I have some really bitter moments, and I’ll admit that one of them came right around when I lost my funding, and a number of friends were undertaking incredibly intense physical challenges – training for marathons, triathlons, and cross-country bike rides. With these friends came the inevitable requests to donate to their causes. Which, for certain organizations, also includes donating to their airfare and hotel stays – which to me, sounds like I’m being asked to fund their vacation in the name of cancer research. I know this isn’t true, but remember, this was a low point for me.
So I very nearly sat down and wrote out an extremely pathetic request for donations to support my job, which would have read something like this:
“If you donate to me, I will not run a marathon or put myself through some kind of powerful physical challenge. I will instead get up in the morning, put on a suit, and go to work. Where I will work very hard, where I will see up to 7 clients a day, all low-income, inner city seniors, many of whom have had very hard lives and deserve a break, like free legal services and knowing that their assets will help support their children and grandchildren, freedom from creditors and debt collectors, and assistance navigating the legal and financial world.”
It strikes me as interesting that nobody has come up with a non-profit version of Kickstarter, in which the current class of over-educated and under-employed people solicits people they know directly for help with their salaries. I think it could be called Grantstarter (although there seems to be already an organization with this name). This might seem like a terrible idea, but I hear a lot of, “I wish there was something I could do to help you.” Which I sometimes wish I could respond to with, “if you donate $10 to my Grant on Grantstarter, it will help.” Not everybody can help me find a job. Not everybody can give me a lot of money. But it would give people like my parents an avenue to donate to my job, without just slipping me money whenever I see them, and they would know that the money went directly to my salary.
So the questions are: 1) does this service already exist? and 2) does this sound like a good idea? Would you donate to my Grantstarter page?