How to win friends and give away your money

Reflections on a year of giving loudly

Act I: The Setup

My friends knew about great charities. Why not ask them directly where I should give?

I decided that I was going to be public about my donations — because I didn’t know anybody who talked at all about their giving habits.

Act II: Lessons learned

My friends are generally a lot more charitable than I thought.

Almost everyone suggested small local nonprofits, not well-established organizations.

People think that $1000 is a really big deal.

MSFT paycheck - (taxes etc*) = (grad school paycheck - taxes etc**) + $1000

Most charities have no idea how to create a great donor experience. In other words, giving often sucks.

Act III: Where do we go from here?

We need to question the nonprofit status quo. Giving should feel good.

It’s not just charities that need to step up. Everyone should be part of this conversation.

How can we create our own positive giving experiences?

Designer, engineer, maker-of-things. Product manager building a better government at 18F.

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