rss search

one dollar and mrs. green’s world

line

This is a story about community-based philanthropy, and what happens when lots of little streams come together to make a larger river.  I’ll tell this story in two parts. The first was written on February 27th, 2014, two days before the end of my friend Gina’s Kickstarter campaign, when I sent this email below to thirty friends in three continents:

Greetings, dear friends around the world,

A warm hello from the little desert town of Borrego Springs in Southern California.

TWO DAYS AGO, between breakfast and a 10 am meeting with one of my favorite astrologers, I found myself moved to write this facebook update:

“Calling all big-hearted friends, pocket change philanthropists, and grassrootsy social investors! If you have ONE extra dollar in your car, wallet, pocket, or bank account, would you consider using it to back my friend Gina Murphy’s Kickstarter campaign in the next three days? Here is why I’m feeling inspired to ask this morning:

After attending an Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream symposium in 2008, Gina, who is a former corporate executive, experienced a big wake up call and started Mrs Green’s World Radio Network to promote environmental literacy and awareness. Since then, this fiery 63 year old dynamo has been been producing weekly podcasts about all kinds of topics from the impact of fracking to food politics. As of this morning, she’s $292 away from meeting her $25,000 Kickstarter goal to fund her next series of podcasts, with still four days to go. I am pretty confident she’s going to reach her goal today or tomorrow, BUT I am also hoping she could also receive the $5,000 bonus donation that was promised to her by a private foundation if her campaign gets backed by a total of 500 people. And that would be a bit of a stretch, because she would need another 146 generous souls (besides the 354 fans who already contributed) to come forward by Friday.  One dollar is really all they would need to give (more is obviously welcome!), and I’m guessing there are at least 146 people amongst my friends and their friends with a bit of change to spare to support what she’s up to, so I am just putting this out there to see what happens! Let me know if you decide to play!”

Mrs Green's KickstarterWITHIN THE NEXT THREE HOURS

A whole bunch of friends messaged me to let me know they had just contributed all kinds of amounts (like $1, $2, $5, $10, and one of them, $100). The Kickstarter reached its $25,000 goal a couple of hours later. My friend Joanna who interviewed me for her Future Primitives radio show last July sent me an email that made my day. It said:

“I want to tell you how much Joy it gave me to click the button on kickstarter for Mrs Green’s campaign. I waited for the number to be $24,931 and then I put in my donations and gasped at the thrill of seeing the numbers change to $25,001 making it the drop of water that made the waterfall possible. I love been a delicious drop of elixir in this growing awareness that we are together, linked in love and compassion for self and other self. Giving and receiving, breathing in, breathing out…
In gratitude,
Joanna”

YESTERDAY

More messages came into my inbox. The Kickstarter reached $26,600, and the numbers of backers increased to 440 (from 350 on TUESDAY), just 60 backers away from 500 donors, and the $5,000 bonus grant, with 68 hours to go.

AND NOW, the campaign has been backed by 476 backers, which means that there are only 24 more backers needed for Gina’s radio show to get to 500 supporters, and that $5000 bonus grant. There are still 45 hours to go, so it’s looking pretty good! I’m feeling moved to send this email to you and 30 other of my friends around the world to ask if you happen to have one dollar in your possession that’s aching to make a difference, and be part of supporting Mrs Green’s Radio podcast to get that $5,000 bonus grant!

IF YOU WANT TO PLAY, please go to my facebook page, and click on the link on the one before last post. Or you can skip facebook and contribute directly to Gina’s Kickstarter Campaign! No pressure at all. This is only if you feel enlivened by the possibility of being one of the little streams that joins in this bigger river.

Just to be transparent, I have personally contributed $25 to this Kickstarter campaign.

And I want to add that the visionaries and change makers I support with my time and resources are those who are following their inner compass, and grounding their outer work in body meditation or tuning in / somatic practices that keep them aligned with life force and what makes them come alive. Gina Murphy is part of a women’s tuning in circle I have been hosting every week since last November. 

With a hug,

Tesa

And now, here is part two of the story. What happened after I sent this letter above? Facebook messages from different friends came in saying one version or another of “I am in!” One of them came from my friend Jane in Bali. Another came from my friend Jildaz in France. Then one of my favorite messages came from my friend Cansu in Turkey, via email. It said: “I am #499 of the backers for our friend’s project. I just pledged $25 from Istanbul :) I hope she gets 500. One more to go ;)”

At that point, I was sitting in my hotel room in Borrego Springs with my partner, Soren, impatiently refreshing the browser ever few minutes, and waiting for the 500th backer to show up… any second! But nothing happened for over an hour. It was getting close to midnight. I contemplated the possibility of calling someone I knew and begging them to contribute a dollar to that campaign so I could go to sleep. But that felt like cheating! So, I waited. Eventually, I refreshed the browser, and lo and behold, we had reached 500. A few minutes later, I got this email from my friend Allison in Larkspur, California. It said: “I am honored to be the 500th contributor.” Then a few minutes later, she sent another email titled 503. It said: “Looks like there were a number of us contributing at the same moment. I clicked on when it was at 499 and was so surprised and happy that it had progressed like that! So I thought I was #500… I was just so happy to participate.”

The cherry on the cake came the next day, when I got a facebook message from my friend Eve in Santa Barbara. All it said was: #526!

The campaign ended on Saturday March 1st, with 527 backers, and nearly $30,000. And here is the last thing I want to say about all that. I hesitated for a long time before I posted that first facebook message to invite people to play. It will sound silly with the hindsight, but I was afraid to put a call out and face the possibility that no one might respond. And then I reflected on all the times in my life that I did not bring something forward because of some fear or another. So I decided to go ahead and take the risk. And I’m so happy I did.

Are you interested in out-of-the-box philanthropic adventures? Sign up for updates and I’ll send you more inspiring stories + invitations to play a couple of times a month.