Today, February 14, 2012 is Generosity Day. How will you say ‘yes’ to every opportunity to be kind, helpful and appreciative of those around you today?
A couple years ago, Sasha Dichter, Chief Innovation Officer of the Acumen Fund, conducted a month-long experiment in being generous (more on that here). When he mentioned the experiment to his fellow panelists at Social Media Week in early 2011, Generosity Day was born. The inaugural Generosity Day on Valentine’s Day 2011 was hosted by Dichter, Scott Case, former CEO of Malaria No More and current CEO of StartUp America Partnership, Ellen McGirt of Fast Company, and Katya Andresen, Chief Strategy Officer at Network for Good. You can find a full account of last year’s Generosity Day in Fast Company here.
The intention to re-boot Valentine’s Day for good in 2011 went viral, taking root on social media networks and in the blogosphere. But intention wasn’t enough for Dichter and his team. They reframed the challenge (and opportunity) of Generosity Day as action – that is, making an impact in the REAL world.
Building on that challenge, this year, the crew is back with even higher hopes for Generosity Day. The campaign is hosted on Causes.com, where participants can take a pledge to say ‘yes’ to being generous for 24 hours, recruit their friends and family to participate and share their acts of kindness. The folks at See3 Communications created a touching video to showcase the message of Generosity Day and inspire others to join (watch it here).
So how will you make a positive mark on your world today?
If you are looking for ways to be generous (even before someone asks you for help), here are some examples: Give to people on the street. Tip outrageously. Help a stranger. Write a note telling someone how much you appreciate them. Smile. Donate (more) to a cause that means a lot to you. Take clothes to GoodWill. Share your toys (grownups and kids). Be patient with yourself and with others. Replace the toilet paper in the bathroom. All generous acts count!