"The Giving Alliance"
There are many reasons most of us are not motivated to go through the steps of figuring out what we need and what is surplus, even if we think it is a good idea. It's hard to get excited about doing something that sounds tedious and a lot of work, especially if there are no apparent repercussions for not doing it. To address this, the Impact Project came up with the following fantasy, which excites us because it is based on building a strong foundation of mutual support and aims to have a significant impact.
What if those of us interested in going through the practical and emotional process of defining our financial surplus formed a network? Let's give our network of visionaries a name...say... "the Giving Alliance." Alliance members would support each other-through phone calls, discussion groups, computer network conversations, or whatever works for us-to figure out our financial needs and goals and not get lost along the way. Those drawn to this cutting edge wouldn't feel alone; new friendships could blossom through the exchange of ideas, resources, solutions to dilemmas.
What if a conference brought many of us all together-50 or 100 or more people from across the U.S., Canada, Great Britain? While Alliance members of course would be free to make their own decisions about their self-defined surplus, perhaps some members with common interests would get excited to pool a portion of their surplus. It would amplify the power of their giving: where one member might have $100,000 to give away, a "pool" of 15 members might have several million, and a pool of 100 might together have 100 million. They could be nourished and energized by giving in community with others.
Some pools might choose to give solely through existing progressive foundations. Some might want to invite non-wealthy friends and activists to help give away the money. Others might experiment with mutual-aid funds to increase the financial security of hard-working world-changers or offer venture capital to high social impact businesses.
Maybe even 50 or 100 members could establish a set of common goals and manage a large-scale experiment. For instance, 5% of the large pool could go to an emergency aid fund for members of the pool as a kind of alternative insurance; an equal number of non-wealthy activists could also be sponsored as aid fund beneficiaries; 50% could be given away to existing progressive foundations; and so on...
An alliance like this would engage the vision, creativity, and boldness of its members and provide an inspirational challenge to the wider world to reexamine the uses of wealth. .
© 1990-2005, More Than Money, All rights reserved