There’s always lots to read and write about global poverty, “Third World problems” and the massive efforts taking place by international aid organisations, but sometimes it’s good to hear about local action taking place – you could call it “Micro-Generosity” (similar to micro finance) – not ‘micro’ as in a small amount of generosity, but in terms of generosity taking place on a smaller scale, by individuals or small organisations or groups.
These days there are some great tools around that allow people to raise money for just about any cause. Everyday Hero is a great Aussie website that does just this – build your own fundraising page to raise money for over 1200 charities. It’s very popular with over 20,000 ‘heroes’ in action today! Another big one is Causes where “anyone can change the world” as they say. And it’s true – they’ve raised over $40 million for 27,000 non-profits!
With these great tools available you can get quite creative with how you raise money. A good example of some creative ‘micro generosity’ is my good friend Donna who recently surfed a wave at all 17 beaches on the Northen Beaches to raise money for a cause close to her heart. Check out more on her Everyday Hero page where you can still donate. Great work Dons!
I also recently came across this interesting perspective on the topic of ‘micro generosity’, or “microcharity” as he calls it:
‘Be a Microcharity, What I like to do is direct donation into what I call “micro-causes”. Specifically, pick up the local paper and see who needs help RIGHT NOW where a small amount of money can immediately make a significant difference in someone’s life.
In other words, be directly, personally involved with your cause. Then you know how the dollars are being used, you know face to face who is being helped, you feel good, you solve an immediate problem, you save a life. You go from being an average guy to a superhero.
Check out the full article on www.jamesaltucher.com. While I don’t fully agree with everything he’s got to say in this article, James does raise some good points and I think he is definitely onto something good – if we were all ‘microcharities’ then the world would definitely be a nicer place to live and there’d be much more equality going on.
I reckon it’s often easier to be generous for things that we are far removed from… just throw a bit of money to the poor in that Third World Country and you feel like you’ve done your bit. Definitely nothing wrong with this… In fact I’d fully encourage this… But when it comes to real commitment, real sacrifice, perhaps being truly generous – I think it’s the things that require you to get your hands dirty, and not only be generous with your wallet but also with your time, your energy, your relationships… These are the real costly things… This is where real generosity of heart is displayed… Where real love is given.
So yes, keep giving to your favourite big charity to help those in desperate need in the Third world, but at the same time don’t neglect those in need around you. Keep your eyes open to the needs of your friends, family and your local community and be your own ‘microcharity, and get busy with some ‘micro generosity’!