Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Philanthropy, Finally

So yesterday marks the first day of blogging I've missed since I started this little site 3 months ago. Apologies all around, but I've got an aching back that kept me out of the ring.

To finally clear up the mystery surrounding the NYWF event last week: Abby Disney (that's the Minnie heiress), philanthropist extraordinaire, got up on the dais at last Thursday's event and as part of her acceptance speech issues this challenge: she asked everyone at the event to pick up an envelope and donate a little more money to the NYWF. Pretty standard, right? Except that she offered as our inducement to do so, the carrot that she would match every dollar we donated that morning, to the dollar, up to $1 million.

A cheer spread across the room. But that wasn't all--Abby had more for us. We were next instructed to pick up a card on our table that had the rest of the rules of this game printed on it. Part 2 of the challenge grant goes like this: We were all instructed to make a second contribution to any organization of our choice within the next 90 days. This donation should a) be a stretch (i.e., it should be more than you were used to giving) and be made instead of something else you wanted (say bye bye to that new pair of shoes), and b) should be given to an organization that reflects your deepest passion about social justice and social change.

Now once we've done these things, we are supposed to email the folks at the NYWF and let them know how much we've donated, where, and how it fulfills the criteria listed above. All on our honor. And if all of these elements are executed correctly, Abby Disney told us, she will again match those gifts to these other orgs, up to $1 million.

This time there was a hush. What? So not only the NYWF gets all this money, but so do all these other orgs we care about?? No way. But it's true--and utterly amazing.

So for the rest of this whole week, Abby Disney gets my vote for philanthropist of the decade. Every single person at my table picked up her checkbook and wrote another check. What a wonderfully innovative way to inspire people to give... and to really build a movement across organizations. This is truly what we need more of in America.


lizwallace said...

F'in yeah, Liz! It was pretty amazing, huh? So, which other org are you donating to, then? And what are you giving up?

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