“Innovations in Philanthropy” Summit Brings Leaders to White House

Strategies to get more donors to pipe their money into for-profit businesses that foster social missions was among the subjects discussed at a Sept. 21 private forum on innovations in philanthropy at the White House. Jean Case, the event’s keynote speaker and chief executive of the Case Foundation, said that uniform standards for tracking and measuring success would be needed to get more people involved in “impact investing.”

A “crowd-funding” idea, presented by the founder of Benevolent.net, a year-old nonprofit, was a standout philanthropic innovation presented at the meeting. The nonprofit provides a Web-based platform for people to post their individual needs, such as beds for their children or help finding a job. Then, with the assistance of a local nonprofit, Benevolent.net verifies that the request is legitimate. Individuals can make tax-deductible donations through the same nonprofit to help that person on the Benevolent.net website.