Things I Know 312 of 365: I’m Kickstart(er)ing the holidays

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.

– Lao Tzu

One of the best gifts for those who have everything is to give to those who have nothing in their name.

I’m a proud member of Team Shift Happens, I’ve gifted a pig, and I’ve let donors choose. Each gift has led to some wonderful holiday conversations around the purpose and work of these tremendous philanthropic organizations.

This year, I’m welcoming a new property into my charitable portfolio – Kickstarter.

For the uninitiated:

Kickstarter is the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. Every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.

A new form of commerce and patronage. This is not about investment or lending. Project creators keep 100% ownership and control over their work. Instead, they offer products and experiences that are unique to each project.

All or nothing funding. On Kickstarter, a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands. Why? It protects everyone involved. Creators aren’t expected to develop their project without necessary funds, and it allows anyone to test concepts without risk.

Each and every project is the independent creation of someone like you. Projects are big and small, serious and whimsical, traditional and experimental. They’re inspiring, entertaining and unbelievably diverse.

Though Kickstarter doesn’t currently support gift backing, I’ll be pledging in my recipients’ names. My thinking here is this – The recipient of the gift will receive whatever rewards are connected with the project I choose, and the project will be receive much-needed funding toward following their passion.

As a teacher and fan of passion following, this appeals to my sense of doing good in the world.

Kiva, Heifer, and DonorsChoose are still on the list this year. I’m just opting to diversify the giving portfolio.


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