Albert Einstein said 'The most powerful force in the Universe is compound interest'. To that I say 'the most powerful force in philanthropy is compound interests.' The ability to bring people together based on a common interest and to make an impact is, in my opinion, the most important skill for a philanthropy to develop and hone. Superficially this flies in the face of the idea of the one man non profit. If real ultimate power comes from compounding the interests across as wide an area as possible then how effective can a hyper local one man non profit be?
The short answer is not very. HOWEVER it is my opinion that the large nationwide organizations should pay attention to this micro trend and formulate a strategy to attract and support these entrepreneurial philanthropists to further large scale medical and epidemiological research.
Nationwide organizations can leverage their fund raising vendors (Convio, E-Tapestry)for a system to enable one-off events. Beyond the fund raising appropriations there are legal concerns as well. Branding, trademarks, and a host of other technical concerns may stymie entrepreneurial philanthropists from engaging large organizations, and so they create their own.
As much as we would like to dismiss this trend it is building in momentum and volume. The next iteration of philanthropy will be to empower volunteers and donors to create something that they could intrinsically call their own. The association or agency that can make that process as user friendly for the constituent will continue to grow in importance and ability to move mission.