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John Templeton Foundation Supports Joint Research in "Generosity in Practice"

Washington, DC, August 30, 2016 - GlobalGiving is thrilled to announce that it has received a grant from the John Templeton Foundation to conduct a joint research project on "Generosity in Practice." Thanks to the support of the Templeton Foundation, GlobalGiving, DonorsChoose.org, and Kiva will collaborate on field research to better understand what influences human generosity.

As noted in the grant proposal, too often the discourse in philanthropy today revolves around tax incentives, effectiveness metrics, or the merits of strategic philanthropy over effective altruism. This is limiting the potential of philanthropy to flourish because it is disconnected from the exploration of the natural human impulse to be generous. That same human impulse—like almost every other dimension of human behavior—is being tested in the virtual realities that increasingly surround us. As our transactions and realities have increasingly shifted online, our brains have had to cope with more information, more distraction, and many more computations than ever before. It is time to start an alternative line of discourse in philanthropy, one that starts with what makes people generous, and what engrains that impulse in the fabric of our lives. It is the right time to look into this question, as we are in the midst of a long-term shift to a post-materialist society, one that increasingly privileges experiences (virtual goods) over material goods. This is good news for philanthropy, but only if we focus on it with a lens of generosity. By focusing on understanding generosity in the virtual world, we may be able to create new contexts for generosity that have never existed before. Not only can this lead to a potential breakthrough how much we give but it could well make us happier. There are now many crowdfunding sites. DonorsChoose.org, GlobalGiving, and Kiva were engaged in crowdfunding before the current trend, and we are all mission-oriented. Public education, international development, and microfinance require long-term commitment before we can see results, so it is critical we avoid the short-term treadmill that relies on acquisition over retention. Moreover our organizations have collaborated closely for over a decade. We will build upon our existing relationship and work in collaboration with Dr. Michael Norton to explore how can we make generosity a habit.

"We are excited to conduct this research projects with our friends at DonorsChoose.org and Kiva," said Kevin Conroy, Chief Product Officer at GlobalGiving. "This unique partnership will not only allow use to conduct groundbreaking research on generosity, but it will allow us to iterate quickly and validate results across several real world platforms."

This project was made possible through the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in this press release are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.

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Contact

Kevin Conroy, Chief Product Officer
202-330-4034
kconroy@globalgiving.org

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