Kevin Kelly: Powering Virtuous Circles

In the latest edition of Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools ezine, some thoughts on giving:

There's no shortage of opportunities to support important causes. Lot of charities are local and community based. Some are more internationally- and future-oriented such as Amnesty International, EFF, Long Now Fondation, World Vision, the AFCLU, and Oxfam to name just a few. Everyone can add their favorite.
But let's say you were interested in a "tool" to leverage the least amount of money into the largest measurable effect over time. For that I'd like to recommend a type of giving that multiplies itself. Over the years, these are the criteria I've adopted for this challenge:

1) The help is aimed at the lowest, those with the least, where small makes a huge difference.

2) The gift expands itself, gaining amplitude with each cycle.

3) The range is global.

Think of it as enabling philanthropy: take a minimum of money and aim it at the precise point where it can do the maximum good, multiplied by many generations. Maximum good is measured simply: when you enable someone to enable someone else. That is a virtuous circle. I've found the follow three do-good organizations to meet these criteria. They fund the neediest in the world. They are highly-evolved programs that produce amazing results. And one tangential result is that when we give to these three, we feel optimistic.