What does it take to give big? What we’ve seen at Bolder Giving over the course of hundreds of donors’ stories is a mix of elements that combine to help people get ready to give big. Some of the factors that may contribute to your decision to give big: a life-changing experience that inspires a change in your giving; confidence that you have enough; a personal connection to a cause, community or identity; inspiring role models of other givers; ongoing support for your giving; and finally and critically – an invitation to give big.
I’ve recently been part of one amazing invitation to give big – Activism’s Future, a groundbreaking campaign from the North Star Fund in New York City that is the largest in their almost 40-year history. I must admit to my bias for the North Star Fund: I have been a member of their board for the last 7 years, and consistently impressed by the funding they have provided to the most courageous community organizers in New York. These organizers have won everything from a ban on women being shackled while giving birth in the criminal justice system, to the first Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in the country, to over $2 million in back wages for food workers in New York City.
As Hugh Hogan, North Star’s Executive Director says, “We are asking each individual who cares deeply about social justice in New York City to make an extraordinary gift for North Star Fund's Activism's Future Campaign. Donors to the campaign have given as much as 5 or 10 times their largest previous gift.” This has included bold givers like Abigail Disney and Elspeth Gilmore, who have been giving big to a range of issues and were inspired by Activism’s Future to step up their giving in support of community organizing in NYC.
As we enter into the holiday season and you begin thinking of your own year-end gifts, what might move you to give big? If you are looking for advice about year-end giving, watch the recording of our final Bold Conversation of the year with Bold Givers Tracy Gary and Kathy LeMay who offered a range of great suggestions and strategies to give boldly at year end from their experiences as donors and donor advisors. And if you’re thinking about giving big but wondering where to do it, keep an eye out for a campaign like Activism’s Future. If what you’re lacking is an invitation, then let me make one myself – won’t you consider stepping up and making a bigger gift to the cause or community you most care about?