28DollarBill 300x157Starting 18 February, 2014, I will be soft-launching Donate28. I’m trialling this — publicly — which is a bit risky but also worth it! I’d love to share this process with the world. This is how it will work:

Every month I will feature a Changemaker of the Month (social entrepreneurs, Not-For-Profits, NGOs, researchers, inventors … anyone working to make the world a better place. They can be individuals, small teams or large organisations).

The Donate28 part comes in here:

I will donate $28 from every product/service sold in my business during the month to the Changemaker of the Month. At the end of the month, they will receive the money … with one twist: they need to spend the money internally (on their team) not on their project/clients.

Why?

Changemakers are great at caring about others. They’re great at giving, but not so great at receiving. Because they’re always putting others first, they often forget about their own self-care and self-improvement.

As a result, they often end up feeling overwhelmed, working crazy-long hours, and are worried that if they have a break (or, I hate to say it, a breakdown) then everything would fall apart without them.

They don’t have the money, time or energy to invest in making themselves better (or make things better for themselves).

It often comes down to money

Money in particular is a big issue. Usually it’s tight and needs to be spent wisely, because changemakers are accountable to making sure their projects succeed. Any spare money they do have gets channelled back into their projects (so there’s little, if any, to spend on the team).

As a result, the needs of the team keep getting pushed aside. For example, the training that would really help them be better at their job? It gets put off (again). The office space desperately in need of a revamp? They can’t justify spending money on it. The money to pay their staff who work so many hours for free? Well, it’s simply not there.

All too often, changemakers feel overworked and under-appreciated. They have unrealistic workloads. Too much stress. Tension among team members. Burn out. Resentment about a job they used to love.

With a less-than-optimal work situation, not only do the changemakers suffer … their clients and projects (which is the whole reason they got into this work in the first place, right?), well, they suffer too.

What if we changed the way things are done?

What if Activate28 could help changemakers to prioritise their staff’s wellbeing?

This is the basis of Donate28.

One changemaker each month receiving money+support.

What the Changemaker of the Month gets

Through Donate28, the Changemaker of the Month will:

  1. Be featured them on my blog and social media platforms
  2. Receive $28 from every ‘thing’ purchased in my business during the month (A conservative figure: if I sell 10 ‘things’ in my business, say, 5 webinar spots + 2 coaching packages + 3 eBooks) the Changemaker of the Month gets $280. A more realistic figure, 40 units = $1000. In the distant future, with the right webinar topics and excellent promotion, I could sell 1000 units = $28,000). They receive this money on one condition: the money must be spent on self-care or self-improvement.
  3. 2 hours of personalised training in a topic of the Changemaker’s choice (such as inbox management, time management, avoiding burn-out)

Benefits for the Changemaker of the Month

  • More $$$ for them to spend money specifically on self-care or self-improvement (whether that be taking the team out to dinner, buying plants for the office, or investing in training to help them feel less stressed and more productive)
  • Raised public profile (and bringing a public face to often faceless organisations)
  • Increased awareness about overwhelm and burn-out, and get some honest dialogue happening (because people tend to put on masks and pretend everything is just fine).
  • Better skills to increase happiness and productivity for the staff

A social enterprise model is a win-win

A true social enterprise has mutual benefits, and is a true win-win.

I feel excited that FINALLY I have a model for a true social enterprise. My previous business model didn’t have the give-back factor built in.

You’re probably wondering how Activate28 would benefit. This is how:

  • Be promoted on social media — the more Activate28 is promoted, the more people will get involved and/or purchase offerings (and therefore, more money for the Changemaker of the Month)
  • Be associated with a variety of changemakers (including big and influential organisations, as well as up-and-coming organisations)
  • Share what I do with more people — Having more people experience what I do has been one of the biggest challenges for me (people always say “I wish I had done this earlier” or “If only I understood what you did, I would’ve signed up earlier”) so having people experience first-hand means I can get word out!
  • Be seen as unique: Money talks! Who wouldn’t want to receive money? (Especially when the money MUST be spent on themselves!?)

So, I’m curious. What do you think?

These are my thoughts so far. I’d love your feedback.

It takes me courage to share this idea out loud, so I ask that you follow these guidelines in giving feedback. Feel free to answer some or all of these questions:

  1. What are your first impressions of Donate28?
  2. What questions came to mind as you were reading?
  3. In your opinion, what are the positives of Donate28 ?
  4. What are the potential hurdles?
  5. Would you be interested in (a) being featured as a Changemaker of the Month or (b) nominating someone else?

 

If you wish to contact me privately, use this link.

Or leave your thoughts below in the public comments section below.