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

Where the water wars of the future will be fought

A new report warns about the increasing likelihood of international conflicts over water.

Abd al-Ibrahim, whose home was destroyed during fighting, as he rests on his trip to supply water to his family at the house they are squatting in the northern Syrian city of Raqa. October 15, 2018. (Photo credit: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A study finds that serious conflicts over water are going to arise around the globe.
  • The 5 hotspots identified by the paper include areas of the Nile, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Indus, Tigris-Euphrates, and Colorado rivers.
  • It's still possible to change course if we are prepared to address the effects of climate change.
Keep reading Show less
A Star Is Born, Warner Bros Pictures
Surprising Science
  • It has to do with two parts of the brain, both of which are thicker in those with better smell and spacial recognition.
  • Your nose can detect about 1 trillion smells.
  • While your nose isn't a full GPS, it can help you pick out a general direction.
Keep reading Show less
Technology & Innovation
  • A Larry Page-backed company has announced that its flying car will go on sale in 2019.
  • It's called the BlackFly.
  • Not quite the escape from traffic you had in mind, but it's a jaw-dropping start.
Keep reading Show less