Saturday, October 20, 2012

Benetech Featured on the Giving Library


Benetech applauds the efforts of philanthropic organizations and individuals who pay special attention to improving the very practice of philanthropy. To create as much public good as possible, philanthropists need information about the performance of potential grantees: whether they have clear, measurable goals and the organizational capacity to realize them. The recently launched Laura and John Arnold Foundation Giving Library is a unique resource that provides this information about nonprofits through engaging video interviews. We’re delighted that Benetech was selected to be one of the first 250 nonprofits spotlighted on the Giving Library.

The Arnolds saw the need for the Giving Library after experiencing multiple barriers to researching nonprofits they were interested in. They felt that, in order to make informed, strategic giving decisions, it wasn’t enough for them just to read about those nonprofits via their own websites or other databases that list charitable organizations. Rather, the couple realized they improved their decision-making and got much more insight into prospective nonprofit grantee organizations by speaking to their founders and executives. The Arnolds had the resources to arrange for such meetings, but they realized that this process wasn’t practical for many funders and nonprofits.

They therefore came up with the idea to create an online archive of video interviews with the leaders of nonprofits. The resulting video library would allow nonprofits to tell their stories and reach a broader base of philanthropists and foundations, while it would also help philanthropists be strategic about and engaged in their giving. The Arnolds invited vetted nonprofits to participate in the Giving Library, and quickly filled the initial 250 slots. They worked with the participating nonprofits to improve their statements and arranged video shoots.

Benetech’s rigorous and comprehensive entrepreneurial problem solving approach aligns with the Arnolds’ giving philosophy, and we were thrilled to be included in the first round of participating nonprofits. I was filmed delivering an extensive Q&A session that provides detailed information about Benetech: our mission, our culture, our major accomplishments, objectives and success metrics, and the gaps we seek to fill as we dream big and work towards expanding our impact to see that technology fully serves all of humanity. Please check out our video interview on the Giving Library.  It's my first experience with a TelePrompter over the camera lens (so you can look into the camera).  Very cool, but I have to admit this is the most sober and serious interview I've ever given because I was trying hard to follow my notes!

We are grateful to the Arnolds for their efforts to promote engaged, outcome-based giving. The Giving Library now enables users to easily locate, study, and communicate with Benetech and other featured nonprofits that fit their giving criteria. We look forward to connecting with new supporters through the Giving Library and are excited about the prospects of working with new strategic partners.

We have so many cool things we could be doing right now with more support!

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