When I think about inspired, joyful, generous investing in our world to make it a better place, I focus on “and”, not “or”. Just as the funny commercial shows us – sweet or sour chicken, bed or breakfast – “or” can be a bad idea, I find that “or” hurts our not-for-profits as well. Generosity is all about AND.
I invest my intellectual capital in the organizations that matter most to me. I prepare for board and volunteer meetings, think about the issues, offer ideas, pay attention. I’m present.
I share my connections. Invite people to my home and to events. Make introductions. Facilitate strategic conversations about the societal problems we are trying to solve.
I invest money with an open heart as generously as I am able.
When we talk about things like “give or get,” “time, talent or treasure,” “work, wealth or wisdom,” we are selling our missions short:
Give generously AND help bring in additional resources. You can sell tickets; inspire friends to support your walk; help a CEO meet a foundation leader or government official you know; use social media to connect friends and their friends to a treasured cause.
Give generously AND volunteer your time. You can mentor, share expertise, help build a house or dig well, give a talk, offer an internship, give blood, serve on a task force, stuff envelopes.
AND represents generosity. It doesn’t matter how little time you have to give or how little money. For those of us who can do and give more, we should. Sharing makes us all richer, happier. We love Katya’s Non-Profit Marketing Blog – here’s a classic piece from her blog on the science behind generosity.