So as I'm getting ready for end-of-year giving on the fundraising side, I was thinking of ways to ramp up my own personal philanthropy, which is where the Giving 15 challenge came to be.
The actual challenge is Giving 15/15/15/, which is giving $15 in '15 to 15 organizations, beginning on #GivingTuesday, through the end of year. And #GivingTuesday is December 1, which means spreading out $225 of giving over the 31 days of the last month of the year.
This is a little over $7.25 per day, or just about $15 every 2 days.
I don't have much disposable income, but I know I can budget at least that much.
So, the first step is identifying the 15 organizations you'd like to support. Here are mine, a collection of organizations I'm professionally affiliated with to ones I just personally love, in no particular order.
1) DC Alliance of Youth Advocates [I work here]
The DC Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA) is a coalition of youth-engaged organizations, youth and concerned residents formed to ensure that all children and youth in the District of Columbia have access to high-quality and affordable developmental opportunities. We accomplish this mission by crafting policy recommendations, providing structured advocacy opportunities for our members and allies, networking and empowering youth.Donate to DCAYA here.
2) Story District [I'm on the board]
Story District's mission is to turn good stories into great performances, to be a platform for diverse perspectives, and to serve as a pipeline and training ground for new voices and talent in storytelling. Named the "gold standard" in storytelling by the Washington Post and nominated for the 2012 DC Mayor's Arts Awards for Innovation in the Arts, Story District reaches an audience of more than 10,000 annually through the production of more than 25 performances, ongoing adult education classes, and custom trainings and performances for businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies. We value storytelling as a space for people to listen and be heard, connect with others, embrace different perspectives, examine their own lives, and explore what it means to be human.Donate to Story District here.
3) dog & pony dc [I'm working on a project with them]
dog & pony dc is an ensemble of artists who devise innovative performances that incorporate new ways for audiences to experience theatre.Donate to dog & pony dc here.
4) Capital Fringe
Capital Fringe’s mission is to present the work of innovative performing artists; energize and expand audiences through dynamic accessible programming; serve DC-area artists by providing career-building opportunities; and create sustaining year-round outlets for experimental performance in the Nations Capital.Donate to Capital Fringe here.
5) Whitman-Walker Health
Whitman-Walker Health's mission is to be the highest quality, culturally competent community health center serving greater Washington’s diverse urban community, including individuals who face barriers to accessing care, and with a special expertise in LGBT and HIV care.Donate to Whitma-Walker Health here.
6) Atlas Performing Arts Center
The Atlas Performing Arts Center is home for adventurous audiences, artists and ideas — presenting contemporary music, film, dance, theatre and performing arts unlike anywhere in the city. An artistic anchor in Washington, DC’s historic H Street NE corridor, the Atlas is committed to its neighborhood and the arts community.Donate to the Atlas Performing Arts Centere here.
7) Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Woolly's mission is to ignite an explosive engagement between theatre artists and the community by developing, producing, and promoting new plays that explore the edges of theatrical style and human experience, and by implementing new ways to use the artistry of theatre to serve the people of Greater Washington, DC.Donate to Woolly Mammoth here.
8) Dance Place
Founded in 1980, Dance Place builds a community of artists, audiences, and students through high quality performances, commissions, training and educational programs. We are committed to enriching the field of dance locally, nationally and internationally. Our thriving arts campus serves as an anchor in the development of our Brookland/Edgewood neighborhood in Washington, DC.Donate to Dance Place here.
9) Synetic Theater
Synetic redefines theatre by blending innovative techniques and movement, investing in artists’ growth, and creating unforgettable visceral experiences for every audience.Donate to Synetic Theater here.
10) Casa Ruby
Casa Ruby's mission is to create success life stories among Transgender, Gender Queer and Gender Non-conforming Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual people. Casa Ruby's vision is to create a world where Transgender, Gender Queer, and Gender Non-conforming people pursue their dreams and achieve success in their lives without fear of discrimination, harassment, or violence due to their sexual orientation and or Gender Identity/Gender Expression.Donate to Casa Ruby here.
11) Catalogue for Philanthropy
The Catalogue for Philanthropy is Greater Washington’s trusted guide to local giving. Our mission is to create strong and vibrant communities by connecting caring citizens with worthy community causes.
Donate to the Catalogue here.
DanceSafe is a 501(c)(3) public health organization promoting health and safety within the nightlife and electronic music community. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998 by Emanuel Sferios, DanceSafe quickly grew into a national organization with chapters in cities across North America.Donate to DanceSafe here.
13) Fractured Atlas
Fractured Atlas empowers artists, arts organizations, and other cultural sector stakeholders by eliminating practical barriers to artistic expression, so as to foster a more agile and resilient cultural ecosystem.Donate to Fractured Atlas here.
14) Burning Man
Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome. The mission of the Burning Man organization is to facilitate and extend the culture that has issued from the Burning Man event into the larger world.Donate to Burning Man here.
15) Foundation Center
Foundation Center's mission is to strengthen the social sector by advancing knowledge about philanthropy in the U.S. and around the world.Donate to Foundation Center here.
So that's it. And even if you might not be able to give $15 to all 15 organizations, how much do you think you CAN give? $10? Maybe just $5? Maybe all you can do is spread the word among your own networks, throughout December.
Whatever you do, just do something. And I would encourage you to start by looking at 15 organizations that are a part of your own life, that you believe in and support.
In case you didn't know:
- 30% of all giving occurs in December.
- 12% of all giving happens in the last three days of the year.
Just some fun nuggets of info from this blog post at Network for Good.
And that's why I wanted to try and do something a bit special this year, not just to support the organizations I love, but to encourage my friends and family to support them to. Because you never know if that one email, tweet, or Facebook post might be the one that encourages someone to support an org that might have already been thinking of it, or might not have even know about it but fits with their own values perfectly.
Some might ask, why not just support one organization with the entire $225. Personally, the first reason that comes to mind is because my life is too multi-faceted to be able to pick one singular thing that is THAT much more important than the others. Another reason is I'd like to believe that spreading it out AND spreading the word will have more of a multiplier effect among my own community and network, because different friends of mine will have affinities for different organizations.
So will you join me? Which 15 organizations will you support in '15 with $15 each? Let me know in the comments.