Collective Potential is Greater than Opportunity Cost

A Low Interest Loan for the Puente Human Rights Campus 

Margi lives in Colorado, she discovered RG a year ago and attended the 2013 MMMC. Margi works as an environmental educator, and her focus on education access stems from an overarching desire to align her money with her values. 

childrensmarchAs a young person with access to wealth and class privilege I consider migrant justice one of the most direct areas where I can leverage my privileges to directly increase equity. Now is a particularly exciting time to be involved with migrant justice because it is at the forefront of advancing civil rights in the US. My interest was sparked last fall when my students in Colorado were applying to college and encountered barriers because they didn’t have papers, even though their families came to the US from Mexico before they can remember.  Like the 1.4 million other DREAMers who have attended school in the US their whole lives, my students are being systematically denied access to higher education because they aren’t citizens of the US. For example, my students were given misinformation about federal financial aid from college counselors and they weren’t able to fill out some college’s online applications without social security numbers. My students were aware of DACA[1] but didn’t know that last summer our state also passed instate tuition for undocumented childhood arrivals. I committed to financially supporting my students’ access to higher education by seeking out ways to understand and address our broken immigration system in a larger context. This year I have donated a total of $20,000 to support migrant justice at local, state, and national scales.


“Yes” to risk

springboard group

By Katherine Wolf

I joined Springboard Giving Circle (in part) because of a New Year’s resolution. Risk-taking in all the ways ­– political, social, interpersonal, creative – was going to determine my attitude towards new endeavors and potential opportunities in 2014. Since MMMC, the desire to become more involved with RG had also snowballed into what felt like an existential necessity, and so when I was approached to join the group I said yes. Yes to Springboard, yes to community, yes to finally taking concrete action to move resources out of my pretty piggy bank into the hands of powerful NYC grassroots organizing. And of course, yes to risk.


A Giving Circle’s Journey: The Black Benefactors

By Tracey Webb, Founder, The Black Benefactors and

The Black Benefactors 5th anniversary party in 2012

“If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.”African proverb

When I first learned about giving circles in 2002, I had no idea that at the time it was a growing philanthropic movement across the country.  My introduction came while I was a director of a nonprofit and a local women’s giving circle visited my program.  I became intrigued about how they worked and had many questions for them.  A couple of years later I transitioned to a career in grant making and soon after, I noticed that many of the black-led organizations in my portfolio experienced significant challenges – the same challenges I faced while running an organization that ultimately closed. As a grant maker I did as much as I could to help these organizations, but also knew that more needed to be done on a larger scale.  I began to research giving circles in my area to find any that supported black-led and founded nonprofits.   To my surprise, there was no mixed gender giving circle or fund in the DC region that benefited the African-American community.  This is what led me to launch The Black Benefactors (BB) seven years ago.


Immigrant philanthropy builds on new and old cultures of giving

My name is Anna Goren, and I am involved in an RG praxis group in Seattle, WA. I have always been interested in philanthropy —growing up in a practicing Jewish household, we were always encouraged to give by the principle of tzedakah. My community is very generous, and also very wealthy. I witnessed from a young age how philanthropy works both in the traditional sense and in the subtler, informal ways that communities care for themselves and others, that are not reflected on a plaque or pledge card. As a recipient of both of these types (and the privileges that come along with it) I wanted to write an article that tells the story of the less visible forms of giving, and the different type of power associated with it.

The following is a version of a post from The Seattle Globalist, posted March 31, 2014.

American philanthropy is no lemonade stand.

It is a 1.5 trillion dollar industry, using 10% of the national workforce, made up of 1.1 million organizations.

Even since the economic downturn, international giving was still at $19.1 billion in 2012.

Washington, with the Gates’s, Nordstroms, Paul Allen, and others so deeply entrenched in the private wealth of this region (along with our street signs and wall plaques), ranks highly on the national scale of giving, 15th out of 51 states, according to a 2012 study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.


Growing through a Giving Circle: Funding Queerly

Three years ago, I decided to go to Making Money Make Change, the annual conference put on by Resource Generation. I know that I will inherit wealth in the future, so I decided to go to the conference to start thinking about this privilege, about my family, and my own access to wealth. I wanted to figure out how to put my resources toward the social justice movement in ways that felt right to me.

I remember when I did my money survey at MMMC (Making Money Make Change). This survey goes over your net worth and includes questions on how much of your last year’s income that you gave away.  I remember the moment I realized that I had given away 0.05% of what I had earned that year.  I felt ashamed and alone.  I couldn’t believe I was sitting at that conference calling myself an activist and someone who believes in giving and social justice. (more…)