“The doggie makes him feel better?”
“That’s right, they give doggies to soldiers who are hurt, and the doggies help them to get stronger, be happy, and feel loved.”
“I like that.”
Gem has her hand in most of my blog posts in one way or another. When I was hired to review the Members Unite program, where users vote on a collectively funded project each month, I pulled her right up beside me to help out with the review.
Each month, nine philanthropic projects are highlighted. Members read up on the details, and vote on which project their membership dollars, in our case $5 a month, would fund.
Gem and I did not agree on many of these projects. She was much more taken with the projects that focused on making people happy (not surprising for a two-year-old), while I was more interested in the projects that help with nutrition and education. But we both easily agreed on the dogs for wounded veterans.
I love the fact that these little projects are funding something specific: 30 front doors for habitat for humanity, or tutors for 30 homeless children for one year, or planting 5,000 trees in Brazil, just to name a few. This takes giving to a different level, and helps me feel more involved in what my donation is doing. My measly $5 is not getting lost in a giant fund to be used for whatever, it is to go to this specific project. There’s a shift that takes place in my brain around that. I don’t have a lot of money to give, but I can give $5, and in this case, I know what the $5 will go towards, and I know it will make a difference.
I’m going to keep watching this program, to see how it plays out for a couple months, and how the voting process proceeds, but so far I’m impressed. Each week more information will be provided about the projects that survive the previous weeks cut. So as you go along through the month, you learn more, and become more involved with the projects for which you are voting.
“One person giving $20 is a drop in the ocean. One thousand people giving $20 brings clean water to a village for a lifetime”
Additionally, I love the fact that this project brings to my attention 9 different projects that amazing people are working on each month. That’s a lot of awesome to introduce into our lives. It’s good to see other people do good. It’s good to get exposure to a wide array of possibilities. It’s good to have this kind of inspiration for our own future projects. And it’s good to have a chance to deal in to these projects, even on the $5 level. I want my daughter to see that her opportunities for making a difference in the world are limitless. She will be joining me in voting on Members Unite projects each month.
For more information: The site includes a useful FAQ that outlines the transparency of their financials, the vetting process for projects, membership information (yes you can cancel with 30 days notice, no long term commitment required) and a number of other relevant and useful pieces of information. It’s well worth the read.
UPDATE: For a limited time, Members Unite is offering my community a 50% off discount on the annual membership fee of $25! Use code “WELOVEMOMS” when you sign up!
Let me know if you join