A few weeks ago, I challenged my readers and the personal finance/FIRE blogging community to assist with the Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts through The Giving Challenge.
What Was the Giving Challenge?
I wanted our generally privilege community to stop focusing on high savings rates, real estate investing and passive income for a moment. Instead, I wanted our community to focus on giving back and helping those in need.
Asking people to donate is simply not enough. So, I offered major incentives to entice people to donate. How?
First off, I offered to match up donations dollar for dollar up to $1,000/day for five days. If we did not reach $1,000 at the end of each day the challenge would be over.
Second, in addition to matching donations, my employer would also match any donation I made. Now every donation people submitted would be matched 2:1.
A small $5 donation would turn into $15 of aid for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. In some instances the donations we received were also matched by donors’ employers. This means a in some instances a donation of $5 turned into $20.
Sounds a lot like compound interest, right?
How did it go?
Donations were slow at first. Disappointment sank in with the lack of interest or people not sharing their donations during the first few hours of the Giving Challenge.
However, the word slowly started to spread and donations picked up over time. After five hours, The Giving Challenge raised over $600 and we hit the first $1,000 mark in less than 12 hours.
This was a good sign. Reaching $1,000 also meant that the challenge would make it to at least day 2.
People began sharing the Giving Challenge with others and the donations started to flood in. Some individuals were very generous and gave large sums of money. While others sent in a note saying that they could only spare $5 or $10 but still wanted to help those in need. Both types of donations were equally important.
The challenge was very successful. Thanks to the generous donations, we were able to max out all 5 days. These acts of kindness gave me more faith in our society. While the news displays nothing but chaos, it’s refreshing to see selfless and caring acts from dozens of donors.
In summary, we received $5,056.92 in donations. Of those donations, other employers matched $232.00. I matched the $5,000.00 as agreed and my employer matched my donation with $5,000.00.
Thanks to everyones efforts and caring donations, we raised $15,288.92 for the recovery efforts in Houston and the other areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
P.S. – here is proof of my donation:
Keeping the Party Going
As you may know, I have worked on several houses both for myself and with Habitat for Humanity. Several homes in the Gulf Coast region are going to need extensive repairs. This will require significant amounts of time and money.
With that said, I would love to set up a volunteer trip and help restore a few homes. If anyone is interested in taking a week off to volunteer with such work, please let me know. It would be awesome to get one or multiple groups together.