1991 was a good year for us. With our new abundance we
started looking for a large lot and finally found 2.5
acres of desert trees, shrubs and cactus. We finished
building our dream house in early 1995 and named it 'Possibility"
to remind us each day to live in that spirit. Even as
we designed the house, we had a particular use in mind--something
we now call 'Possibility Sundays."
First, we sent invitations
to about 300 people we knew from all different aspects
of our life--politics, church, Mike's legal work, the
neighborhood. We invited them to join us in building a
new fund that would not only give money to great projects,
but would help build caring community among "givers"
and "receivers" (although in our minds, all
involved both give and receive). We called it the Arizona
Social Change Fund, and to minimize administration arranged
it as a donor-advised account within the Arizona Community
The response was tremendous.
The fund has now given away $20,000 over the past 12 months,
and our goal is to build it up to giving $40,000-50,000/year.
Everyone who contributes is invited to help direct the
money; although contributors are encouraged to give $1,000/year,
among our most dedicated participants are those who give
far less. At our last grantmaking
meeting, 36 of the contributors met for three hours and
decided by consensus on grants to three organizations.
Our average grant size is $5,000. Many of our friends
never before had the opportunity to be this closely in
touch with these nonprofits, and everyone has learned
so much by listening to each other and discerning the
overall group's wisdom.
On the months that have five
Sundays (which happen four or five times a year) the fund
sponsors a Fifth Sunday Possibility Celebration at our
home. People arrive around 10:30, enjoy a catered brunch, and then at noon the real festivities start:
a welcome, a prayer, and a half-hour celebration of the
nonprofits we are funding. The grant is awarded, and we
invite contributions for future grants to other similar
organizations in the community.
So far about 100 people have
attended each Possibility Sunday, including at least 10
participants from each nonprofit showcased. The celebrations
always feel to us like "church after church,"
because they give the gathered participants a taste of
the grace in committed social change work. In the process
of sharing their deepest goals, people offer a real opening
into their hearts. This has become one of the most meaningful
projects of our life.
- anonymous author
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