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Micro Philanthropy 101

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Mary Thomforde

How Micro Philanthropy Drives Collective Impact

Phrases like “Every dollar counts” or “We’re stronger together” are frequent taglines we see in fundraising campaigns, and as cliche as these idioms can be, they’re 100% #facts.

It’s easy for individual givers to deceive themselves into believing the small donations they give to a charity don’t count, especially when comparing the amount you give to the large endowments of super-wealthy philanthropists like MacKenzie Scott.  But it’s everyday philanthropists like you who make the most significant impact, especially when you give more often.

What is Micro Philanthropy?

Micro Philanthropy, as defined by Wikipedia, is a form of charitable donation small in the donated amount.  These donations can typically range between $0.25 and $25.  Opportunities to give in smaller amounts are at grocery stores, with smartphones, and through recurring donations or Round-up programs.  The most significant benefit of micro philanthropy is that the contributions are so small that people give them without a second thought.

Micro philanthropy is the secret weapon of everyday philanthropists and nonprofits because it allows everyone to give regardless of socioeconomic status. Smartphones and platforms like PayPal and Philanthropi’s Impact Accounts™, along with the growth of donor-advised funds in the financial service industry, make the collection and distribution of donations more effortless than ever.

Donating in smaller amounts is also shifting the power of philanthropy. Millennials and Gen Z now outnumber Baby Boomers in charitable giving. Gen Z is considered the most socially conscious generation to date. Thirty-two percent of them donate their own money, giving in smaller amounts, and 26% of Gen Z volunteer regularly. In 2020, Gen Z is 2.6 billion strong.

Benefits of Giving in Smaller Amounts

For individuals, there are significant benefits to micro philanthropy.

The Ability to Raise More Money

Smaller donations given more often over time can add up. For instance, the nonprofit fundraising campaign for the 2010 Haitian earthquake relief raised over $30 million from text message donations from micro donors like you.

Find New Causes to Support

Charitable giving in smaller amounts enables micro-donors to explore more charities outside their typical donor profile. Allowing you to broaden your philanthropic footprint when giving back. This means focusing on causes closer to you and your community, which is incredibly empowering.

Become an Advocate for Your Causes

Limited donor sources constantly cause non-profits to scramble for funds, and not everyone can give a large donation. With micro philanthropy, you can encourage your network to give a small donation of even $25 to a charity they are passionate about, helping that nonprofit meet its fundraising goals.

Close to a third of annual nonprofit giving occurs in December. Add months that call attention to specific causes, like breast cancer awareness month, and nonprofits have only a few occasions to collect the crucial funding needed to support their charity.  Micro philanthropy and the small amounts given by you and other everyday philanthropists create a common bond that is twofold – charities know they’ll have yearlong support. You know you are making a greater social impact that expands your philanthropic legacy.

About Philanthropi

Founded in Philadelphia in 2018, Philanthropi is revolutionary charitable giving by democratizing philanthropy through its giving-as-a-service platform. We allow everyday donors to seamlessly support their favorite nonprofit organizations.

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