Day 5, Second Quarter Fundraiser: The life you improve may be your own

Will blog for change.

I won’t lie, I hate asking people for money. It’s the primary reason I would be reluctant to run for office, in fact. But, the reality is that, if we want to sustain the model we have at Eclectablog where writers are paid for their work, we have to do it. As progressives, we talk a LOT about fair wages and treating people with dignity so it’s a model we’re compelled to adopt if we’re going to be true to our values. It’s also the right thing to do.

But here’s an interesting thing: when you give to the causes that you support, it improves your own life in sometimes unanticipated ways. Writing for the New York Times, Arthur C. Brooks explains:

In 2003, while working on a book about charitable giving, I stumbled across a strange pattern in my data. Paradoxically, I was finding that donors ended up with more income after making their gifts. This was more than correlation; I found solid evidence that giving stimulated prosperity. I viewed my results as implausible, though, and filed them away. After all, data patterns never “prove” anything, they simply provide evidence for or against a hypothesis.

But when I mentioned my weird findings to a colleague, he told me that they were fairly unsurprising. Psychologists, I learned, have long found that donating and volunteering bring a host of benefits to those who give. In one typical study, researchers from Harvard and the University of British Columbia confirmed that, in terms of quantifying “happiness,” spending money on oneself barely moves the needle, but spending on others causes a significant increase.

Why? Charitable giving improves what psychologists call “self-efficacy,” one’s belief that one is capable of handling a situation and bringing about a desired outcome. When people give their time or money to a cause they believe in, they become problem solvers. Problem solvers are happier than bystanders and victims of circumstance. […]

I have found that the real magic of fund-raising goes even deeper than temporary happiness or extra income. It creates meaning. Donors possess two disconnected commodities: material wealth and sincere convictions. Alone, these commodities are difficult to combine. But fund-raisers facilitate an alchemy of virtue: They empower those with financial resources to convert the dross of their money into the gold of a better society.

Contributing to Eclectablog gives you a tangible way to help make the world a better place. We are on the frontlines of just about every progressive issue, helping you to understand them, communicate about them effectively, and, as I have said said before, change the conversation. I hope you’ll see enough value in what we do and see the positive impact it can have on your own life to make a contribution.

Here’s how you can give:

First, you can make your donation using the PayPal link below. You can change the amount if you wish. The default is $50, less than $1 per week — way less than you would spend on a newspaper subscription, and less than it would cost to buy even a gas station coffee once a week.

Or you can wait until the TinyPass pop-up pops up (every tenth click on the site) and donate that way. If you do that, the popups will go away as long as you have cookies enabled. Again, the default amounts for annual or monthly donations can be adjusted to whatever you wish them to be.

If you would prefer to send a check, send me an email and I’ll give you the address. This is the most beneficial way for us because it avoids the Paypal and Tinypass fees that are taken from contributions to the site.

And finally, you can come to our 10-year blogaversary party that will be taking place at the Arbor Brewing Microbrewery (formerly the Corner Brewery) in Ypsilanti on May 1st from 7-9 p.m. If you’d like to make a donation in person, enjoy some free beer, and have a chance at some fun door prizes, please plan to join us then. Our special guest will be the incredible Lizz Winstead, comedian, author, and co-creator of The Daily Show. Lizz will be doing a special Eclectablog comedy set and talking about her exciting new project Lady Parts Justice. LPJ will be bringing a major political event to Lansing this fall before the election and you’ll get to hear more about that at our party.

There are also sponsorships available. If you, your organization, or your candidate would like to sponsor the event at the Gold ($1,000), Silver ($500), or Bronze ($250) level, please contact me. We’ll make sure your support is acknowledged before and during the party.

For more details, updates, and to RSVP, visit our Facebook Blogaversary event page HERE.

If you cannot afford to support us financially, you can still help. Please share our content on your Facebook page or other social media like Twitter, Reddit, etc. Put a “Like” on our Facebook page and click the “Invite friends” button and encourage your friends to like us, too.

Thanks so much!

[CC photo credit: James W Bell - Leeds | Flickr]

  • Dump The GOP In 2014

    How giving works: If you help other people get what they need or want , you will get what you want. The problem with the GOP is they do it backwards

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