From the recent turn around of the Komen Foundation to not buying LEGOs to leaving Go Daddy, I’m realizing more than ever how important it is to support causes we believe in by writing checks.
Of those I just listed, only Komen is a non-profit, but I want to make a plea for women to give money away. I don’t think enough women do. I was in the non-profit world for years and I was blown away by so many women’s negative and complicated relationship to money. Women who cared about social causes, who were political, who wanted to have an impact on the world often had a hard time writing checks. That is, they didn’t do it. Many progressive women don’t like to talk about money. It’s almost like it’s dirty or evil, that money is corrupt and used to hurt people. Women who generously volunteered their time often would not financially support the same causes.
Money isn’t good or bad, it’s energy. It’s a tool. More women need to get comfortable using it.
There are few things more empowering that writing a check to support a cause you believe in. If you are feeling pissed off or like a victim, few things can make your mood or outlook turn around faster than giving money away. It feels really good and that’s why I do it. Philanthropy is one of my most selfish acts.
How much money should you give? It should hurt, at least a little. I’m not into martyrdom, but you should notice it. For a long, long time the church has recommended tithing your income. I think this is perfect amount as general rule, though I, personally, don’t usually give to the church.
One more reason to do it: Since I started giving money away, it has flowed to me more easily. I know that sounds kind of hippy-dippy, but I think it’s more than karma. I think it has to do with healthy risk taking. Clinging to money and feeling fearful isn’t much help to anyone.
Besides writing stories, I believe if more women tithed their income, we would absolutely change the world. Just try it. See how it feels.