This is a question the Intelligent Giving Blog asks. I won’t lie I got a fright when I saw it. They make the point that charities were mostly set up at a time when people needed a way to connect with those that required help. Therefore it made perfect senst for people to doante to an organisation in that field that could direct the money to those very people. But of course that means there is a middle man.
Intelligent Giving notes that now that there are more sophistacted means of donating, ie online, and that there are a wide range of sites which allow people to give directly to those they want to benefit from the donation, cutting out the middle man (ie the charity).
So sites like Kiva, Globalgiving, and the Big Give all list projects or individuals that you can donate directly to. And therefore, with this development, Intelligent Giving asks, is there really a need for charities?
I think it is true that there will be, and should be, a shift. The more that funds can get directly to those in need the better, so if you give directly to a project and can cut out the middle man great. But I suppose the question needs to be asked, can we ever really cut out the middle man? Is there a risk that people will manipulate the system and funds will be directed to projects that arent “real causes”.
I dont think this is the end of charities!! So fret not. But I do agree with Intelligent Giving when they say that ….. they’ll (charities) need to work harder to show what they can do. Charities will need to argue their case strongly and be able to show that its just as important, or in fact maybe more important to give to them rather than directly through the likes of the sites above. Maybe it comes down to streamlining and dare I suggest merging??