Five Dollars

Yesterday I gave $5 to Wikipedia. $5.

Kind of embarrassing, right? I literally spent $4.50 yesterday on a cheese Danish from Arcade Bakery.

So what’s the point?

The point is that I’ve been looking at participation numbers for online giving, amazed and outraged that that 0.5% of Wikipedia users donate. That means that 199 out of 200 people use this incredible free resource and never bother to give a penny.

And I get it. It took me seeing this popup 10 times before I clicked.

five-dollars-wikipediaI get it because I needed to see this one a bunch of times too before I clicked.

wikipedia-three-dollars

I get it because even after seeing that message 10 times and clicking, I ended up giving up last week (on a bigger donation) because of a hitch at Amazon checkout.

And, let’s be honest, giving just $5 is a bit embarrassing – it feels like it’s too little to be worth it. So I had rounded down to 0.

That’s the real problem.

I’m not saying don’t give more. I’m saying that deciding that giving $5 is too little is sort of like deciding not to vote: voting is about exercising a right and making our voice heard. And so is giving.

To make the point: if each and every person who reads this blog gave $5, that would be more than $50,000 generated, today, to organizations you care about. To make that happen is as easy as each and every one of you deciding that today won’t end without you giving to something. (yes, even you who’s reading on your phone on Facebook.)

Our problem, you see, isn’t lack of resources. Our problem is bystanding. Our problem is that even the best of us default to “nothing” most of the time.

The giving season is coming.

What a great time to participate more.

Because everything (yes everything) is so much more than nothing.

And if we simply decided now that we’d give something to every organization, club, course, group that has touched us a little this year, we will save ourselves the mental burden of deciding each time, we will feel a whole lot better in the process, and we will ultimately transform ourselves from passive takers to active members of our communities.

3 thoughts on “Five Dollars

  1. Excellent point, Sasha. I donated to Wikipedia last week for the first time. If I expect Wiki to always be there but I’m not willing to support it, eventually it will go away. We always assume someone else will take care of “it” so we don’t have to. Phooey.

  2. What a great commentary!

    Strength in numbers and everyone and every dollar has a purpose!

    Thanks for the reminder.

  3. It isn’t your fault. One of the big reasons people give is because they want to make a difference. Wikipedia failed to help you see that your donation (even just $5) would make a difference and be appreciated.

    In case you are interested, the biggest reason people donate is to feel good in some way or another. They failed to help you do that too.

    Here’s more reasons people give (according to sound research): https://imarketsmart.com/another-highly-requested-blog-post-on-why-people-give/

    And here’s what people are “buying” when they donate:
    https://imarketsmart.com/what-supporters-buy-when-they-donate-to-charity/

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