Monday, July 6, 2009

Joy Of Giving Week


The Joy of Giving Week is the beginning of a national movement. The first of its kind for India, and for every single Indian.
It is a platform for all across the country to celebrate the joy of giving. Whether you are a paan wala in Lucknow, a traffic cop in Mumbai, an idli seller in Madurai, a millionaire in Delhi, a multinational company in Bengaluru, a saree shop owner in Kolkata, a teenager in a school or a college goer in Vadodara….
This is your opportunity to reach out to someone less privileged – by donating money, volunteering time, providing your skills and even just saying a kind word to someone who may not have expected it from you.
All you need to be part of the Joy of Giving Week is to do one simple conscious act of giving. So join the movement, now!


“Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and the wrong. Sometime in your life you will have been all of these.”– Dr Robert Goddard

Mahatma Gandhi went from city to city, village to village collecting funds for the Charkha Sangh. During one of his tours he addressed a meeting in Orissa. After his speech a poor old woman got up. She was bent with age, her hairwas grey and her clothes were in tatters. The volunteers tried to stop her, but she fought her way to the place where Gandhiji was sitting. "I must see him," she insisted and going up to Gandhiji touched his feet. Then from the folds of her sari she brought out a copper coin and placed it at his feet. Gandhiji picked up the copper coin and put it away carefully. The Charkha Sangh funds were under the charge of Jamnalal Bajaj. He asked Gandhiji for the coin but Gandhiji refused. "I keep cheques worth thousands of rupees for the Charkha Sangh," Jamnalal Bajaj said laughingly "yet you won't trust me with a copper coin." "This copper coin is worth much more than those thousands," Gandhiji said. "If a man has several lakhs and he gives away a thousand or two, it doesn't mean much. But this coin was perhaps all that the poor woman possessed. She gave me all she had. That was very generous of her. What a great sacrifice she made. That is why I value this copper coin more than a crore of rupees.

A couple of years ago I found out what "you can't take it with you" means. I found out while I was lying in a ditch at the side of a country road, covered with mud and blood and with the tibia of my right leg poking out the side of my jeans like a branch of a tree taken down in a thunderstorm. I had a MasterCard in my wallet, but when you're lying in a ditch with broken glass in your hair, no one accepts MasterCard....We come in naked and broke. We may be dressed when we go out, but we're just as broke. Warren Buffet? Going to go out broke. Bill Gates? Going out broke. Tom Hanks? Going out broke. Steve King? Broke. Not a crying dime.All the money you earn, all the stocks you buy, all the mutual funds you trade—all of that is mostly smoke and mirrors. It's still going to be a quarter-past getting late whether you tell the time on a Timex or a Rolex....So I want you to consider making your life one long gift to others. And why not? All you have is on loan, anyway. All that lasts is what you pass on....

Now imagine a nice little backyard, surrounded by a board fence. Dad—a pleasant fellow, a little plump—is tending the barbecue. Mom and the kids are setting the picnic table: fried chicken, coleslaw, potato salad, a chocolate cake for dessert. And standing around the fence, looking in, are emaciated men and women, starving children. They are silent. They only watch.
That family at the picnic is us; that backyard is America, and those hungry people on the other side of the fence, watching us sit down to eat, include far too much of the rest of the world: Asia and the subcontinent; countries in Central Europe, where people live on the edge from one harvest to the next; South America, where they're burning down the rain forests; and most of all, Africa, where AIDS is pandemic and starvation is a fact of life.

It's not a pretty picture, but we have the power to help, the power to change. And why should we refuse? Because we're going to take it with us? Please.

Giving isn't about the receiver or the gift but the giver. It's for the giver. One doesn't open one's wallet to improve the world, although it's nice when that happens; one does it to improve one's self....

A life of giving—not just money, but time and spirit—repays. It helps us remember that we may be going out broke, but right now we're doing O.K. Right now we have the power to do great good for others and for ourselves.

So I ask you to begin giving, and to continue as you begin. I think you'll find in the end that you got far more than you ever had, and did more good than you ever dreamed.
The Joy of Giving Week is a great platform for your organization to create your own fundraising event, get your supporters to fundraise for you and to spread awareness about your work and your cause.100% of what you raise through this Week will go to your organization- no fees or costs payable to us.
For 4 weeks before the Week, a high voltage TV, print, internet and outdoor ad campaign across the country will promote the Joy of Giving Week, making it a household name. Media will cover stories of giving and what different NGOs, celebrities and companies are planning. Colleges will gear up for “JoyFests” and school children will ideate on the Design Challenge. The “environment” will be there for your organization to benefit from.

The Joy of Giving Week team will also organize some city-specific events that bring a large number of NGOs together. For instance, Chennai and Hyderabad will see a “Battle of Buffets” event where 5* hotels of the city offer their best buffets free of cost and every NGO can sell seats at the lavish event for Rs5,000 each.

This website will shortly start allowing you to register your events and to seek resources for them- you can ask a company or a school to give you their auditorium for free to host a music nite, or you can ask for buses to ferry volunteers over the Weekend. We’ll keep sharing what other NGOs are planning, and giving you more and more ideas to implement.
So wear your “thinking cap” and start ideating on how you will make the most of the Joy of Giving Week!
1. Jai Vakeel Trust is organizing a Bollywood “Chai For Charity” in Mumbai
2. Magic Bus is planning a Corporate Football Tournament in different cities
3. Udayan Care will put Boxes of Joy in companies all over Delhi
· Get your supporters to do treks, cyclathons and other activities to fundraise for you
· Set up stalls to promote your cause and goods at stores and malls during the Week

Joy of Giving week is a platform for your Company to join millions of Indians doing something for a cause. It is a unique opportunity for brands to benefit by showing their stakeholders that they care. Reach out to your customers, distributors, vendors and suppliers, employees, shareholders and the community to create a novel “giving supply chain” during the Week.
There are various ways in which your Company can engage-
1. Have employees volunteer, raise awareness or donate in kind or financially to a cause of their choice. Choosing a charity by consensus across employees will help create more excitement and buy in by them.

2. Engage your customers through a Cause Related Marketing event or activity and incentives them by offering to make donations on their behalf (e.g., offering to donate Rs100 per bank account opened during the Week, or a percentage of your sales during the Week to a cause).
3. Sponsor “giving events” that are consistent with your brand proposition.
4. Offer resources to NGOs and individuals organizing “giving events” during the Week- e.g,. storage space for a clothes collection drive, a large auditorium for a fundraising dinner, promotional messages on your packaging and access to underutilized infrastructure like vacant airline seats and hotel rooms, in exchange for relevant branding opportunities.
CEOs of reputed companies can also sign up for the ISB “CEO Shadow Auction”, allowing a premiere MBA student to shadow you at work on a day of your choice… by bidding for it and donating the bid amount to your chosen charity.
Joy of giving week website will shortly allow you to register your Event or Activity and allow you to offer resources to NGOs and individuals organizing events. So start figuring out how you can get involved!
Imagine waking up to this in the newspapers on October 3...
Celebrities of India come together to celebrate the Joy of Giving and as a result...
1. One million poor children in India will never go hungry
2. 5 million people have been clothed and protected against the vagaries of nature
3. 5 lakh people will get free cataract surgeries
4. 2 lakh disabled people will now get a wheelchair
5. The streets of Mumbai wear a new look post the mega cleaning drive spear headed by Bollywood stars
This need not be wishful thinking- celebrities like you have the power to make this a reality. Many have already responded very positively to the Joy of Giving week idea.
Here are some simple ways in which you can participate in the Week
1. Offer an acting/dance/sports coaching session to a charity auction
2. Do a 10-second testimonial ad supporting the Joy of Giving Week
3, Offer to be an ambassador to a cause/ an NGO
4, Auction a personal belonging to raise funds

Anurag Kashyap
AR Rahman
Ayesha Takia
Farah Khan
Imtiaz Ali
Mini Mathur
Nandita Das
Sachin Tendulkar

...And Many More!
The Joy of Giving week celebrates the power in each one of us to make a difference. Here are some ideas on how you can reach out and touch a life.

1. Organise a clothes collection drive in your building or college
2. Volunteer 3-4 hours in the week with an NGO on a specific activity- creating an MIS for an NGO, helping with their documentation, just filing and sorting the data that they may have
3. Give a couple of days off to your household help and do their work instead
4. Engage in shramdaan – offer to clean the premises of your temple, mosque or church.
5. Give up something that you feel maybe really difficult – icecream, coffee, the extra chapatti…and treat a child on the street or in your neighborhood instead.
6. Visit an elderly relative you may have forgotten about in many years.
“A young man walked past a hungry desperate beggar and looked up and said, ‘Oh God why have you done nothing to help this man?’ God replied , ‘I did – I made you’.”
From the various celebrities who have supported the Week, to Umesh Aggarwal whose extraordinary stories of spirited individuals have motivated us, to Mr Mahadevan driving the Battle of the Buffets in Chennai and our own trustee, Amit Chandra, there are several individuals who have come forward to make the Joy of Giving Week possible.
The Joy of Giving Week gives each one of us the opportunity to reach out and do something good- something that you’ve always wanted to do. More importantly, it offers us the chance to use the power of collective individual action to make a difference.
Pick a cause that you’ve felt strongly about. The GiveIndia site offers you more than 200 credible NGOs working on a wide range of issues to choose from- and more will get added on this site over the next few months. Visit a few organizations and see if you are able to connect with any of them, and figure out a way to help them during the Week. And if you’d rather do something on your own- so be it! Here are some simple ideas that you can execute during the Week-
1. 7days7 gifts from Sept 27-Oct 3
2. Fundraise for your cause. Set up an iGive page.
3. Organise an event in your office or society
4. Indianize these ideas and try them