'New donors fund projects directly'

Charities are becoming "increasing irrelevant" to a growing breed of donors, delegates at next month's International Fundraising Congress will be warned.

American fundraising consultant Kay Sprinkel Grace will tell the congress that a new breed of "donor-investors" are funding projects through websites such as Kiva.org and Globalgiving, making giving to charity unnecessary.

She will argue that charities need to reinvent themselves as "dream brokers" to the "citizen philanthropists" if they are not be sidelined.

"Twenty-first century philanthropists feel as though they can be participants in the vision of a better future for the world," she will say. "And that dream is driving them to take action with or without us."

Sprinkel Grace's arguments are published on the website of the Resource Alliance, which is staging the congress.

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