Online Marketplace for Education: Leveraging the Internet for creative microphilanthropy solutions to educational inequalities:A Case Study on Givology
Presenter: Joyce Meng
Theme: Harnessing Technology for a Better World
What is the difference between a single million-dollar donation versus a million one-dollar donations? With technological advances reducing transaction costs and increasing usage of P2P social networking sites, the Internet has fundamentally revolutionized education philanthropy, empowering information sharing to make giving by individuals much more targeted, transparent, and rewarding.
In early 2008, a team of University of Pennsylvania students created Givology (www.givology.org), a P2P community with a mission of improving access and quality of education in the developing world through small-scale donations to community-driven projects and student scholarships. Seeking to do what Kiva (www.kiva.org) enabled for microfinance and Global Giving (www. globalgiving.org) for general philanthropy, Givology allows any Internet user to browse profiles of grassroots educations initiatives sponsored by Givology’s partner organizations, read project and student updates in the form of letters, photos, and videos, donate directly to the cause of their cause, and blog about their own experiences and motivations in giving. Built on trust relations, geographic boundaries and cultural barriers erode as donors gain a deep insight into the life of students in rural villages throughout the world.
In short, microphilanthropy fundamentally transforms the nature of giving itself, empowering individuals to make a difference. This paper seeks to discuss microphilanthropy’s implications for education, its benefits and limitations, potential risks, and future opportunities, with particular focus on Givology as a case study.