Moving Money in a Crisis

After the tragedy in Orlando, the New York City RG chapter hosted a conversation about moving money in response to crises. Here are some choice quotes from our discussion:

How to understand Orlando:

“We can’t forget that [Orlando] is one … Continue reading »

Growing through a Giving Circle: Funding Queerly

Three years ago, I decided to go to Making Money Make Change, the annual conference put on by Resource Generation. I know that I will inherit wealth in the future, so I decided to go to the conference to start thinking about this privilege, about my family, and my own access to wealth. I wanted to figure out how to put my resources toward the social justice movement in ways that felt right to me.

I remember when I did my money survey at MMMC (Making Money Make Change). This survey goes over your net worth and includes questions on how much of your last year’s income that you gave away.  I remember the moment I realized that I had given away 0.05% of what I had earned that year.  I felt ashamed and alone.  I couldn’t believe I was sitting at that conference calling myself an activist and someone who believes in giving and social justice. (more…)

Getting to know Giving Circles in RG

Have you ever wondered about giving circles? What are they? How do they work? How do you start one?

Are you in a giving circle and wondering how others are doing it?

In these interviews, RG folks share their experiences with and reflections about participating in giving circles. We have interviewed young people with wealth who have started giving circles, non-wealthy folks who have participated in them, and staff of organizations directly supported by giving circles. Learn what worked, what didn’t work, and why. Members answer several popular questions like: “How did you get started,” and “If you had to do it all over again, would you?” (more…)

Revive: Diary of a Giving Circle, Part 2

There were six of us. Katherine Orr, Julia Read, Michelle Rider, Ellie Weiner, Nickerson Hill and myself. We’d formed a group with the expressed purpose of pooling a large amount of money to give away. But why were we doing this? Why was group giving so important to us? Isn’t giving money supposed to be this thing rich people do in private by writing a check and mailing it off to an organization, then quietly feeling good about themselves and never speaking about it to anyone, tucking the experience in their back pocket like a trump card to pull out in the event they need to deflect the judgment of others for being a rich person?

It turns out we all felt the giving experience didn’t need to be like that. Speaking with Julia Read about why she got involved with the giving circle project, she mentioned, “It seemed like a really good opportunity for me to begin my giving and to do it in a group that would be able to support each other and hold each other accountable. I felt like it would help me follow through on something I wanted to be doing, and something I was scared to do.” Julia continued to say it was important to become, “personally a little more comfortable with being a young person with wealth, and thinking about what that means and how I want to use the resources I have.” (more…)

Revive: Diary of a Giving Circle, Part I

It’s early wintertime outside. A collection of soaked boots crowd the tiny vestibule. The cat is buried underneath a small hill of coats on the bed. The apartment smells like cayenne and tomatoes, warm broth and buttery onions. Barely eaten containers of hummus, salsa, guacamole and other dips crust slightly at the edges amongst the more substantial buffet items folks brought over. One person speaks at a time. Otherwise, the room is quiet for a one-bedroom in Brooklyn with 30 people swelling the walls. My girlfriend, Michelle, and I barely know any of these people, but we’ve taken it upon ourselves to invite them into our home for the evening. (more…)

One Year Out: An Update from the Hummingbird Collective

We’re writing with updates from the RG Migrant Justice Solidarity Working Group, recently renamed the Hummingbird Collective. (Much less of a mouthful, right?) This funding project was born out of an idea at last year’s Making Money Make Change, and has grown and developed in ways we couldn’t have imagined when we first sat around a table together in the redwood forest. We continue to be excited about, deeply committed to, and totally inspired by the work of funding grassroots migrant justice in Arizona and beyond. Throughout this work we’ve been asking ourselves the question, “How, as people with wealth, do we respond to critical moments in the struggle for racial and economic justice?” We continue to be challenged and driven by this question. So, where are we at in our process?

The work

We continue to be in dialogue with organizers from 8 organizations we connected with while on a delegation to Arizona last April.  A core belief held by our funding collective is that people most impacted by injustice know best what the solutions to injustice look like. We’re working to shift decision-making power over how money is allocated away from ourselves, and towards the organizers who have direct experience in the struggle for migrant justice. Though we’ve learned from some amazing models of cross-class giving, navigating what it looks like to move money in a way that resists the traditional power dynamics of philanthropy is totally challenging! We’re collectively working through a lot of questions about what makes the most sense to fund, what being democratic in a funding process looks like, and how to do justice to process while recognizing some amount of urgency. We’re learning a lot, y’all. Concrete ideas for what we’re funding, when, and how, are brewing and coming together. We’re working hard to move a significant chunk of money by the end of the year. (more…)