jesters, philosophes, mastiffs of spite, poodles of privilege, noble gooddooers, motley lost-in-the-blogsphere waifs, carnivalesque bacchantes, bollocks detection agents, opinionasters, lecturers, pansophists, barrel-inhabiting flea gatherers, tick collectors and other pungent calibrators of the Zeitcloud.

I was checking on a charity that happened to send a solicitation, and found this site, which seems rich in the sort of info one is looking for when evaluating any particular philanthropic endeavor. It seems a useful tool. I then noted that its president, Trent Stamp, has a blog, which indeed is linked at Gifthub.

I do have a suggestion. I don't know how most online banking sites operate, but for online checking, the bank I use (it's a very big one) has a finite list of payees that one can pull up to save time when adding a payee. If you find the payee on the list, you simply click and the address or routing info is entered automatically. Very useful. Only, the payees are almost all the usual corporate shite: you can find the Ohio Gas Company, but not Oxfam; Dominion Virginia Power, but not Doctors Without Borders; Apria Healthcare Inc. but not CARE.

Whatever one might infer about what this says about how banks -- no, corporate entities in general (some owned by USia's wealthiest philanthopists) -- prioritize the world, this seems like a worthy project for someone -- perhaps some of the denizens of Gifthub or in Wealth Bondage -- to undertake. Just round up all the contact info for the philanthropic organizations that can and wish to be vetted and included and make that info available to every online banking entity, thereby easing the process of giving, saving the cost of a stamp and dalliance with procrastination.

If some of Phil's scabrous dumpster-dwellers were to earn a few sheckels, or find a few less lice around their neighborhood, would that be a bad thing?


Blogger jonhusband said...

This is, i think the digital era's equivalent of what, when I worked for the United Way financial planning department 25 years ago, we called donor-directed or donor-designated giving ... combined with the disintermediation of organizations like the UW or other philanthropic administrative / planning bodies.

Actually, it's a bit of wonder that it has not yet been done. I sort-of half expect Gerry to show up here saying "But .. but .. it HAS been done, lookee here"

10/05/2007 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a small thing, and essentially invisible. A crack for corporate myopia to fall through.

10/05/2007 11:29 PM  

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