Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Daily Giving"--A Generous Idea Outside of Nonprofits

C. Coimbra photo
On July 9, 2014, Philanthropy Today published an opinion piece by Mark Rosenman, professor emeritus at Union Institute and University, that reviewed a recent Pew Research report Political Polarization in the American Public:  How Increasing Ideological Uniformity and Partisan Antipathy Affect Politics, Compromise and Everyday Life.
Rosenman's concern, "Whatever little remained of the 1980s’ 'compassionate conservatism' has evaporated in the heat of today’s Republican extremism. More than three quarters of American conservatives now think that the poor 'have it easy,' according to a two-part study released by the Pew Research Center last month.
"... Such politically motivated blindness should be the source of profound distress for the nation’s nonprofits, even if their missions deal with problems other than poverty. Blaming the victim does not bode well for any nonprofit effort.
"After all, most problems charities try to solve are the result of major shortcomings in the economy and in society’s institutions. Putting the onus on those who suffer is uncharitable but it also undermines public willingness to support government programs or to act philanthropically.
"There is evidence of such a phenomenon when well more than half of conservatives believe that someone is poor because of a 'lack of effort' on his or her part while fewer than 30 percent of them believe that poverty results from 'circumstances beyond [people’s] control.' "
While the Daily Prism is not a political format, it is a format for compassion, care, and generosity.  With the above review of a reduced giving to those in need, we are sharing here, The Pollination Project's Daily Giving program.

How to Create Your Own Daily Giving Practice
> First, ask yourself:  how much money do you feel comfortable giving away every day?
> Now add more to that number – just enough that you are a little uncomfortable.  (We usually tell people to just double the amount they are comfortable giving).   This is the amount you should commit to give every day.
> Create a ritual or prayer around the daily practice- make it intentional.
> See what it takes to put that money in your daily giving bank when you feel broke one day.  Notice what you do when you skip a few days.
> When you are ready to give the money away, make a commitment to connect authentically with whomever you give it to.  Don’t just make a donation online and wipe your hands clean of it.  Connect with a human being who is in need and give money to that person. Give it to a nonprofit or group that you love, and tell them WHY you picked them and why you are investing your generosity money in their work.  Go outside your comfort zone!

To help you with the practice, we’d like to offer you a daily giving bank to support your daily giving practice in 2014. The banks were made by the children of Earn and Learn in Ahmedabad, India (one of our grantees). The children have collected and decorated reused plastic water bottles and turned them into beautiful daily giving banks.

Just email us to order one and consider paying it forward if you are inspired (but this is not required). Our goal is to spread the daily practice of generosity and giving. Email us at: to order yours.

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