I’m soooooo excited to share this today. We finally got our philanthropy project off the ground! Check it out –> rockstarfinance.com/community-fund/
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Ugh – another charity project out there, borrrring….” To which I’d respond, “See what we’re doing first Judgy McJudgerton! I guarantee you’ve never seen this before ;)” To which you’d probably hit back with, “Okay fine – but I’m not giving you any money!” And which I’d say, “Great! Because we are the ones who are actually giving YOU money!”
And that’s very much true.
After literally YEARS of trying to figure out how to best harness our community here TO DO GOOD, my partner-in-crime and I (Nate St. Pierre, who you might remember from our Love Drop days) finally come up with an idea that we think is half genius/half crazy. And thankfully we already know it works because we tested it last month :)
We handed out fifty $20 Visa cards (what we’re dubbing #GivingCards) to people in our forums, with the only rules being that they have to go out and use it to better someone’s life, and then come back and tell us what they did.
And what they did was AMAZING.
We hit roughly half of the entire United States, all the way through Canada and even as far as India (!!). One person even snuck a few into the White House for random acts of kindness.
Yup, the White House.
(Last we checked it was still sitting in a coffee table book right outside the Oval Office – hah)
I couldn’t even make up this stuff because it was all done by people in our community dropping love in their own personal way. Here were some other things they did that completely blew us away:
- One person turned the $20 into over $300 from her own community, and then anonymously used it to pay off the overdue lunch accounts at their local middle school for underserved kids. (Which ended up landing on the front page of their town’s paper!)
- One giver used it to help make a Syrian refugee’s resettlement house feel a little more like home.
- And then another person went totally personal and custom-made a pillow for a grieving widow, using shirts from her late husband (!!). I’m not going to lie – I teared up.
All of these were done with just $20 and putting in some thought. Proving once again that small acts of kindness stretch far!! Especially when you do it in a way that’s meaningful to you.
And that’s what our new Community Fund is all about. Helping people give in a fun and meaningful way. And to help facilitate that we’re starting with three simple projects:
- The #GivingCards Project — What I mentioned above, where every month we hand out a stack of $20 Visa Cards to whoever wants them, so long as they promise to use them for Good and share what they did.
- #DebtDrop — Where we look for people struggling with debt, and then shoot them a no-strings-attached $50 to give them a little hope for the day and let them know they’re not alone. This project was inspired, and is led by Melanie Lockert of DearDebt.com who has been doing this behind the scenes on her own blog going on a year now (and having given out over $900 already!).
- And then lastly, our Just-In-Time Giving initiative — Where we set aside a little money to be used on the fly anytime we see a need for it in our community. For example, last month we found out that fellow blogger Athena Lent was diagnosed with cancer, so we were able to quickly give some money to her fundraising page for future surgeries. It’s nice having money set aside to be able to help fast!
And that’s what our Community Fund is in a nutshell: a pot of money to be able to help those around us in a direct, and powerful way – every single month.
Whether through one of our current three initiatives above, or future ones we are inspired to fund that are sent to us by our members. So if you have an idea of your own you’ve always wanted to do (or are currently doing and want to amplify it!), let us know! We’re thinking of the entire initiative really as an “incubator of good” :)
There are other ways to get involved as well if it’s something that moves you. Here’s our main page with details – Get Involved With the RCF – but the thing we REALLY need the most right now is just getting the word out. The bigger we can make this thing, the more good we can do month after month after month. (And of course $$$ always helps too)
Last month’s test was just a quick hacked together go at it, and that alone produced over $1,900 of good in literally a matter of weeks. So just imagine what we can do when we really pour on the focus! I can’t even explain how excited I am about it all right now…
As someone who doesn’t naturally go out of his way to give back financially, this will be helping ME as much as it does others. And to be able to harness our whole community HERE to do it?? With my favorite people in the world??
So thank you so SO much for being such a big supporter of me and my projects over the years, because honestly without that the RCF or this blog – or any of my projects for that matter – wouldn’t have seen the light of day. It’s because of you all that I’ve had the confidence to run with all these crazy ideas, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for continually supporting me. It really does mean a lot.
Okay, that’s enough mushiness for now ;) Just wanted to share my enthusiasm and give you a quick heads up on the latest venture here, and would love to see y’all in the mix as time goes on.
Any questions/concerns/ideas at all about the RCF, shoot ’em on over. We’re still very much in “launch” mode here, but we’ll be ironing out the kinks and getting better as we go… You can also find a list of FAQs we’ve put together here.
Thank you thank you, thank you!
Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.
– Mother Teresa
UPDATE: This project is now all wrapped up… In just one year we ended up raising over $20,000 when all was said and done :) Well done everyone!!!
PS: If you’d like to experience the #GivingCards project, I’ve set aside
5 extra cards (All gone now – sorry!) this month for readers of this blog as we’ve already gone through our first batch for Jan :) Just fill out this form here and the first 5 people will get one!
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!