I’ve been on both sides of #GivingTuesday – as a fundraiser asking for donations, and as a donor, supporting a cause, a creative project, or just a friend.
I know how hard it is to ask and also how hard it is to give.
I’ve benefited from the outcomes of a successful fundraiser – such as a clean beach, a well-stocked library, a beautiful sculpture, a classmate’s mother saved, and countless others I’m not even aware of.
I’ve given when I couldn’t even afford to meet my own needs. I’ve given a little more when I could.
I’ve apologized that I could only give a few bucks, and I’ve been very grateful for others who donated a few bucks. Because now I realize just a few bucks has a lot of value – to the donor and to the cause. Most importantly, the show of support has value far beyond the bucks.
I know that creative projects can’t happen without support. But I also know that people will demand, pressure, and berate you for asking for support, then accept and enjoy your work as if they are doing you a great service.
I’ve had people harass me for asking for donations to support my ocean conservation projects… hate mail, nasty YouTube commenters, and armchair crazies on the Internet with nothing better to do. But I’ve also had strangers write me a check without even knowing the full breadth of my work and simply ask that I keep trying.
I’ve seen strangers give $100 when I’m doing a $1/person campaign, and I’ve had close family and friends ignore my request to show support with only $1 and instead support their other priorities by spending that buck on k-cups, cigarettes, and the cafe. It never feels great to be second in line to a k-cup.
I never used to donate. Then I launched a fundraiser. Now I give often. Sometimes it is only a little. Sometimes it is more. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is the community of people who ask and give needs to keep growing because it is only through that community that things can happen.
Sometime we give a little money and get a slice of pizza or give a lot of money and get a new car. But those who can see that money should flow beyond the constraints of the commercial economy will find the opportunity to invest in a better world for themselves and for you.
Sometimes we don’t want to give because we see charities where CEOs are making insanely huge salaries. Maybe even more than 90k. But don’t let that stop you from taking a closer look. Because if you do, you’ll see that most charities pay their employees modest salaries and demand a lot of work.
Some of my favorite places to give are
kickstarter.com To help bring creative projects to life.
giveforward.com Give and receive support when it counts.
indiegogo.com The world’s largest crowdfunding platform.
experiment.com Help fund the next wave of scientific research.
Many people benefit from the generosity of charities, and artists, environmental groups, or entrepreneurs – without even thinking of how the work was financed. That online video, that clean beach, the educational materials their child brought home, the new research in health – it is all sustained by givers and enjoyed by everyone.
On Giving Tuesday – please write to every person who has ever asked you for a donation for a cause and thank them for their hard work.
Thank them for withstanding the rejection and still pushing forward so they can provide the gift for which they are fundraising. We need more things that have no sticker price. What’ s more, we need a community of people who recognize that our world won’t be great without people who give and people who ask.
P.S. Interesting fact: American’s spent 3 billion on Cyber Monday this year. That is up 12% from last year!
Another note – We have made it to the Carib! More video’s coming soon, but be patient as we need to get Ben’s computer fixed first. In the meantime, check out our Patreon Channel for the latest videos.
Also – Join us for an expedition! Find out more here.