Digital Philanthropy

Evolution or Revolution?


16 Mar 2016 | Betterplace Lab | Social Entrepreneurship

How does digitization change philanthropy? On the one hand, we have established social organizations that need to stay on top of technological change. On the other hand, there is an increasing number of social entrepreneurs who revolutionize the sector through digital innovations.

What are the underlying potentials and risks? – this was the topic of the first Betterplace Lunchtime Conversations organized in November 2015 by Betterplace Lab founder Joana Breidenbach. Inspired by a similar format initiated by Good Magazine, she invited a number of experts to her home for penne with tuna and lemon meringue pies.

Her guests were:

  • Stephan Breidenbach, co-founder of Schule im Aufbruch. He calls for a culture of failure and less resistance against digital adaptation.
  • Dennis Buchmann, editor at Betterplace Lab. He is irritated by the fact that many players in the social sector know only little about digital tools such as newsletter/mailing programs.
  • Julia Kloiber, director of the Code for Germany project at the Open Knowledge Foundation. She wants to bridge the gap between civil servants and IT experts.
  • Dave Erasmus, founder of He wants to encourage investors not to be guided by failures and statistics.
  • Markus Hipp, executive director of the BMW Foundation. He proposes a Digital Philanthropy Fund to support projects at an early stage.
  • Barbara Müller, communications expert at the BMW Foundation. She calls for specific training and communications measures in the digital field.
  • Anne Kjaer Riechert, co-founder of Refugee on Rails and founder of Kids Have a Dream. She sets her hopes in organizations’ love of experimentation.
  • Ben Mason, Captain of International Projects at Betterplace Lab. He diagnoses many NGOs as having a conservative mentality.

The entire discussion and all delicious recipes can be found here.