9/11 -- How About A Little Innovation Here, People?

911 While Americans can now customize the colors of their Nikes and shop for chandeliers on-line from Boise to Boston, the five years since 9/11 have not produced "the better mousetrap" that helps folks give money in ways that are both personally relevant and of greatest value to who are in need.

You know what I mean. Tragedy hits and Red Cross gets the checks because the average American doesn't know how to find other options. While this might have made some sense after 9/11, the Red Cross's highly-publicized bait and switch signaled the need for new way. But their winning streak continued with the Tsumani and Katrina despite continued allegations of inertia and mismanagement.

Scammers weren't afraid to jump into the void created when the levees burst and according to the FBI as reported by Jim Lehrer, established 2,500 websites to fleece folks of their philanthropic funds.

I find it hard to believe that this vibrant, innovative, information-driven economy has failed to produce a social network that can match folks with money and folks with need, either post-tragedy or post-liquidity event. Talk about teaching a man to fish?

Create a totally new way for Americans to demonstrate their immense generosity, most in evidence five years ago this month. It can't be as hard as cramming 5,000 songs into a toy the size of a card deck. Page, Brin, Case, Bloomberg, Gates, somebody: how about nailing this one before the 10th anniversary?

Susan Herr

Posted at 3:43 PM, Sep 11, 2006 in Scaling Philanthropy | Permalink | Comment