Giving Back

In August of this year I started thinking a lot more about philanthropy and giving back. I was raised with a strong emphasis on civic responsibility and volunteering and though I’ve been very lucky in this world but haven’t found a way to connect back philanthropically beyond sporadic donations to open source, freedom, or music organizations I’m passionate about. There are a million places you can give money to, but it’s tricky to identify where it’ll be best used and have the biggest impact.

Spurred on by a lunch I attended with Peter Diamandis talking about the prize-based philosophy behind the Xprize and goading from Tim Ferriss I’ve stepped things up in the latter part of this year, starting by matching Tim on First Giving (something I hope to continue though he’s ahead right now). If you’re thinking about dipping your toes in giving back, Donors Choose is a great place to start.

24 thoughts on “Giving Back

  1. I think that giving back is an important part of a fulfilling life. I recently started a group devoted to creating and spreading standardized electronic textbooks. I definitely recommend giving back in some way to the world if you are in a position too. If you would like to help create these textbooks you can visit onetreefoundation.org for more info. Also if you were looking to donate money we currently aren’t accepting financial donations. Thanks for the thought though. Also want to say that I love wordpress. It really is an internet equalizer. :)

  2. After reading this, I immediately set-up a Paypal Donate button. I look forward to your philanthropy, Matt, as my philosphy is — while I’m no X-Prize, I am a good cause.

  3. Thanks for promoting Donors Choose. You’d be surprised how many of us classroom teachers use WordPress for all things classroom blogging.

    My kids run this site, http://www.teachjeffspanish.com and we have a class site also powered by WordPress at http://www.class326.com.

    I also blog at http://www.crucialthought.com all powered by WordPress and all done by me, just a classroom teacher trying to impact some kids with a solid blogging platform.

    Thanks..

    Chris Craft

  4. The giving is not in the hand but in the heart.
    You already gave too much with WordPress.
    I’m sure that even your harder opponents agree that in this modern world WordPress is one of the greatest things one can have for free.

  5. This’ll help with your ego!

    By providing WordPress I think you should take credit for giving before actually receiving, this is by far a better way to conduct yourself philanthropically. Especially if you give your time and knowledge to help others.

    Give yourslef a healthy pat on your back.

    Now then about this idea I’ve got………;-)

  6. Giving back is very important and I firmly believe that rather than “giving at the office” through vehicles such as United Way, etc., everyone should get more personally engaged, so what you are doing is right on the mark.

    For those reading along who might want to give in terms of money a good site to be aware of is http://charitynavigator.org.

    Another interesting organization is http://kiva.org where you can participate in making micro-loans to people around the world trying to better themselves.

    I will also throw in a mention of http://FIGHT-PTSD.ORG which is an advocacy site that I recently founded, no money is soliciated at this site, I am just asking people to get involved and advocate on behalf of active duty military personnel and veterans who are PTSD casualties.

    Good karma will follow you, Matt.

  7. Earlier this week, I posted a note telling readers that instead of accepting ads in December, I would donate four spots to various charities and asked readers to make suggestions. Wasn’t sure the best way to make it work, but First Giving looks like a good way. Thanks for suggesting it.

  8. Donors Choose is a great site. Every dollar we donated to educate a child earns dividends in the future.

    Big Fella had a good point, go to Charity Navigator and find out about a charity before you donate. I suggest doing a little research on the charities in your community or the up and coming neighborhood in your city. (Neighborhoods in transition usually have some very impressive non-profits that reach out to the elderly and at risk kids.) You can learn a great deal about an agency by reading the volunteer comments on sites like Volutneer Match.

  9. Giving ones time to others is to me the greatest gift. Money can buy things but the actual compassion and caring one can give by being a great friend or donating time to helping others can turn the path for someone. Being strong for those who are not can give them the simple will to survive and overcome lifes obsticles.

  10. Giving back is required. …and, there are so many, many ways to give back. There are, of course, a proliferation of sites that one can explore and learn about and to contribute.

    However, there is the oft-used phrase – “think globally, act locally.” For example, volunteer your time and/or expertise to a local homeless shelter, boy’s or girl’s club, adult student organization; or, simply, hold the door open for someone coming up after you, say “Thank you” to someone who gives you something; and, “Please” when asking for something; and, “Excuse me” when you give “offense”.

    In my experience and upbringing … if the “common courtesies” are forgotten and/or ignored … that can be a beginning of forgetting and/or ignoring that we are “connected”, related and 1. responsible for ourselves; and, 2. we are “responsible” to/with others

    Money is not, just, the only way to”give back” — giving our ourselves in a variety of “simple,” daily acts of kindness is a very good start (and continual way of one’s life).

    Namaste ~

  11. P. S.

    Originally posted:

    Money is not, just, the only way to”give back” — giving our ourselves in a variety of “simple,” daily acts of kindness is a very good start (and continual way of one’s life).

    Edited post:

    Money is not the only way to “give back.” Giving of ourselves in a variety of “simple,” daily acts of kindness is a very good start (and continual way of one’s life).

    Better — thanks ~

    ~:-)

  12. Love this post man! Giving really helps me feel great about myself knowing that I can help someone feel better in general. It’s a great thing! Thank you.

  13. WordPress is one of the best thing that ever happen to the blogging world and it is of course one of your greatest contribution. And so I bow my head to you and thank you very much.

  14. Jessan,

    Precisely, although it never hurts to return the blessings if you’ve been doing well — even cash helps fund projects. I’ve always been an avid fan of philanthropy, small or large.

    Every little bit helps. The smallest task for some of us may make the world of difference in someone elses life. A warm embrace, a bowl of soup, a few dollars in spare change. It goes further than we tend to think.

  15. I’ve actually donated time in a soup kitchen for the homeless through a friend’s church. I have to say it’s been very rewarding but reading your post here makes me feel like I should do more.

    And that’s a good thing I think.

Comments are closed.