Finally Good News

Online Philanthropy Hits the Streets

Posted on: March 4, 2013

Amanda Palmer

English: Amanda Palmer Live 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After reading repeatedly about Kickstarter and this new era of creative philanthropy, it’s interesting to see how the mechanics of such coin-in-cup operations are continuing to develop. The music industry has seen an unprecedented shift in business in the last fifteen years, attempting clumsily to keep up with technology and the public’s desire for immediate (and free) music via downloads. The industry’s indecision has also created a burgeoning DIY propensity amongst artists and also the desire on behalf of the public to fund them. The fact that said public doesn’t actually want any tactile or physical evidence of their expenditure is even more baffling – they just want to give!

There have been several recent cases that are quite extraordinary; one concerns the Kickstarter drive of musician Amanda Palmer, who in reaching out to the public to help finance her tour, ended up receiving $1m in donations and then proceeded to not pay the musicians in her band! On a more humanitarian (and Hollywood) level, CNN recently featured an article about a homeless man who found an expensive diamond ring in his coin cup, proceeded to save it and give it back to the lady who unwittingly left it with him. Showing her gratitude, she started and online campaign to raise money for the man – “So far, in about a week, more than 3,400 donations have been made, totaling nearly $95,000. The money will be given to Billy Ray Harris at the end of a 90-day campaign,” reports CNN.

Philanthropy really is the new way to stay in the black, it seems. The information revolution provides people with a way to get active socially and feel good about themselves, without ever leaving the house. The desire to share is something that has always been inherent in humans, one could argue, it’s just that now the tools are a keyboard, mouse and broadband connection.


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