The New York Times’ Nicholas Confessore writes about the “unlikely activist” Alastair Mactaggart, who successfully spearheaded an initiative to protect data privacy in California. While Mactaggart is not, perhaps, a typical organizer, his campaign borrows themes and tactics from many activist movements before him.
Most local nonprofits apparently do not understand the implicit “giving code” embodied by new high-tech donors. Likewise, many of these donors do not take the time or have the interest to understand local needs.
What if it were as easy to find the social services you need as it is to find a restaurant review on Yelp? In Silicon Valley, the nonprofit social enterprise Benetech is partnering with Kaiser, the local United Way, and others to design a system that will get there.
According to Dr. Emmett Carson, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation doesn’t just design philanthropy strategies; it goes a step further by advocating for issues on behalf of communities from San Jose to San Francisco.
The affordability issue in Silicon Valley touches renters at all socioeconomic levels. Homeowners argue against density and traffic. Investors demand fewer controls on property rights. Tenants want relief from high rents and long commutes—and inclusion advocates want to preserve socioeconomic diversity.
Silicon Valley is home to vast personal wealth that might benefit charities, but the entrepreneurial impatience that fuels innovation stands in contrast to the dogged persistence nonprofits require to address society’s wicked problems.