Give a little - From Rags to Reasonable

So, apparently ‘Giving Tuesday’ is a thing now… I’m not sure when that started, but I will say that somehow it loses a little bit of its authenticity when it comes right after Black Friday and Cyber Monday (which I had also never heard of until this year).

Nonetheless, there was some pretty spectacular giving going on. I love how many great causes people were posting about. It was an amazing burst of positivity on my newsfeed. But I think we can all agree the winner has to be Mr. Facebook himself who pledged 99% of his Facebook shares to charity. Billions of dollars.

That’s a whole lot of giving.

It’s pretty easy as an artist living on less to not think about ‘giving’ all that often. In fact, in the arts, we often are the ones people are ‘giving’ to. And so, too often, the conversations artists have about charity and donations are about how people aren’t giving us enough.

I think it’s easy to become a little selfish when you’re having trouble making ends meet. At least, it’s easy for me. It’s easy to forget exactly how lucky I am, and how many things I have.

And it’s really easy to assume that because I can’t give billions of dollars away… the few dollars that I could afford couldn’t possibly matter.

It’s time to stop waiting to start giving…

Ever since I started my budget I built in a category called ‘giving’.

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have put it in if left to my own devices, but it was included in the budget template and I felt too guilty about deleting it.

So I put 10 dollars a month in there, and over the years it slowly grew to a few hundred dollars.

But I never did anything with it, because there was always some kind of excuse.

There are so many worthy causes… I should really do some research on the best ones.
I really can’t afford to give away much, I should wait so my donation means more.

Or the really nerdy personal finance excuse… I wonder what would be the most tax efficient donation I could make….

But I didn’t do any of those things.

I didn’t do them because deep down I didn’t think it would really matter.

Spreading the ‘wealth’

But that’s pretty much bullshit.

I write all the time about how big numbers are made of small numbers, and that for those of us living on less there’s no point in sitting around complaining about how we wish we had more.

We don’t. So it’s time to start doing something with what we do have.

That’s what this month is all about. Not just Giving Tuesday… but Giving December!

Every day I’m going to find something to give at least 5 dollars to. I don’t care if it’s an official charity, or a really great busker. It’s time for me to start building a ‘giving’ habit no matter what the amount is.

My giving muscles are in need of a serious work out.

It’s not just selflessness… it’s investing!

The way I see it, building up a giving habit isn’t just about the rush of feeling like a good person. It’s about finding things that I really love in the world and putting some resources toward them.

It’s investing in the world around me. Investing in the things that I think make this world pretty amazing.

I’m already so excited to give money to organizations that work with MS, and mental health… but I’m also pumped to put some money into public radio, and some of the podcasts that have given me so much entertainment.

I’m going to need some help…

It’s all well and good to talk about finding 31 places to invest in.. and there are so many to choose from.. but it does get overwhelming.

I’d love to hear from you about the places you love to give money to, or the places that you wish would get more money. What causes, organizations, or people in your life are you excited to give to from time to time?

Help me get jacked charity-styles, and … if you feel like you want to join the fun, maybe find a few places to slip a few dollars to as well. It doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to overthink it, just practice giving to something, to someone.

I have a hunch it’s going to make for a pretty freaking fantastic month!