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aya’s rivers


Photo by Filiz Telek (c)

Aya’s Rivers is a small flow fund through which friends can entrust me with money or other types of resources (like poems or places to stay) to flow forward to some of the inspiring visionaries, innovators, and change-makers I encounter during my travels around the world.  It is an experiment in community-supported, heart-connected, and bureaucracy-free philanthropy.  Since 2008, I have given away over $65,000 to people and projects in seven countries.

Background story

I started this flow fund in 2008 when visionary philanthropist Marion Weber invited all members and organizers of the Tipping Point Network to serve as flow funders for three years (2008-2010).  During each of these years, she gifted each of us $20,000 to give away to people and projects that inspired us.  More than $2 million dollars were distributed by the whole network as a result. We then gathered each September at the Green Gulch Zen Center in California to report back on the people and projects we each funded.  We also shared what we learned, and in particular what inspired, surprised and challenged us.  These gatherings were amongst the most heart-opening events I have attended in my life.  We all learned a lot about the transformative power of generosity and “capillary philanthropy.

Version 2.0: A community-supported experiment

When my 3-year assignment as a flow funder ended in 2011, I began thinking about how to evolve Aya’s Rivers from its initial form as a flow fund sourced by one philanthropist upstream to a fund sourced by more rivers, including smaller streams.  I wanted to invite my friends to participate in my philanthropic explorations by supporting me to fund or otherwise support people and projects who are doing transformative inner and outer work around the world.