In honor of “The Dog Days of Summer” let’s talk about a new opportunity to be philanthropic and entrepreneurial at the same time. For a $20 donation you can support the start-up of Silidog Silent Tags. It’s the best kind of opportunity – a way to make life better for you and your best friend. While we’re at it we’ll talk about philanthropy changes and the next generation.
An Idea Recreated
You get the chance to be in on the beginning of a new idea, or rather the re-creation of an idea. An idea that creates a better world for pets and more sleep for owners – at least that’s the story Michael Lickstein is telling. Lickstein, a Florida college student, adopted a new four legged friend only to discover that incessant tag jingling was keeping him up at night. He set out to create a new improved dog tag and says the current design hasn’t been improved on for 100 years.
Creating the website, Silidog, Lickstein decided to use Kickstarter to raise funds for his new idea and get input from fellow dog lovers. There are only six days left to help Silidog raise their goal of $10,000. They’ve already raised over $8,000. Ok, it’s not tax deductible, but it is only $20. Across the web right now the idea is getting attention. It’s being marketed as philanthropy. It does look like a great idea when you check out the website. The timing of the campaign couldn’t be better since the Old Farmer’s Almanac listed “The Dog Days of Summer” as July 3-August 11.
Philanthropy Changes and the New Game
Before you think the heat has gotten to me, I’m really making a point here. In fact, it was more like an aha! Much is being written about young philanthropists and entrepreneurs. They aren’t thinking, problem solving, or working like baby boomers. They don’t fundraise for causes or nonprofits like baby boomers. They don’t raise investment capital for companies like baby boomers. Their willingness to throw an idea out to the world and then seriously consider the crowds ideas and suggestions creates a whole new game for attracting investors and donors. It’s what we call crowd funding.
There will come a day when the nonprofit world will not be able to tell the difference between investing and fundraising. The next generation expects to be listened to. They expect to be a part of the solution, not fund someone else’s idea of a solution neatly packaged in a box with a ribbon on top.
Philanthropy has been around for a very long time, but I believe it’s in the early adopter stage of change. The train has left the station, and gaining speed.
Is the change good or bad? In my opinion, the answer is of little consequence.The change is coming. The train is already in the tunnel. The end of the tunnel you’re viewing the train from is really about your own perspective and fears.
Let’s figure out how to get on the train and embrace the next generation. There is much to learn from them. What could be better than helping a young entrepreneur start a small company that makes a new and improved dog tag for your best friend and all your other dog friends in the world?
Get more sleep with the new Silidog, glow in the dark tags. You’ll be better prepared to get on board as philanthropy changes with the next generation.