How "challenge offers" can spread resilience
Donors and volunteers in online groups can use Internet-based philanthropy to bypass cumbersome bureaucracies, and directly reach local allies who want to use Resilient Things and/or create Resilient Places.
Backers of free and resilient communities can offer "digital donations" – gifts in electronic form – on a challenge basis to lever grassroots self-help agreements, local asset endowments, and governance reforms that increase community resilience.
Ascending levels of challenge offers
Initial challenge offers, as envisaged by Openworld, can include bootstrapping tools and online how-to advice, followed by microscholarships for eLearning or microvouchers for access to telemedicine resources.
Small donations like these can be affordably extended around the world to individuals and groups interested in resiliency, with opportunities for further support as recipients grow in knowledge of Resilient Community opportunities.
Subsequent, enriched challenge offers can be awarded to nonprofit groups in proportion to documented progress (via uploads of new cameraphone images and video clips to their MiiU pages) on milestones in improving resiliency.
In cases where communities seek to awaken dormant land values, for example, donors can use challenge offers to encourage such actions as:
- creation of accurate private land registries through uploading geotagged images or videos of agreed boundaries, along with brief videos of neighbors confirming agreement on the validity of each claim;
- uploads of video pledges in which neighborhood residents commit to a specified arbitration process, in the event of future disputes; and/or
- adoption by landholders of deed covenants (similar to those used in homeowners associations) to ensure ongoing support for community self-help projects.
Such local actions can increase the capability of neighborhoods in poor areas to self-provide needed services, and to begin breaking out of dependency upon charitable giving.
Levering land grants & policy reforms for sustainability
In the past, advocates of transparency-enhancing economic policy reforms have had limited leverage, because tangible gains from adopting reforms often take time to improve conditions for people living in an area. Digital donations to seed resiliency offer a means for community residents to experience a wide range of benefits with little or no delay.
Resiliency-oriented charities can offer greater bundles of microscholarships and other "digital donations" for grassroots benefit, as communities commit to make substantial land grant endowments for nonprofit organizations. Such land grant endowments can build upon the successful precedents of public sector land transfers to U.S. universities following passage of the Morrill Act of 1862, and of land grant endowments benefiting universities in Thailand and the Philippines. They provide a means to ensure an ongoing local asset base for broadbased scholarships for skills growth and vouchers for health care.
The highest level of challenge offer donations can be given in cases where local authorities not only provide land grant endowments for local good causes, but introduce pilot Governance reforms that can greatly boost the value of these stakeholdings.
Key policy-related factors in choosing areas to receive the highest level of digital donation challenge offers can include local action to:
- remove regulatory constraints that impede local access to affordable bandwidth;
- introduce transparent eGovernment systems that simplify startup and operating procedures for business and social entrepreneurs;
- set up Flexiwage systems based on Singapore's example, tying public sector pay to private sector growth; and
- accelerate land titling reforms including formal recognition of the unchallenged private land registries created via neighborhood action.
Such actions can substantially raise property values and attract inflows of private sector investment, helping to reduce joblessness and increase the asset base of community-based organizations.
Moreover, vesting highly-regarded local nonprofit groups with equity via “greenfield” and "brownfield" land grant endowments can establish a growing asset base for local self-help initiatives, enabling them to increase the level of services they provide to their communities as liberalizing reforms take hold.
Offering digital donations on a challenge basis may help to open a new era in philanthropy, in which donors promote the long-term sustainability of recipient organizations around the world, rather than continue their resiliency-crippling dependence on private or public sector subsidy.
- New Catalysts for Sustainability (pdf) - (Sabre Foundation/Openworld, 2005) White paper on challenge offers that trigger lasting self-help
- Social Networks as Catalysts of Free and Resilient Communities (Openworld, 2011) Slides based on presentations at Princeton and University of Virginia
- Horizon Lanka Microscholarships - Sri Lankan microvouchers benefiting grassroots schools
- eCenter Microvouchers (Kyrgyzstan) http://j.mp/r5yWBb
- eCenter microvouchers and land grants - Response to challenge offers in Kyrgyzstan
resilient philanthropy, digital donations, self-funding, sustainability, challenge grants, challenge offers, self-funding, nonprofits, microscholarships, microvouchers
This page has been created by the Openworld Team