USA Today: Microphilanthropy is changing the face of charity

I have a column in Wednesday’s USA Today called “Microphilanthropy is changing the face of charity.” I introduce the issue by highlighting a charity called, which helps lower-income people with one-time bills. When you make enough to live but not enough to save, a broken car, a plumbing leak, hole in the roof or unexpected medical bill can send you over the edge. tries to step in before that happens.

What does this mean for donors? You can scroll through lists of stories and choose people to help out. Your contribution, banded with others, will go to these specific people (ModestNeeds almost universally honors donors’ wishes in that regard). Million dollar donors have always had this ability — to be treated like board members, able to choose where their money goes and get updates — but these days, $50 donors want it too. And in an age where you can complain about a company on Twitter and get a response in minutes, why not?

Anyway, I think it’s a great trend in charity, because when you know more, you give more. Please recommend the article, leave a comment, or better yet, visit or any of the other non-profits mentioned in the column to make a donation (I will reprint the column in its entirety in a few days).


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