It’s Giving Tuesday, and I’ve been pondering the famous quote from Mother Theresa: “It’s not how much you give, but how much love you put into giving.” Logically, I think we all struggle with how insurmountable the needs around us. But, if we use Mother Teresa’s lens of putting love into the giving equation we begin to understand that giving isn’t focused on fixing ALL of the world’s problems as an individual.
Instead, true giving aligns with our personal passions, tugs at our souls, and if we explore giving from that angle it becomes intensely personal. Mother Teresa didn’t attempt to solve global warming, create world peace, or fair trade. Mother Teresa allowed her personal experiences and passions to guide her giving. Having been a child who suffered from hunger and experienced helplessness, she set out to help the poor, sick, and helpless. By focusing her giving in an area she was closely aligned with, Mother Teresa impacted hundreds of thousands of people, founded Missionaries of Charity, an organization which by the end of her life had over 4,000 sisters and was operating 610 missions in 123 countries, became a saint, and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.
The takeaway? Instead of randomly clicking donate buttons today, I challenge you to look at your personal experiences and passions to determine the charities that align with you. When you give your money, time, and talent to a foundation that deeply resonates with who you are, you will experience a deep sense of happiness. Why? Because you’ve found a way to put love into your giving.
I’ve experienced this deep sense of happiness tied to giving with love. If you know me at all, you know I am passion about entrepreneurship, especially the power entrepreneurship has to give women freedom and choices. Countless studies show the impact of women entrepreneurs on their families communities, and economies. To that end, if you share my passion for women entrepreneurs there are three groups you should consider donating to on Giving Tuesday and beyond.
Empowered Women International
This local nonprofit uses entrepreneurship education to give immigrant, refugee, and at-risk women social and economic independence. As their spokeswoman, I have had the great joy of meeting students in different cohorts, heard their stories of personal and economic empowerment, and marveled at the ripple effect each of them make as they apply their learning to create successful businesses. To date, over 3,000 women have gone through EWI programs and over 90% of them are still in business! Those success metrics are massive. If you’d like to learn more about Empowered Women International or donate to their organization, please visit the EWI website.
Five Talents is a national nonprofit focused on helping the poor to develop their own businesses through sound business training, access to community loans, and participation in innovative savings programs. As a monthly donor, I delight in the monthly spotlights that arrive in my mailbox. They feature women entrepreneurs from around the globe, who have benefited from Five Talents education. You learn what their business was, what they learned, and how that learning has impacted their business and their families. Education is power, and I am so inspired and uplifted when I read about a female farmer who learned basic business tenants and is now managing her income in a way that allows her to send her children to university. To learn more about Five Talents or to donate, please visit the Five Talents website.
Street Entrepreneurs is a nonprofit that provides pay-what-you-can educational workshops for various start-ups and small businesses. Their unique talent exchange utilizes the intellectual capital of the community to build entrepreneurial skills and attracts entrepreneurs who typically do not have access to business help (58% of which are women.) If you are the type of person who needs to see who they are investing in, don’t miss tonight’s Street Pitch, where 7 entrepreneurs will pitch to local investors and YOU via live stream. If a pitch resonates with you, help that entrepreneur via crowdfunding on the Street Entrepreneur website.