Support projects and causes that make the change
Giving is about connecting to others – it is about being aware of who you are, what you have and the living earth around you. It is sharing because you have something to give + you care about the survival of us and our planet.
But we need to care in a different way. Just responding to emotional asks or giving after the effect, is not the way forward. We cannot wait and just give once the disaster is at our door. We need to support the work that will make the change now. We have to think beyond our immediate feel good moment from giving, and share what we have, to make the difference – this is when giving becomes ‘action’. No plastic cutesy cuddly toys, pens or badges, no glossy extravagant events, no flying around the world to support this and that in the name of the environment – give to those aligned with the planet through and through… use what you have wisely and effectively.
It is of note that historically action for the environment has been one of the least supported worldwide – despite increasing knowledge of it being key to our survival. In practice this means that even where effective work has been carried out there haven’t been the resources to continue, to scale up, to share, to inspire, to invest in future action. Even now environmental organisations are fighting for small amounts of money and donations to exist despite working on the most fundamental issues of our generation – and future generations.
As a starter for your giving:
- Support action that gets to the root of the problem, the real cause.
Every gift is incredibly valuable so be sure to find out if you’re contributing to what will be effective. Feel free to say no to one organisation in order to invest in another that is focussed on change. No organisation is the same and some make much more of an impact than others. Look for those that are getting to the root cause and clear about what their catalyst action for change is.
- Go deeper than just an emotional response and take time to find those lesser known yet addressing core issues such as reduction of consumption, stopping of exploitation, reconnection to our earth, deep sustained change.
There are many catalysts for change that are not always the most obvious yet are key to our planet’s wellbeing. Give to those driving these catalysts and who are often not popular or invisible to the public. For example, find and give to those pushing for changes in regulations, or driving large-scale strategies, or high risk initiatives such as projects not tried before, start-up organisations, pilots or radical interventions.
- Back the change-makers (not just a project) – they are experts in their field, support them to do their work.
Donate differently, instead of donating to an organisation, give to an individual. For example, donate to the change-makers themselves – support the person with their work, especially if they are not getting paid or paid very little (which is very common in the environmental area). Support independent journalists and those bringing the reality to the public – it is key to people being aware of what is going on and what it’ll take for change.
- Give and give again – every dollar, every resource, every bit you can give is critical to our wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet.
If you have money, time, expertise, tools, spaces or simply love and care… share them with those doing the work on everyone’s behalf. Look for those taking different approaches – our old ways of working are highly unlikely to achieve the level of change we need now.
Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari he toa takitini.
(Māori proverb) I come not with my own strengths but bring with me the gifts, talents, and strengths of my family, tribe, and ancestors.