Why You Should Donate to Long Tail Charities
Charities are not all equal. Some are big and well-known, with large donor bases and marketing budgets. Others are small and obscure, with limited resources and visibility. These are the long tail charities, and they deserve your attention and support.
What are long tail charities?
The term “long tail” comes from a theory by Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, who argued that the internet has enabled niche products and services to thrive and compete with mainstream ones1. He illustrated this with the music industry, where online platforms allow bands with niche genres and fans to sell their songs without relying on physical stores or record labels.
The same logic applies to charities. There are a number of large aid organizations that dominate the charity sector and receive most of the donations in any country, especially high income countries. But there are also many, many thousands of small, local and grassroots initiatives that work on specific causes and regions that are often overlooked or neglected by the mainstream donors. These are the long tail charities.
Why should you donate to long tail charities?
There are many reasons why you should consider donating to long tail charities.
- They make a real difference in the world. Long tail charities often work on issues that are urgent, complex and underfunded, such as human rights, environmental protection, animal welfare, education, health and social justice. They have a deep understanding of the local context and needs, and they can deliver effective and innovative solutions that have a lasting impact. The power of that local understanding and direct delivery is not to be underestimated.
- They are transparent and accountable. Long tail charities usually have low overheads and administrative costs, and they can show you exactly how your money is spent and what results it achieves. They also have direct communication channels with their beneficiaries and supporters, and they can provide feedback and stories that demonstrate their impact. Take a look at the examples shared by the Angel Giving social media accounts. There’s some incredible work going on.
- They are diverse and inclusive. Long tail charities represent a wide range of causes, cultures, perspectives and voices that enrich the charity sector and society as a whole. They often work with marginalised and vulnerable groups that are excluded or discriminated by the mainstream systems. They also empower local communities and individuals to take action and participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives.
- They are adaptable and resilient. Long tail charities are flexible and responsive to changing situations and needs. They can quickly adjust their strategies and activities to cope with challenges and opportunities. They also have strong networks and partnerships with other organisations and stakeholders that enable them to collaborate and leverage resources.
How can you donate to long tail charities?
One of the main challenges that long tail charities face is raising funds and awareness for their work. They often lack the resources and skills to reach out to potential donors and supporters. That’s why platforms like Angel Giving exist: to connect long tail charities with people who want to support them.
Angel Giving enables donors to donate to long tail charities and create long term financial stability through blockchain technologies and online donations. Blockchain is a system that records transactions in a secure, transparent and decentralised way3. It can be used to create smart contracts that enable peer-to-peer transactions without intermediaries or fees.
At Angel Giving, this greatly reduces costs for the charity and enables both direct giving for immediate use and endowments for long term sustainability.
Angel Giving’s technologies can benefit long tail charities in several ways:
- They can reduce transaction costs and increase efficiency. The transactions are fast, cheap and secure, which means that more money can reach the intended beneficiaries without delays or losses.
- The income on deposits comes from different yield options. Charities can choose how their yield is achieved to create income. Using traditional interest methods, or by providing liquidity to the cryptocurrency markets – an income option that doesn’t rely on interest payments from loans.
- They can enhance trust and accountability. Blockchain transactions are recorded in a public ledger that anyone can access and verify, which means that donors can see how their money is used and what impact it has.
- They can enable new forms of giving and engagement. Blockchain technologies can facilitate new ways of donating, such as micro-donations (small amounts of money given frequently), crypto-donations (donating digital currencies – Angel Giving allows both ‘fiat’ donations such as dollars, euros or GBP as well as a range of crypto currencies), and cheap to create endowments. Long tail charities usually have no ability to set up an endowment, such as those loved by the largest charities to the tune of billions of dollars. Now they do.
- They can redistribute wealth ‘passively’ across the world. Certain of the future fees taken by Angel Giving will be donated back into the endowments. So that the charities in the long tail can benefit from alongside the very largest charities in the most wealthy countries.
How to help? How to benefit?
Long tail charities are an important part of the charity sector and society. They work on issues that matter, they deliver results that last, they represent diversity and inclusion, they adapt to change and challenges. They deserve your attention and support.
You can donate to long tail charities through Angel Giving. By doing so, you can make a difference in the world while supporting causes that align with your interests and values.
You can register: If you are a long tail charity yourself, then why not register for an Angel Giving account today. It’s free to do so, there are no upfront or annual subscription charges!
Anderson C (2004) The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More [Online] Available at: https://www.wired.com/2004/10/tail
Farrer & Co (2018) Blockchain – what charities need to know [Online] Available at: https://www.farrer.co.uk/news-and-insights/blockchain–what-charities-need-to-know-about-distributed-ledger-technology