Could you be giving better? Reimagining international giving

“And on the 24th day of Christmas….” we end our Advent calendar campaign. 8 organisations, 24 days, 24 posts. We hope you have found the information interesting. If not, we do hope you will take the time to drop us a few words of feedback. If you missed out on any you can find a summary of the 8 here.

Why we did this?

While it is not our intention to become another crowdfunding site, we do plan one day, to be able to guide everyone who is interested to give better. We chose to share this information we had, not only for our own self-promotion, but because we actually believe in these charities.  They believed in us and we wanted you, whoever you are in the world to believe in them. They are not perfect, but they are willing to try; to be open; to ask for help; to share who they are, their successes and their failures; to share their knowledge to your questions. Our meagre exposure in the world was all we had to offer them, and we champion them willingly.

There is a wealth of information about some amazing non-profits which could be used to catalyse support around them quickly. Information that, refined, could help you make better decisions on who to support. Support that is not only financial, but also technical and moral. But it is unfortunately guarded.  Counterintuitively, often by the very entities that have an ambitious social development mission themselves.

How is it possible to have both the desire to change the world on one hand, but keep information about who could change it from the rest of world, on the other?

Re-imagining international giving

We need to redefine how we engage with international development so that we champion quality over quantity. Where we don’t get gimmicked by constant poverty porn. Where we don’t ignore the voices of who our efforts are meant to be supporting. Where support is consistent for those who perform well. And that there is “fair market representation” for those who fight to improve their communities and our world.

In the same way that a hand is more powerful than a single finger, so should the way we approach change – whether you call it “international development”, “social impact”, “aid”, “charity”…etc. To come together as a unified force to create an impact continues long after individual actors leave and for much longer than our individual existence. In the world of philanthropy and giving today there are some good people doing great things, but they only address one part of a broken system. Many will say they already collaborate. But while “collaboration” exists, it is with a guarded eye of convenience (for those in, and with, power) rather than the fully committed, vulnerable exposure of partnership.

The international aid system needs a little shake up from the cozy status quo of “easy money”. It needs to be held to account by the very people who receive any form of support. And everyone of us needs to be able to hear and listen to that voice, so we too can hold the system to account.  As Federico wrote in yesterday’s post, “with the power of giving comes great responsibility to understand and engage”.

What does it mean for you?

There is a change in the air. You don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to even donate any more money than you do now.

All you have to do before you launch another grant call, before you select the biggest “brand” NGO to be your event charity partner, before you drop a few pennies in a charity box at the shop, before you text that number while you’re on the tube,…

 

…is ask yourself…

 

“How could i be giving better?”

 

Chris

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