#GiveDay : Its Official. You and I with our $50 Give More Than Bill Gates & Warren Buffet combined.

[Editors note: This post is in honor of our friends at GiveForward’s fund raising platform allows individuals to raise funds for patients undergoing critical treatments and surgeries. declared 4th May every year as World Give Day]

We were asked to comment on the statement “Small scale donors are the backbone of philanthropy” for our #GiveDay post.

We began searching for facts and figures, data to prove that individuals indeed are the backbone of philanthropy. And we found this excellent paper by researchers at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.

Research data shows that, in the year 2008, the top 400 foundations and 60 high net worth individuals collectively donated $32.8 billion to charity.

Surprisingly however (or not?) individual donations in the same year amounted to $274.9 billion!

In other words, you and I and our friends, when we get together with our small donations, we actually end up pumping more money towards charitable causes than individuals and corporations who pledge millions or even billions of dollars to charity each year.

So if you have been giving to causes you care about, and have been told many times that your small contribution will never make a dent, you now have research to back you up. Congratulations! And happy World Give Day!

Making it personal

Now you know that the little bit you do actually helps make a massive difference. But how do you make it personal? How can you measure the effectiveness of your contributions, like the donation you made to a local charity, or the sunday you spent helping at the animal shelter down the road. Where does all that fit in?

In order to see progress, you need to define realistic goals or outcomes, and you need to be able to measure the effectiveness of your contributions in terms of expected outcomes.

To help you get there, you first need to start with a plan. Indeed, you need to have a Generosity Plan.

Kathy LeMay is the founder and CEO of Raising Change, an organization that helps raise money for social causes, and helps companies and high net worth individuals develop effective giving strategies. She is also the author of “The Generosity Plan: Sharing Your Time, Treasure, and Talent to Shape the World” (

In her book, Kathy dispels many giving myths. She narrates several stories to impress on the reader that each of us can make a difference doing what we can with what we have, and where we are.
Kathy provides practical tips on choosing charities, deciding how much you can contribute in terms of time, money and skills, and maintaining your giving momentum.

So if you’re keen to create a Generosity Plan on World Give Day, we recommend starting out by reading Kathy’s book. You can order a copy here:

Do send us your comments or questions, we’d be happy to connect you with companies and non-profits working towards causes you care about.

Finally, we encourage you to give something away today. Free hugs definitely count!