Giving is Hard

I’m a few days behind on my post about “giving” this week. Instead of making excuses for how busy I’ve been, I’ve decided to go with the truth: Giving is Hard.

Yep. Hard.

Really? How hard can it be to give money away? Isn’t this blog supposed to be talking about how awesome giving is and how it is making the world better and all that?

It’s about week 60 now of my giving-palooza, and as excited as I still get about giving in my own nerdy way, I have lots of reasons why somedays I just want to quit. Here’s three:

  1. I can’t control what happens to my money and sometimes it just hard to find out how it has made an impact. (*note, I said hard, not impossible). Just a few weeks ago I promised you some answers about the difference our favorite projects from last year had made. Turns out, it’s a little bit more challenging than I thought to get answers. But we’re sticking with it and beating down doors and twitter feeds until we get some. Stay tuned. In the meantime check out last week’s interview with an amazing 6 year old behind Marbles4MS if you haven’t yet. Stories like these keep me going on my days of doubt.
  2. It takes a lot of effort to make sure the project I’m giving to is good at its mission for world changing, not just good at marketing their cause. You can’t judge a project’s success by an organization’s tally of twitter followers. I do my best to find projects that invest for impact, but sometimes I learn later that a project I loved isn’t all I thought it was. Yes, there are a few projects I wouldn’t give to again (but more on that later). When this makes me want to throw up my hands in defeat, I have to remind myself that one bad brand shouldn’t damper my drive to do good.
  3. Believe it or not, even when you’ve found a great cause you want to rally the world towards, some organizations make the process of giving incredibly difficult. While making giving easy should be a no-brainer for do-gooders dependent on donations,if often isn’t. So many cause-related websites lack links to enable online giving. It’s 2012. If you are a project that wants money, please, I beg you, make sure your donate button exists, is easy to find, and works. The world has paypal there are no excuses.

Maybe giving isn’t as hard as it feels somedays. But the only thing I can think of that could be worse than bad Giving days is Giving Up.

And since I don’t like to quit, giving up really isn’t an option. So stick with us.  One bad giving day down and 49 more weeks of Giving awesomeness to go.

 I’m sticking it out this week even though it isn’t going my way. What are you sticking out?


“Don’t give up before the miracle happens.” – Fannie Flag


4 responses to “Giving is Hard”

  1. Thank you for such an honest post. I admit I have been reading your progress for a few months now as I really enjoy the concept. I give to several charities on a monthly basis but realise I pay not attention at all as to where that money ends up, or the end result. I’m inspired to basically pull back from all the current charity contributions then be more mindful of who I give too (rather then falling for the sales pitch given to me on a street corner) and then ask for feedback on how my money is contributing. Thank you for doing something so darn fantastic!!

  2. Leigh says:

    I’m not giving up on Phnom Penh, fiery mistress that she is!

  3. Sheri says:

    I now give away money as a profession and can tell you from experience – giving money is hard! There are lots of difficult decisions and unpleasant conversations. I often wonder what is the best investment of our dollars. I wonderr if the “pitch” is honest. Then I am sitting at coffee with some girlfriends and someone says, “we tell them [this] to get the money, but if we get it we will do [that].” What?! Why? Just be honest in what you want to do, perhaps you will get the money anyway? Thank you for the platform to say – when asking for money, please just be honest in what you need and how it will be spent. Honesty is the BEST policy.

  4. Kerrey says:

    Hi Stephanie. I am praying good thoughts for those who look like they need it. I dont have The resources i used to have, but giving my banana to a homeless person sleeping on the corner reminds me we can all do something everyday. love you. K

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