Restricted gifts are a unique topic in our business. Imagine buying
a tank of gasoline and saying that you want your profits only to go
towards green energy research, or buying a T-shirt and insisting that
your portion of profits only go towards subsidized medical coverage for
the employees. In non profits restricted gifts work just like that and
they can be very effective.
In the realm of the one man philanthropy there is an opportunity to
direct donations towards a single cause or program. A very recent
example of this is MalariaEngage.org that
requests $10 donations and then affords donors the option to fund
seven projects recommended by Tanzania’s National Institute
for Medical Research. Once those have been funded, MalariaEngage.org
will look to support new projects across developing countries.
In creating an inexpensive platform MalariaEngage.org can send the
sum of its donations to support research. Other organizations are not
so lucky, in that they have developed numerous patient support,
advocacy, education, and outreach programs that really do help people
but require staff to organize and run. It is not unfathomable that
organizations could build micro campaigns around restricted donations
to mission critical services. Matching donors to what they are
passionate about almost always results in better connection and
affinity with the organization, and really makes donors feel like they
can see their impact on specific programs. This innate need to feel
like you are making a difference is what drove the entrepreneurial philanthropists to create their own activities in the first place.