The Future of Giving

Most nonprofits rely almost exclusively on government funding and individual donations to maintain sustainability. Unfortunately, government funding has and will continue to shrink, and individual contributions have not only decreased, but there has been an increase in demand for social impact. Donors want to see not only where their contributions are going, but want to see and understand the impact behind their contribution, as well as the sustainability of the organization’s efforts.

The future for nonprofits will be to shift away from traditional fundraising and to focus on technology and innovation—how can organizations utilize technology to better monitor their impact and achieve their mission more effectively?

One of the main players supporting the shift toward technology is Google—who is paving the way for the future of philanthropy.

At the end of 2012, Google launched their Global Impact Awards, designed to support organizations utilizing technology and innovative approaches to take on some of the world’s largest challenges.  While Google typically gives $115 million in grants, they realized they could have a greater impact by funding nonprofit tech innovation instead of spending on specific issues. In addition, the grants come with volunteer consulting on each project from Google specialists and/or engineers.

How the Program Works


  • Google supports organizations utilizing technology and innovative solutions to meet their mission.
  • Google provides grants to support crisis response efforts and long-term relief efforts.
  • Google supports academic research–investing in computer scientists and faculties through their Research Awards Program.
  • Finally, Google supports organizations such as schools, small businesses and nonprofits within local communities.


Google’s team has developed and continues to provide free Ads, Apps and products to nonprofit organizations. Their programs include Google for Nonprofits, Google Earth Outreach, YouTube for Good and Crisis Response efforts—all utilizing technology to help drive change and impact.


Google supports their staff through programs such as gift matching, where Google matches the contribution of their employees and volunteering. Google encourages their employers to volunteer for the organizations they love, and even allow time out of the office to do so.

What Google is Looking For

Google Impact Awards are looking for organizations that meet the following three criteria as listed on their website:

  1. Innovative approach or technology that can deliver transformational impact
  2. Specific project that tests a big game-changing idea
  3. Brilliant team with successful track record and a healthy disregard for the impossible

At this time, Google is utilizing their team to research the web to find organizations in need, and are not accepting unsolicited proposals. For a list of the 2012 recipients, click here.

The way of the future is here—nonprofits are moving away from the traditional golf outings and silent auctions and are embracing innovation, technology and social entrepreneurship to generate a long-term impact. With powerhouses such as Google leading the shift in philanthropy, donor behavior is going to look for organizations to be more creative in their programs and services.  For more information about the Google Impact Awards, visit their website at



SEA-LI Board Meeting

SEA-LI will have the first board meeting of 2013 on Tuesday, January 29th. This meeting will cover future topics and programs and the strategic plan for SEA-LI. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about the upcoming program year, please send them directly to Please continue to check our website for the most current information.

Happy Holidays from all of us at SEA-LI!

Forbes Article About Kickstarting Social Enterprise on Long Island

In an interview with SEA-LI Board Member, Chuck Schwartz, Forbes discusses starting a social enterprise on Long Island.

How do you kickstart social enterprise in your neck of the woods? What’s happening on Long Island offers an instructive answer.

Recently, a few locals from for profits and nonprofits surveyed the social enterprise world and came to the conclusion that the area was sorely lacking in oomph, especially when compared to the activity in nearby New York City. While there was a lot of startup interest centered around the State University of New York at Stony Brook and Brookhaven National Laboratory, it didn’t include social enterprise.

Click here to read the rest of the article on the Forbes website.

LIBN Article about SEA-LI

NY B Corps look past profit on the bottom line

New York has joined a growing number of states allowing companies to file as benefit corporations, pledging in their incorporation papers to serve the triple bottom line of people, planet and profits.

And firms slowly are forming or shifting to this status, which they hope will let them stand out from competitors and give them greater freedom in making decisions.

The benefit corporation status is meant to give firms legal protection from shareholders who might claim executives operating under motives other than profit are shirking their fiduciary responsibility.

Click here to read the rest of this article on the Long Island Business News Website.

News from National: Get Preferred Placement on the First Crowdfunding Platform for Social Enterprises

We all know that securing funding for social enterprise projects is probably the single most difficult part of running or starting an impact venture. Especially in the current economic climate, even excellent projects can sit on the shelf for years before securing the necessary capital.

At the same time, we see projects like the Pebble Watch raise nearly $10,000,000 in one month on Kickstarter through the all-out craze of crowdfunding.

What if a platform existed that combined the analytical approach of impact investing with the social-media-frenzy and excitement of crowdfunding?

SEA member Impact Trader is about to find out when they launch the first crowdfunding platform for social enterprises on June 1st, and thanks to an exclusive partnership, SEA member projects will receive preferred placement on the Impact Trader site.

Do you want to be one of the first enterprises to take advantage this powerful new platform? Read on to learn how.

Impact Trader is an alternative capital market that makes impact investing accessible to everyone by allowing them to make $25 zero interest investments in social enterprise projects.

What does this mean for you as a social entrepreneur?

It means that there is finally a place where you can promote your impact-producing project to a targeted audience of investors who are looking to fund the change they want to see in the world.

And, since they are only being asked for a minimum investment of $25, they are more likely to take a risk on your innovative solution to a problem that plagues our planet.

Currently, Impact Trader is seeking project proposals to post prior to their launch on June 1st. That’s coming up fast, so act now if you want to have your project up for the first round of funding.

Additionally, they have made an exceptional offer to you as an SEA member:

As a member, your project will be featured in a rotating box at the top of the Impact Trader home page. This space is the most visible and highly-trafficked part of the site, which greatly increases exposure for SEA member projects (and hopefully boosts their funding!)

For more information on this exclusive offer, click here.

We’re also excited about the fact that Impact Trader is planning to register with the SEC under the new JOBS Act Crowdfunding legislation, which goes into effect in early 2013. This will allow you to offer for-profit investment opportunities, not just zero interest loans. We see this as a major step forward in the development of impact investing, and we hope that our members will benefit greatly from the influx of fresh capital.

But again, you don’t have to wait until next year to get going with Impact Trader. The zero-interest loan portion of the website launches in a couple of weeks, so if you want to be in on that, start the application process now.

Good luck in your crowdfunding endeavors!


— The Social Enterprise Alliance