Generosity for a New Generation

by Jerry Deifer

Giving back has never been so easy thanks to innovative initiatives making the most of a millennial mind state and the digital age.

As a product of the closing generation of the 20th century, I consider myself fortunate to have experienced pre – tech living and been given the opportunity to witness the subsequent unfolding of the digital information age in its entire enormity.  Some thirty years ago the Internet was discovered and no one looked back.  It has hurled us into a space of unending global advancements. It provides us with a host of abilities to connect, including email and social media.  We make the most of these channels daily via a device so appropriately dubbed the ‘smart phone’ which has forever changed the way we communicate, travel, work and even pay bills.  Streamlining many of our day-to-day activities, rendering traditional ways to do business archaic and even obsolete, and technology has afforded us more than just sheer efficiency.  We are able to connect to relatives, public leaders and remote celebrities; all putting Globalization into overdrive.

Some years ago I was able to connect with a number of like-minded individuals who saw in modern technology, an avenue to shed light on global causes and enable any one person to make a difference simply by clicking a button and staying connected online. Based on the mandate that everyone has the right to survive and thrive, Global Citizen was born out of the drive to end global poverty. It has become an immensely influential network that empowers millions of individuals around the globe to make an impact on critical issues such as Women’s Rights, Health, Education, Water & Sanitation, Finance and Citizenship.

One thing this organization and I saw in common is the incentive created by the intrinsic need to give back coupled with the power of celebrity to influence people.  Every year, the organization hosts a larger-thanv-life concert in the middle of Central Park in New York City.  The largest names in music join in support and further encourage citizens everywhere to take action.

Fast-forward to a couple years ago, my core group and I moved in on what we saw as the future of philanthropic financial contribution. An innovative, one-of-a-kind platform that makes contributing to a cause you care about effortless.  By rounding up your digital spare change and donating to a charity of your choice, ChangUr allows you to go about your life, making normal transactions where you shop and eat while making a difference.  At a time where transparency is more important than ever, this application allows you to track where exactly your money is going and holding your organization of choice accountable to using funds appropriately.

We all share an innate desire to give back – a hunger to contribute to causes we care about.  It’s somewhat of a self-inflicted responsibility that ripples through cultural boundaries.  It is easy to become overwhelmed and uninformed by traditional means of charity.  I was attracted to the simplicity and authenticity of these models, and how they maximize our means in order to create lasting change. However, you chose to contribute, whether financially or physically, recognize that your efforts, time, money and skill are making a difference.

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