Givology: The study of entrepreneurial do-gooding

Just last week, the 2009 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study revealed that more people are donating online, but in smaller gifts than they used to.

This fact could be viewed a few ways -- the recession is hitting, or microphilanthropy is hitting its stride, or the recession hitting is helping microphilanthropy hit its stride.

I think it's the last point. So who better to capitalize on this trend than microphilanthropic organizations like Givology?

Here's the story. Last September, three UPenn seniors launched Givology with a clear mission: to raise money for scholarships and education projects for needy students in developing countries.

But they wouldn't do it with huge campaigns or fund drives. Rather, they relied on "small-denomination contributions" to match up donors with students and projects around the world.

With donors giving as little as $5 apiece, here's what Givology has achieved so far (according to Philadelphia Inquirer):

* Raised more than $5,000
* Supported 15 organizations in Uganda, China, Kenya, India, and Rwanda
* Funded 35 students and 11 projects

Impressive for a project run by full-time students virtually and globally, with a fundraising ask of only a few dollars. And what does it tell me? That if microphilanthropy is indeed becoming mainstream, then groups like Givology are terrific examples of how to do it right.

Want to become part of the Givology community? Find out how here.

Hat tip to my mom for sending this article along!