Posted by The Happy Tutor
I am pleased and proud that Tracy Gary is presenting at a gathering of progressive funders Tues, Wed, and Thurs of the coming week using materials she and I have developed on "donor centered philanthropy." Actually, what is interesting is that for a progressive community, "donor centered" means "community centered," for the donor herself finds her identity not being "self-centered," but within loving relationship to a larger community. That dialectic of the moral self in society ("Be the Change") is endlessly interesting in practice, as good people with financial resources balance their many obligations and priorities - to self, spouse or partner, family, local community, specific cause, nation, planet.
What to give, when to give, to whom, and how? And how can the giving release a tsunami of social change? How can we connect "elite giving" with social organizing, community building, "emergent democracy," "network-centric philanthropy," "wirearchy," and even art and Carnival? I work on this every day, under many names, in many venues, the Dumpster being my favorite, since in the Dumpster among the remnants of many discarded certainties, pieties, traditions and old habits, we can build something new from the pieces. One project, many personas. We are making progress connecting the active elements.
By the way, the picture of Tracy is from the Open Space Giving Conference in Chicago that I sponsored a year ago in part to bring together community organizers, bloggers, and "resourceful givers," i.e., persons of wealth. We are all active citizens, and we need to come together in open spaces to make change, and maybe make merry too, since serious, dignified people are often the biggest damn liars and thieves on the planet. Giving is not necessarily stuffy. We all have something to give, if only our irreverent wit, links, and the clash of one garbage can lid upon another. Call it charivari.