Moving Money in a Crisis

After the tragedy in Orlando, the New York City RG chapter hosted a conversation about moving money in response to crises. Here are some choice quotes from our discussion:

How to understand Orlando:

“We can’t forget that [Orlando] is one moment in a larger crisis of homophobia, Islamophobia, et cetera. Just like Sandy was one moment in a larger crisis of poverty, broken infrastructure, systemic racism, et cetera.”

“Focusing on gun control distracts from the real issues. This was an example of violence, not just by an individual, but by the state — the homophobic and transphobic laws that have been passed across the U.S., the fact that the shooter worked for G4S, a security firm contracted by the State Department and Israel, for example.”

“Orlando is connected to daily violence of queer, trans, and gender nonconforming people of color. People are in crisis around you right now. We fight to live — the state is killing us every day.”

“Powerful people and organizations are using this [post-Orlando] moment to push a political agenda. We might as well promote our agenda, too! We should organize in these moments, too.”

How to approach giving in moments of crisis:

“The real answer … Continue reading »

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Solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives

Things are not getting worse. They are becoming more transparent as they get uncovered. We must hold each other tight and continue to pull back this veil. – Adrienne Maree Brown

Last week’s murders have left us reeling. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. Delrawn Small Dempsey. We condemn these murders of Black people as we condemned the murders of Michael Brown, Tanisha Anderson,  Eric Garner, Sandra Bland; the hundreds more who have died at the hands of the state whose names we’ve heard in the news  and the thousands more whose names never entered our national conversation.

The murder of Black people is not new. The US has yet to reconcile its history of Black exploitation and oppression with the promises of the U.S. Constitution. What’s new is the hyper-visibility of these murders to those of us who have been more shielded from the violence until now. It is more important than ever that we do not look away, but rather go toward the source and uproot it.

We also condemn the murder of the five police officers in Dallas. Modern policing in the US was born out of slave patrols and policing as we know it is not going to … Continue reading »

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Door-Knocking for Reparations–as a Rich Kid

Door-Knocking for Reparations--as a Rich Kid

by Dominque Tan and Rachel Gelman, Bay Area RG Chapter leaders

If a group of poor and indigenous people knocked on your door, would you receive them? If they asked whether you would donate your resources to community reparations, would you?

This spring, POOR Magazine challenged both the Bay Area Resource Generation Chapter and the broader wealthy community to step up by participating in their Stolen Land and Hoarded Resources Tour. POOR Magazine is a poor and indigenous people-led grassroots non-profit arts organization, and coordinated the Tour to ask people with class and race privilege to participate in the process of decolonization and community reparations.

When we got the ask from POOR Magazine to speak about RG and our commitment to the process of community reparations, so many questions and feelings surged within us: excitement to take action and solidarity, love for this organization and its work, fear for coming out so publicly for the first time, and caution about saying the right things that aligned with who we are as people and as an organizational ally.

Regardless of the mixed feelings, we were determined to respond to and fulfill a call to action by our poor and indigenous community … Continue reading »

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How to Give Boldly from Earned Income: A Guide for Techies and Others Who Don’t Come From Wealthy Backgrounds

How to Give Boldly from Earned Income: A Guide for Techies and Others Who Don't Come From Wealthy Backgrounds

By Ellie Poley (member Chicago chapter; former member Seattle chapter)


When my wife and I decided to create a bold, radical giving plan, we had to chart our own course because our money comes from monthly paychecks and annual bonuses, not from an existing fund or wealthy family members. I am sharing my approach to giving and financial planning to inspire people who want and are able to give from their income. While there are many ways to take action as a member of Resource Generation, I am focusing here on giving and redistributing one’s own money since I find it easiest for busy people to get started. Young people who work in tech are perfect candidates: we are busy with the work that pays our large salaries, but we tend not to have as many major financial commitments as older techies.

My Money Story

In Resource Generation, we often introduce ourselves by sharing our “money story”, a personal narrative of our class background and experiences with money. This is always tough for me to turn into an elevator pitch, because my class experiences are varied and complex. Unlike many RG members, my money story does not start with … Continue reading »

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Setting Money Free! (with a low-stakes Giving Party)

Setting Money Free! (with a low-stakes Giving Party)

by Rachel Adler, RG Member

Every few months, I’ll make up a batch of my famous caramel corn and invite the Philly chapter of Resource Generation to my house for an hour or so on a weekday evening.  A few of them will show up, and we’ll sit on the couch and catch up for a while.  Then we’ll pull out our computers and our wallets, and for a while the only sound will be the typing of our credit card numbers and the cha-ching of our credit card balances rising.

I know what you’re thinking.  But no, we’re not shopping for our matching RG Philly chapter bejeweled and money-spangled jumpsuits.  Actually, this is a casual low-stakes giving party, and we’re clicking send on donations or loans.  We’re moving money in ways that are small, low-stakes, meaningful, casual, and to be honest, pretty fun.

I started moving money every month, usually about $300, pretty soon after I joined Resource Generation.  In contrast to annual giving, monthly giving allows me to be flexible and responsive with decisions about where to move money.

Here’s the process I usually use: over the course of the month, I keep a short running list of … Continue reading »

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Reflecting on New Ways to Connect

Reflecting on New Ways to Connect

Thanks to Veris Wealth Partners for allowing us to cross-post this article from their site.

by Lori Choi, Partner & Wealth Manager at Veris Wealth

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Transforming Family Philanthropy Retreat with an inspiring group of young people, all seeking to align their family giving and investing with social justice values.

Organized by Resource Generation (RG), the retreat was a thoughtful combination of racial and economic justice education, skill-building workshops around social justice, impact investing, and managing family dynamics. Veris was happy to sponsor this conference, and we were thrilled that several Veris clients attended as well.

This was my fourth time attending an RG retreat, and each past conference has influenced my views and understanding of social justice in some way. This time I found myself moved to apply the social justice philanthropy principles1 to the world of impact investing in new ways. In particular, the principles that resonated most deeply with me were focusing on the root causes of problems rather than the symptoms (e.g. through advocacy, organizing, and engagement), and involving those most impacted by the problem into the decision-making process.

Throughout the weekend, I kept asking myself – … Continue reading »

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No Guarantees

No Guarantees

by RG Retreat Organizer, Jes Kelley

I was born in rural Georgia in the deep South. The story always starts there, other pieces get a little hazier. We moved around a lot, throughout small towns in the Southeastern US. I switched schools many time before I was 10. My mom had a trick of giving me candy to bring in on the first day so that the new kids would like me. She was full of good tricks, as parents who are scraping by have to be. Beneath these clever mom tricks were deep life lessons; that we have to have some sweetness for one another in order to get by and always share what you have.

As we all do, I learned many lessons about race and class as a little one. For me, watching my mom struggle to make ends meet and decide which bills would go unpaid, I realized that it’s not just about how hard you work or how smart you are. You can work yourself to the bone and be clever as a fox but that’s no guarantee for economic stability. As we moved, my family sometimes lived in multiracial, majority people of color neighborhoods … Continue reading »

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Part of the web: Tracy and Cara on the RG Mentor Program

Part of the web: Tracy and Cara on the RG  Mentor Program

Cara from a Skype window

by Cara Romanik, RG member

Tracy is always in the same place when we talk:  her study in West Cornwall, Connecticut, at her desktop computer. There is a cherry-colored wall behind her, a bulletin board covered with mementos and pictures to her left. To the right is a bookshelf, and to the right of that, a window that must be north or east facing because of the quality of light it casts. Tracy has long, straight hair and wiry glasses, and when we connect, she usually laughs immediately at what I assume to be the pleasure and surprise of seeing me, all the way across the country, on a video screen, in real time.

Tracy Hewat, one of RG’s founding members, and I were paired up in RG’s alumni mentorship program last year. We met about once a month for an hour and a half, to discuss anything and everything having to do with money, class privilege, giving, change work, our lives. When I applied, I was 33, I had been involved in Resource Generation for seven years, and I was facing big questions: what leadership did I want to go after in the organization? … Continue reading »

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In Formation to End White Supremacy

In Formation to End White Supremacy


by Nicole Lewis

By now you’ve probably read a blog or two or three reacting to Beyoncé’s latest video, Formation. We haven’t seen this much Beyoncé-mania since she dropped her last self-titled  album without notice.

No matter if you love it or hate it – if you think Beyoncé is a feminist or anti-feminist – Formation has gotten us talking openly about race, resistance, political activism, and the Black Lives Matter movement. No doubt, we need celebrities supporting the Black Lives Matter movement creatively. We need to see our real lives reflected in the art around us. Art gives us another, and sometimes lighter, way into difficult, complex, or heavy topics. Unfortunately, systems don’t change because of one well-styled video or the subsequent chatter it generates. What we need now is sustained commitment to the work.

More Black “Bill Gates” Won’t End Racism 

Here at RG we’ve been thinking about the intersection of racism and class privilege for a long time. (In fact, I even wrote a book about it called Between a Silver Spoon and the Struggle).  We’ve found music is a major source of messaging about how people of color can overcome their circumstances and “make … Continue reading »

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Why I’m Going to Transforming Family Philanthropy 2016

Why I’m Going to Transforming Family Philanthropy 2016

by Monica

[Editor’s note: Register today for the 2016 Transforming Family Philanthropy Retreat: March 31 -April 3rd in Chester, CT.]

I joined Resource Generation in 2015, the year I became more involved with my family’s foundation. I have to admit, I joined halfheartedly because it seemed like the responsible thing to do. As my family’s foundation began to evolve, my role shifted from voting member over a fraction allotted to the “Grandchildren’s Fund,” into active, voting board member of our multigenerational family foundation. With my opinion and values being granted a new sort of legitimacy, I began to understand just how much power I had to effect real change for many organizations working to better the world.

As my dealings with my family’s resources grew, so did my influence — and yet, my financial knowledge remained the same: woefully ignorant. My first direct experience with Resource Generation was through the Transforming Family Philanthropy Retreat in 2015; a sizeable gathering of many young people like me, across the U.S. who are interested in learning to be responsible and active members of their families’ foundations. Until then I didn’t fully understand the purpose of RG or the resources that it can truly … Continue reading »

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