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Currently, The Globe and Mail is presenting an in-depth series on the state of charitable giving. As part of the series, they interviewed prominent philanthropists about their causes and their perception on charitable giving. One of their interviews was with the former U.S. President and founder of the Clinton Global Initiative, Bill Clinton, who said that small donors play a crucial role in global philanthropy. This leads to the question: why do smaller philanthropic efforts generally not receive recognition or value for their contributions?

Charitable responses to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, what occurred after Hurricane Katrina, and the giving pattern of the 2004 tsunami clearly shows the significant impact that small giving can make. In the 2004 Tsunami, corporations, foundations, and individuals in the United States gave $3.16 billion; however, not many people know that out of this substantial total, approximately $2.78 billion came from the small charitable givings by American citizens.

According to a study by Patrick M. Rooney, director of Research for the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, “…Despite the highly publicized million-dollar gifts from corporations and celebrities, most of the giving to the tsunami relief efforts came from the gifts of less than $50 made by
millions of Americans across the country…”

There are numerous stories of small dedicated efforts around us clearly showing that it’s not the size of the contribution that matters; what matters is the outcome that these contributions produce. There are many ways we can make a real, lasting, and meaningful difference and many organizations like us at Shopanthropic, truely believe in the power of small contributions. We believe in our small dollar contributions and cause-marketing campaigns that generate small but powerful outcomes.

Bill Clinton describes the power of small donations: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/giving/giving-video/video-bill-clinton-on-the-importance-of-small-donors/article2217614/