Generosity Network: Breaking Down Walls Between Donors and Doers

There really is no difference between donors and doers.

Generosity Network is an idea that we have been teaching at Harvard’s Kennedy School and it’s opening up networks so that you find individuals who can be your partner in causes of the day. 


Many nonprofits these days focus on the idea that, “Gee, I need help and so I need to raise capital.  How do I get funds?”  And then the donors feel like they’re under attack, that they’re having many people going after them for funds.  Our philosophy is is that there really is no difference between donors and doers.  Lowering the walls between those two individuals allows a lot more resources to come to the table.

The way you do that is to start having individual conversations about how people with common passions can come together.  And you bring whatever you have to the table for the goal of achieving and solving a problem.  So for example, we worked on malaria together.  There’s a whole group of individuals - people with money, people with networks, people with knowledge, people with expertise, people with time - who all came together to say we want to solve the problem of deaths from malaria.  There was a million people dying per year from malaria.  Today after the collaboration that came together there’s 450,000 people a year dying in sub-Sahara and Africa mainly.  Our goal for the next two-and-a-half years is to go down to zero.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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