In our efforts to build Inciting Altruism, we very early on decided that it would not be worth dedicating our time to the project unless in doing so, we were the most effective change makers we could be. It is not that we didn’t believe in our mission to share the transformative powers of philanthropy and volunteerism with the world; rather, we believe so strongly in the power of altruism to change lives, that we wanted to use the resources available to us in the most effective way possible. If we could help more people – do more good – by dedicating those resources elsewhere, that is what we would want to do.
What does that mean in practicality? It means that Inciting Altruism is an experiment. It is an experiment as to whether the power of positivity, community, and altruism really is contagious. It is an experiment as to whether we can help develop happier lives by encouraging further kindness and deeper human connection. It is an experiment as to whether people in this world are truly good.
If you ask us today, almost half a year since we conceptualized Inciting Altruism, whether we still believe in the power of this experiment to change the world, the answer is a resounding yes. As this community continues to grow, it has only validated and furthered our beliefs in the power of human kindness, and even surpassed our expectations as to how willing people are to step out of their comfort zone and extend an arm to those who only asked for a hand.
And so, encouraged by your support, we want to take this experiment one step further. After many long hours of research, phone calls, and writing (sorry Aayzed), we are proud to officially announce Inciting Altruism’s Charity Spotlight program.
What is Charity Spotlight?
Every few months, the iA team will be announcing a charity that we, through extensive research, have determined to be: 1) A champion of transparency, in regards to both finances and program efficacy; 2) Incredibly effective in their efforts to solve one of the world’s most pressing challenges; 3) A charity whose mission would benefit greatly from incremental increases in funding; and 4) Will help all of us, in the iA Community, shift our perspective on charity and deepen our resolve to do good in the world.
All month long we will be running a fundraiser on behalf of the chosen organization – accessible both on our Facebook page and on our website – which we encourage all of our followers to contribute to and share amongst their friends. At the end of the month we will donate 100% of funds raised to the charity. To further solidify our commitment to transparency and philanthropic efficiency, we will be making an active effort to stay in close contact with the charity afterwards, to report back on exactly how your generous donations were able to benefit their recipients.
Most importantly, we don’t plan on asking you to donate blindly to the organization we recommend. In fact, studies show that philanthropic giving reaps far greater psychological benefits in a donor and encourages a stronger commitment to the cause when they have a deeper bond with the beneficiaries of their donation and a stronger understanding of how their donation impacts the beneficiaries’ lives. As such, with every recommendation, we will be publishing our full array of research (open source) as well as further resources in case you would like to do research of your own.
Why Charity Spotlight?
If iA wants to fulfill its mandate and be as effective as possible at inspiring altruistic behavior in people around the world, then doing so involves sincerely listening to the questions, concerns, and input of those people. The idea for charity spotlight originates with a user survey that we released in our early days. In that survey (which you can take here), we asked what your biggest barriers to entry were when it comes to volunteering with, and donating to, charitable organizations.
You all got back to us with a plethora of thoughtful answers and recommendations, and from this, we were able to determine that much of your responses could be boiled down into a few main concerns. You have trouble finding a cause that resonates deeply within you; you’re not sure whether charities are trustworthy and if they will use your funds efficiently; and lastly, you don’t think you have enough money to donate and make a difference.
If any of the above apply to you, you shouldn’t feel bad. Like I said, you are not alone. Your concerns are held by people – good people – the world over, that desperately want to care for those less fortunate than themselves and are rightfully concerned with finding the best way to do so.
Concern is not an issue; it merely shows you care. But when concern becomes fear, and fear becomes inaction, we miss out on all that altruism can do to better lives. To address this very fact, we created Charity Spotlight. It is our hope that in posting our monthly charity recommendations we can relieve as many of the above concerns as possible.
This is why we are not only publishing all of our research on each charity (and not just the positives), but it is also why we are setting our fundraising goal at the same amount of dollars as iA has followers on the first of the month. It is our hope that everyone in the community might donate 1 dollar (although we encourage you to donate more if you can) because getting involved with altruism should never be about whether you can afford to donate large sums of money. It should instead be about making a statement regarding the value of each and every human life in the world.
How Can I Help?
Donate! Like I said we are asking all of our contributors to donate just 1 dollar because even one dollar can make a big difference to someone you need. If you live in the US, all of your donations should be tax-deductible.
Share! Regardless of if you donate, you should share the fundraiser on your socials. Even if your followers don’t donate, the organization is far better off by just having people exposed to their name and knowledge of the often-overlooked cause they seek to solve. This being said, chances are you have some friends who would be willing to donate and share themselves. On average, sharing a crowdfunding campaign increases donations by three times.
Report Back! Let us know how donating made you feel. Shoot us your questions and concerns. Tell us the causes and charities you care about. Starting a dialogue helps us find charities to look into and helps us address concerns we may have over-looked. As always, you can contact us here and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.