I’ve been cooking up a new project idea. Please read the whole piece for the background on “New Giving” and the genesis of the idea, but here is the core concept and request for collaboration…
Adventures in New Giving: Exploring the Frontiers of the Altruistic Economy
What is it?
- A 10-city, 90-day tour to the hotbeds of New Giving in the US (and maybe Canada) this summer.
- Collecting stories (interviews and case studies in text, pictures and video) from New Givers and New Giving grantees, as well as Big Givers, non-profit leaders, and social entrepreneurs with insights to share.
- Hosting micro-summits of the local New Giving community at each stop to help weave the local networks, while connecting them to the national narrative.
- All gathered on a new web site that I hope will become a resource hub for current and potential New Givers, their supporters and project fundraisers.
I can’t do it alone. I need lots of collaborators to help me find and tell those stories.
I also can’t pay for this project alone. If I can sublet my apartment (and find a long-term cat sitter), I still need to cover some basic bills to stay focused on the project, pay for the travel (while couch surfing to save money), and buy some equipment.
I think the whole thing would come to $10,000. I hope it will be worth much more to the growing New Giving community.
In true New Giving form, I am considering running a Kickstarter campaign to gather the funds. For those who haven’t seen it, Kickstarter helps people fund creative projects in small increments coming from friends, family and friendly strangers.
I’m writing this post to find out if people think this Kickstarter campaign and project idea will fly. Is $10k reasonable? Would you kick in a contribution and share it with your network? Do you have ideas to improve the concept?
Let me know what you think: below in the comments, via email (james.nathaniel [at] gmail [dot] com) or on Twitter @nj140.
I’ve even set up an announcement email list. I won’t hit send emails more than once a week. If you want updates, sign up here.
Thanks for considering this and thanks in advance for the feedback.
I have met amazing people and had a number of inspiring and challenging insights shared with me. I believe there is a new movement coming together: philanthropy is now cool.
Take my home base of Seattle, for example. There are at least six young philanthropy projects, including Awesome Foundation, Sprout, the local Philanthro Chapter, Agency (aka Party with a Purpose), Service Girls, and Social Justice Fund NW’s Giving Projects. And I’m still learning about more efforts here and around the world all the time.
And I’ve been looking for a name – what to call this movement? Last November, Awesome Foundation founder Tim Hwang wrote a blog post where he defined it as “New Giving,” something apart from Big Giving (think traditional foundations).
For Tim, New Giving is marked by small-scale funding that permits “organic growth… for a critical level of expertise and experience to congeal.”
I believe New Giving has at least 3 strains:
- Grassroots, community-driven philanthropy that relies on collective action, rather than individual wealth, to take action.
- The changing role of technology in giving and the webby culture of sharing it engenders.
I also believe New Giving builds social capital through the sharing of financial capital. It is a new form of civic engagement in an era of deep skepticism of governments and the political process. People are supporting solutions directly with their cash and their time.
Why is this happening now, especially given our ongoing economic uncertainty? What does this young movement need to flourish? What can I do to catalyze the next wave of growth?
I want to find out. I want to help tell the story of New Giving and build a more robust community of New Givers who can support each other and make it easier for more people to join in.
As I said above, please let me know what you think about Adventures in New Giving: below in the comments, via email (james.nathaniel [at] gmail [dot] com) or on Twitter @nj140, and/or by signing up for the updates list here.