$5
October 27, 2013

what is it about $5?

in my recent crowd funding campaign i chose $5 as the first level of giving.

i almost always invest $5 (or the first giving level) in crowd funding campaigns my friends have started as well as other campaigns i feel excited about. my little bit of money– an additional funder to the overall number, a high five to the folks putting out their project, being a participant in something that matters to me or to one of my people, knowing that every bit helps them reach the goal– those are the reasons i  do it.

i had to practically beg one of my supporters to give at this level. i wanted to encourage $5 investors by showing that others had done it before them. but this supporter had a hard time not giving more. in fact, when i explained my reasons and she agreed to be the first $5 investor she gave it anonymously.

$5 is what i believe almost everyone i know on FB, etc. could kick in without it having very much, if any impact on them. it’s roughly the cost of a latte, a beer, a fro yo; you can’t even get a glass of wine for a fiver unless it’s happy hour! so i figured $5 is a great way for folks to offer me a thumbs up at no significant cost to them while still being able to participate, to show some support. was i ever wrong.

now i don’t give $5 to many causes outside of crowd funding, because it often generates a full blown email or snail mail campaign for more of my money that probably costs more than the 5 bucks i gave.  but this is a crowd funding– no matter what you invest, you click a few buttons to pay by credit card of Pay Pal and that’s it.

so what is it about $5?

i’ve asked a few people and this is what i’ve heard back so far; i’m embarrassed to give the lowest amount b/c
you know i can give more
people will think i’m cheap
what difference will such a small amount make
it’s too much trouble for only $5

i really hoped to have a slew of $5 investments so i could reach my goal without anyone having to put themselves out.

would you please add any other reasons why you or someone you know wouldn’t invest $5 assuming it’s not any financial burden whatsoever? i’d like to collect as many legitimate reasons as possible.

meanwhile, i’m left with the following musings: it appears that most people who think like this invest nothing rather $5. do folks think i included $5 as a way to shame them? how much do the above reasons have to do with giving as an exercise in support vs. self-imaging?

p.s: here’s the link to my campaign
http://igg.me/p/470449/x/3933463

giving what we need
June 10, 2013

my friend kim’s mother tells this story about her early days as a philanthropist going door to door in jewish neighborhoods to collect the contents of charity boxes for the local jewish Federation to use to help jewish communities at home and abroad. because she was going door to door, many in the neighborhood saw she was coming and had their donations ready. one particular neighborhood  included a home just before the outskirts with weeds growing in front, peeling paint,  and two cracked windows taped with newspaper. kim’s mother wasn’t even sure anyone lived there, so she turned around to leave. she hadn’t taken too many steps before she heard an old woman’s voice:
Young lady, young lady?
Yes, Mam, good afternoon, she replied.
Aren’t you the lady from the Federation?
Yes, Mam, I am.
Well then, come on in. I have something for you.
kim’s mom entered the woman’s home. she was frail and limping. it was clear from the state of things she was in need of assistance. she offered kim’s mother a cup of tea. they chatted for awhile, and then the woman gave her a handful of coins for the Federation. kim’s mom thanked her and added them to the others.
that afternoon, when she returned to the Federation office, she gave them the woman’s address so they could send a member of jewish child and family services to her to ensure she received the assistance she needed.
this is what kim’s mom says– we both got what we needed through the act of giving that day.

give: dictionary definitions
February 14, 2012

these definitions of give are courtesy of dictionary.com, and i think they’re worth considering in terms of the ways we think about and like to give:

to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation; bestow

to hand to someone.

to place in someone’s care.

to grant (permission, opportunity, etc.) to someone

to impart or communicate: to give advice

to yield somewhat

to collapse

offer, vouchsafe, impart, accord, furnish, provide, supply, donate, contribute, give, confer, grant, present

Give is the general word: to give someone a book, permission, etc.

Confer usually means to give an honor or a favor; it implies courteous and gracious giving: to confer a degree.

Grant is limited to the idea of acceding to a request; it may apply to the bestowal of privileges, or the fulfillment of an expressed wish: to grant a charter, a prayer, permission, etc

Present, a more formal word than give, usually implies a certain ceremony in the giving: to present a citation to a regiment.

welcome!
January 1, 2012

Please join me in exploring how mindful giving can bring life into balance.

I truly appreciate any ideas, insights, etc. that you want to share.

Starting with the new year, I will be posting about my own acts of giving and putting them in to one of  7 categories (based on Maimonides but without ranking them):

1. Helping someone so as to make it  unnecessary for them to become dependent on others.

2. When the donor and recipient are unknown to each other.

3. When the donor is aware of the recipient’s identity, but the recipient is unaware of the source.

4. When the recipient is aware of the donor’s identity, but the donor does not know the identity of the recipient.

5. When one gives directly without being asked.

6. When one gives directly upon being asked

7. When one gives less than s/he should, but does so cheerfully.