My giving journey and why I joined a Giving Project

Each month, I give about 3.5% of the money I pay myself. This is mostly automated monthly gifts + some extra for the inevitable.

Over the years this has inched up, where I used to give about 2-2.5%, as I’m making more money I have increased that – especially since my time-to-give is way less than it used to be.

This year I’ve also started experimenting with giving bigger chunks now that I’m in my house and I fixed the electricity and heat, eg my enormously expensive experience of 2021 is OVER and I feel more stable [ironically, while working for myself and all!]

One goal I have with my giving is to put money into community at least as much as I put it into supporting my mom. My family is primarily chosen and I want to honor that, in this way. This year inflation kicked my mom’s ass though, so I helped her a bit more — and in looking for a way to create the bio/chosen financial support balance I was reminded about a local giving project.

These are community-driven, cross-class, cross-race groups who fundraise together and decide who to move money to, together. There are giving projects across the US and beyond. You could get in one, too!

The one I am in, at Chinook Fund, is grounded in Colorado, in the histories and the ways that racialized capitalism and colonialism played out here specifically, and is supporting local groups who are pushing back and showing up where Coloradans need it, prioritizing funding rural groups and groups lead by BIPOC and locally Indigenous people. Heck YES y’all!

I wanted to understand activism and social justice organizing in this part of the country more and meet some folks. And, as a facilitator and radical money expert I was also SO curious about how others would run a project like this, and it also was conveniently a way for me to make a major-to-me gift all at once. BOOM.

As a participant, I’m giving $2,000. Definitely that is the most money I’ve ever given financially at once to one organization. It appeals to me that this Project will move bits of this money to places it will be useful, that I trust where it’s going will be super useful but not overly-managed, and that I spared myself a process of determining where/who/how much to a bunch of groups. 

What’s ALSO cool is that I am fundraising, and my goal is to match the $2k I am personally donating – if you want to fund radical community lead orgs in Colorado, I’d LOVE if you chipped in. PLUS: the next 120 gifts my Giving Project cohort gets will be matched at $100 – WHAT??!! So even if you gave $10, the fund would get $110. You can chip in here: 

I am thrilled to end the year giving about 5% of my income. It feels exciting to have money to give and to balance community and family gifts and my own sense of scarcity/abundance by continuing to give more as my income is allowing it.

What about you — what are you giving, and why?