From bright-red bikes to non-profit administrative operations, what are we ready and excited to share?
Regarding the new Capital Bikeshare program, the New York Times explains that Internet services, from Netflix to Pandora, have “changed the way Americans think about sharing and ownership. Collaborative habits online are beginning to find expression in the real world.”
Perhaps this ethic of collaboration spread from products and purchasing to operations and funding. Just last Friday, the Boston Globe reported that the Boston Foundation (along with three others) has unveiled “a new fund to help local charities … form partnerships, combine functions like bookkeeping or community services, or merge into new groups … to better serve their communities.”
Of course, the comparisons are not perfect. But speaking broadly, have cooperation and sharing become newly interesting? Haven’t they always been part of the picture?
Says the founder of NeighborGoods, an online resource where users can enter their zip code and locate neighbors willing to borrow or loan, “everyone thought we were completely crazy two years ago a desire for community, a desire to be more sustainable and, frankly, it’s the economy.”
Philanthropy 2173 asks an intriguing question: “if communities and businesses built on sharing — mutual aid — can really regain traction … what will this mean for organized, outside philanthropy as we know it?”
Will this trend last? Does it excite and inspire you? And are new models indeed on the horizon? Or have non-profits long employed this model and businesses are actually catching up? What do you think?