February Roundup: Giving Matters

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February, my favorite short month flew by, and we’ve already completed a whole month of the #Give10 Reboot.To be completely honest, February didn’t feel short or easy. A lot of things happening around the world have made my heart feel sad. Some days it’s easiest to bury my head in the sand–or more realistically–in my case–search for plane tickets to escape to a tropical island far far away with no internet or CNN reception

Giving has been one small thing to make me feel empowered, and the positive response to #give10 is a great reminder that I’m not alone. Thanks to everyone who has offered suggestion for organizations that are committed to fighting the good fight against injustices of all forms. Thanks to those of you who’ve joined me in protesting inequality with your wallets, and thanks to each of you who’ve offered dialogue and conversation in both support and disagreement in an effort to cross bridges and come to places of mutual understanding.

Here’s a list of the organizations we’ve supported this month. Which ones do you support? Which ones are we missing? Be sure to follow us @Give10 on Facebook and let us know which organizations you’d like to see us support and why.

  1. Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization Portland – IRCO
  2. World Relief Refugee Resettlement
  3. International Rescue Committee
  4. Committee to Protect Journalists
  5. Polaris Project
  6. Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services
  7. Church World Service
  8. Immigration Counseling Service
  9. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops- USCCB
  10. US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
  11. EuroRelief
  12. Catholic Relief Services
  13. Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDCUS)
  14. Giving Cards Challenge
  15. Episcopal Migration Ministries
  16. HIAS
  17. ACLU
  18. PBS
  19. Oregon Symphony
  20. Portland Art Museum
  21. National Parks Conservation Association
  22. Alzheimer’s Association
  23. Raphael House of Portland
  24. Artists for Humanity Boston
  25. Boston Center for Refugee Health & Human Rights
  26. Maternity Africa
  27. Embark Passion Sri Lanka
  28. Trail SL

Onward into March giving!

Week #8: Playing for Change

Yesterday we covered the mushy topic of living love. While I’m not typically a mushy person in particular, I’m do get super excited about people who are living intentionally in order to help others.

When I started my #give10 search for people and projects who were changing the world, I accidentally surrounded myself by a whole lot of this kind of people. And you know what, they are contagious.

Today I want you to meet my friend Cecil, she’s one of these crazy infectious people who knows how to dream.

Cecil’s dreaming started decades ago as a young girl in a small village in the Philippines called Lamba. Though she doesn’t look old enough for the story she tells, Cecil remembers when her village school got their first and only piece of playground equipment decades ago- a rough cement slide. Today that same slide, worn slippery from bottoms of playing children, is still the centerpiece of the school yard.

Cecil has always dreamed about her school having swings and a proper playground so she’s finally taken the matter into her own hands to make that a reality for the school’s 600 current students. 

As part of our 52 weeks of #Give10 part 2, we asked Cecil about the Lamba Central School Playground Challenge and what she believes about the power of small givers.

1. What project accomplished are you most proud of this year?

I’m very proud we started this playground project and that the teachers in the school share my excitement. Little by little we are making this happen and we’ve been able to finish part of the playground by our goal in December!

2. What are you most excited about in the year to come. 

I am excited to see the rest of the facility get set-up this year. Even though we haven’t raised the funds to build the whole playground at one time, we are committed to build it piece by piece.

3. Last year #give10 supported the playground with $10. How do small donors make a difference in achieving your mission?
A small donation is big enough because it shows that there is someone out there who believes in our project, cares about our village school, and shares our dream of providing a better world for our children.

4. What is one thing you wish you could tell to the people who give to your cause?
I would tell people to follow their heart and give, because nothing is impossible when you give with love – it multiplies to others and spread the blessings. When they give, they open up an opportunity to one child – and this school has 600!

5. What do you think stops people from giving to a charity?
People who don’t give might not have heard of the cause or have other things they are passionate about. But I believe, every person likes to give and feels good when they do. It is just a matter of time and chance.

6. What do you think motivates the people who do donate to give again?
If people see that their donation made a difference, then they keep giving. If they know that other people’s lives got better, then they give again. Knowing that their donation is valued and used accordingly is very important.

7. Doing world changing work isn’t free. Can you explain the model that your project uses to cover its operating costs?
The funds raised are covering the actual construction of the playground facilities. The rest of the work has been happily undertaken by the school committee to be a “bayanihan” which means they will be working for free as a part of their donation for this project.

8. What do you think is the role of the individual who can only make a small donation?
Every person makes up a hundred and a thousand and a million. So one person plays a very important role. He/she completes the whole of the dream and final effort. No help or support on this project is small – every effort counts.

9. What project (other than your own) would you would want other donors to support?
The Ardee Smile Kidz, a small (and the only one) advocacy project in my city, that provides free therapy to children with cerebral palsy and educates parents on how to properly handle them so they grow loved and cared for.

10. How can people learn about and contribute to the Lamba Central School Project?

Twitter: @cblaguardia

Facebook: LambaCentralSchoolPlaygroundChallenge 

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“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson 

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?

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

 

week #2: mothers, marbles & fighting MS

When I remembered it was mother’s day, it wasn’t hard for me to pick which project I wanted to feature this week for #give10 x 10. Today we’re going to meet Connor and hear about his dream for his mom and how he became a world changer at age five.

You briefly met Marbles4MS when we first gave 10$ in July, and again in December when more than 1,000 of you voted on who should get an extra special donation on our 300th day of giving.

The thing I love about this story is that Marbles4MS isn’t a big organization’s fundraising campaign.  It is a five year old’s idea for change put into action. You see, Connor’s mom has MS and he wants to do what he can to help.

“Our project is raising money and awareness to cure our Mom and MS forever.  We try to inspire people to help us and we think it works.  Little kids can make a big difference, ” is how he described it.

Connor makes paintings using marbles rolled with paint in cigar boxes and sells them with proceeds going to the National MS Society so the “scientist guys can fix Mommy and everyone with Multiple Sclerosis”.  In its first year, Connor and his 9-yr old brother Jackson raised $45,000 to help find a cure.

We asked Connor to #give10 answers about his project. (no non-profit marketing spin here, just straight from the heart of a now six year old).

1. Last year #give10 gave $310 to Marbles for MS ($10 + $300 for our 300th day prize). What has this done?

The $310 donation was sent to the National MS Society.  They spend their money on scientists to find a cure and on helping people and families that live with MS.

2. What are you most excited about in the year to come. 

In the next year, we’re really excited to share our story with new people because just hearing it sometimes makes them feel better, and to see where our new adventures take us!

3. What do you think is the role of the individual who can only make a small donation?

For our charity, their role is everything.  When we sell a $2 bookmark, that sale is just as important to us as any donation.  That person helped and that’s what matters.

4. How can a small 10$ donation make a difference in achieving your mission?

In that $10 donation, there could be the dollar that finds the cure.

5. What is one thing you wish that the people who give to your cause knew or understood better?

We wish people knew how hard MS is to live with and that it’s their support that gives us the strength to keep going.

6. What do you think stops people from giving to a charity?

Maybe people can’t really connect with the cause, or maybe they think it would take more money than they have to make a difference.  But it could be their dollar that finds a cure.

7. What do you think motivates the people who do donate to give again?

When a charity tries new ideas to raise money, maybe the same people will be newly inspired to give again.

8. What did your project accomplish that you are you most proud of this year?

We are most proud of 2 things:  being invited to the National MS Conference in Dallas. We met so many people who are trying to cure this disease and made a lot of new friends.  The other thing we are really proud of is making a painting for the CEO of Valero Corporation in San Antonio.  We (Connor) told him it was going to cost $10,000 and he wrote a check to the MS Society.

9. What are three projects (other than your own) you would want other donors to learn about and support?

  • Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation because she’s like us, making a dollar at a time.
  • Small animal rescue groups since so many animals need help.
  • And we’d like people to know about Make-A-Wish Foundation.  It must be so hard to be sick when you’re a kid, so it’s important to make a dream come true for them.

10. What is one question people usually ask you about your project, and how do you answer it?

Most people ask us when we’ll be done with our project. We tell them we won’t stop until there’s a cure.

 

You can find Marbles for MS online and buy your own original artwork from Connor here: www.marbles4ms.org

Facebook: Marbles 4 MS

Twitter: @Marbles4MS

Youtube: Marbles4MS

I have to say, that the only thing more amazing than giving 10$ to change is giving 10$ to a 5 year old world changer. Watch out MS, the future is committed to finding a cure.

Happy Mother’s Day to Connor’s mom and the rest of you out there!

 

 

 

It’s here: #give10, Year 2.

Ever since we finished up year one of #give10, I’ve been master planning what to do in the way of giving for the next 365 days. Thanks to all of you who’ve been  patiently waiting and asking. An even more gigantic thanks to those of you who’ve been keeping #give10 going with your own joy and generosity while we’ve been quiet.

So, what have I really been doing since March 1? Well, after a whole year of giving every day and staying up way too late at night scouring the globe for people changing the world, I needed a really long nap.  After that I did a little #give10 year in review to define what made giving away money everyday so awesome this past year. I tried to narrow it to a top three- but it was so amazing, I couldn’t pick fewer than four reasons it rocked my universe:

Most amazing things about #give10 year one:

1. Daily discovering all the new projects, causes, people and organizations making a difference blew me away!

2. Old and new friends caught onto the giving spirit in big and small ways. I was especially amazed by generous strangers.

3. Hearing actual stories of change and connecting with the causes we’d invested in.

4. Practical lessons I learned about the do-gooding world from being a daily donor. (And I thought I knew it all from working in non-profits for so long)

I decided these four things should make up the foundation for the journey we took for #give10’s second year, so I put these lessons into my magic hat and had a long think about what would make an amazing giving year sequel.

First, the Goal

Every good plan must have a goal. Last year’s #give10 goal was to prove to myself that even after 15 years of working in the humanitarian world, do-gooding is still worth it and giving can bring change. Goal accomplished.  This year, the goal is less about me. I’m going to keep going because I want to prove three things to you and to the disbelieving universe:

1. There are amazing people changing the world- and anyone can become one of them.

2. Causes, projects, and charities can be good and accountable.

3. Changes can happen.

So, here’s the giving plan

In simple, we’re going to keep giving to more new projects and give more to the projects we already love.

One time a week we’ll give 10$ to a new project just like we did everyday last year. Since we love discovering and sharing new causes, we really want to keep doing this even though we’re switching the rest of things up a bit.

The new part of the #give10 project will focus on learning more about the most awesome projects we discovered last year. We’ll be picking the top 52 causes that have already put last year’s $10 to good use and explore them a little more. We’ll focus on one of these projects per week, make a little bit bigger investment in their work, and take some time to learn about their stories and what makes them so great. It’s a #give10 x 10 of sorts: 1 cause x 100$ a week x 52 weeks.

And all those practical lessons I learned last year about the wonderful world of giving and non-profit accountability and social media for good? Watch this space.

This is awesome. What can I do?

When I talk about #give10, I always say we, because I truly believe it’s all of us that need to each do what we can to make a difference. If you want to be an active part of the amazing year to come, here’s a few practical ways you can help:

1. Pass it on: share the #give10 story and come back often to see what we’ve got to say (or sign up so you don’t miss anything)

2. Join the others who’ve caught the giving fever and try your own #give10 (or some version of it) for a day, a week, a year.

3. Share the projects you love. Write it in the comments, on twitter or facebook. We’re looking for at least 52 more great ones or nominate your favorites causes we’ve already given to be part of the #give10x10.

Let the giving begin!

February #give10 roundup ::

With all the excitement of marking the one year anniversary of #give10, we forgot to post the round up of all the world changing causes we gave 10$ to in February.

February was a flurry. Having only 29 days left on the giving calendar made it challenging to decide which causes would make the cut for year one. I was also on the road in the South Pacific for most of these days, making it even more exciting to mix up the final year choices with giving off the grid.

When I started this project many people asked how I would possibly find 366 projects to give to. Truth is, there’s more than enough projects out there to pick from. I’ve got a long list I haven’t given to yet to roll over into year two. And after we posted Molly’s story, a few more of you amazing people signed up to try out #give10 for yourselves. Every day there are new people digging up new causes in their own neighborhoods and around that globe that I hadn’t even thought about! (Be sure you’re following #give10 in your choice of social networks and cheer on our new do-gooders).

For now, here’s the February list. We’re almost done with our #take10 anniversary break and we’ll be sharing the #give10 year 2 plan very soon. Don’t miss it.

  1. Mama Hope 
  2. Childrens Hospital of Alabama
  3. ToGetHer there, Girl Scouts
  4. Iris the Dragon 
  5. Tirzah International 
  6. RISC Cambodia 
  7. Keep Your Neighbor Warm Fuel Assistance 
  8. Bike out hunger 
  9. CURE Childhood Cancer 
  10. Diaper Love 
  11. Project I see you 
  12. Purposeful Youth Azerbaijan
  13. AdvocAid 
  14. Big City Mountaineers 
  15. Virgin Atlantic Change for Children 
  16. CRS– Catholic Relief Services
  17. Magpas (to sponsor a kid sleeping in his hammock for a year in honor of his sister)
  18. Open Education Vanuatu 
  19. Barrels of Hope 
  20. Got Passport 
  21. Small World Cambodia
  22. We Women 
  23. Kid’s Peace 
  24. One Girl 
  25. Sole Hope 
  26.  CBM (I had to give through their US site, but learned about them through their work in Australia)
  27. ADRA for their projects in the Solomon Islands
  28.  Children’s Miracle Network (for IHOP’s National Pancake Day in the US)
  29.  Urban Light 

Who’d we miss?  We might be done with the daily giving for right now, but there’s going to be lots more giving in the future. If we haven’t supported your favorite cause yet, we want to know about them!

January #give10 roundup ::

sure, January was a long time ago. I’m behind on the updating you with my round up of where we gave for month 11.  My excuse is that I’ve been busy planning some pretty amazing things for when we finish out final month of our one year of giving away 10$ away every day.  And that day is coming oh, so soon! The most important thing is that even when we’re too busy to write, we’re never too busy to give.

Stay tuned. Big things are on their way in the world of #give10. In the meantime, check out the 31 causes we supported in January:

Did we miss your favorite cause? Let us know what it is.