A few months ago, I posted a piece about a nonprofit organization called the Giving USA Foundation that compiles annual statistics on charitable giving.
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Author: John David Mannhttps://www.johndavidmann.com
John David Mann is coauthor of the international bestseller, The Go-Giver. The book has been published in 22 languages and has sold over 700,000 copies. In addition to being an award-winning writer and coauthor of numerous New York Times bestselling books, he is also a concert cellist and prize-winning composer.
I read your book in short order, grateful for the model of compassionate capitalism which it gives. I also read it after swimming in Clay Shirky’s incredible “Here Comes Everybody,” and I see a fascinating historical opportunity that may in part help to illuminate the record charitable giving.
We live in a time of almost unlimited opportunity for the individual–greater, possibly, than ever before because of the ability to use the Web to define, organize, and gather communities around incredibly narrow niches. These communities of interest can now create connections world-wide, connections and reach that previously depended on having substantial resources and size, but now just need the Internet. I think we’re seeing this reflected in the proliferation of non-profits and charitable organizations that can easily spring into existence because of email, mail lists, and now social networking–and that allow passionate individuals an outlet for their desires to serve as well as providing more targeted value to smaller communities. And this likely translates into organizations that more directly touch the hearts of those immediately around them.
Thanks for the great thoughts, Steve.
It’s certainly true — in a world where a Nobel Peace Prize goes to Muhammad Yunus for the idea of microlending, ideas like Rachel’s Famous Coffee Foundation have a rich soil from which to sprout. The very notion of abundance, which in the not-so-distant past was something reserved for the few, has almost overnight become an experience achievable by the many. (Just look at China.) It’s an exciting time to be alive!
A great follow-up to “Here Comes Everybody” might be Fareed Zakaria’s “The Post-american World,” which, despite its pessimistic-sounding title, is in fact an incredibly uplifting book on the state of the world, the future of abundance and what Zakaria calls “the rise of the rest.” And, if you haven’t already read it, “The Starfish and the Spider” (which is more along similar lines as Shirky’s book).
Thanks for the response–and the book recommendations. 🙂 I’m halfway through the Brafmans’ “Sway,” but haven’t yet read “The Starfish and the Spider.” The never-ending book pile grows larger…
Having you respond reminds me of another huge change taking place–not only has publishing essentially become “free” because of the Web, it’s also becoming a conversation. I keep waiting for the Kindle to allow readers to post comments, and then for other readers to be able to participate in comment conversations as part of the book-reading experience. And while a blog allows a certain amount of conversation to take place, it’s also very easy for me to visualize mini social networks (or communities) springing up around books, movies, causes, and the like.
“The Go-Giver” is a great example of a community waiting to be born, almost like water behind a dam–latent energy waiting to be released, but which we haven’t fully been able to tap before. In my work as an educational technologist, I’ve built these communities around specific educational topics (e.g., http://www.classroom20.com), and think we are barely just beginning to see the power of individuals connecting in this way. I’ve seen the future, I think, and I really like it.
Keep up the good work!
Hey Steve, I think this community is very apropos, http://www.scienceofgettingrich.net.
Your example is a really good one of extending a book using the Web. And it exemplifies just how much people want to participate.
I think Rebecca Fine has done something really special with Wattles’s work and its very innovative. I think that website is almost 10 years old now. And I see numerous ways to benchmark on what she’s already done.
By the way, as far as I know, much of The Go-Giver is based on The Science of Getting Rich. Bob Burg was the one who actually introduced me to that website and to Wallace Wattles. Wattles talks about the creative vs. competitive and giving more use value than what you take in cash value, essentially the premise of The Go-Giver. As you know, it’s a way to much more easily live and prosper in the world.
Yes, it’s very difficult for people to change their belief systems. I think you’re talking about paradoxical intent, a facet of the manifestation process which is kind of difficult to grasp for most people. Bob describes it as, “caring but not that much.” When I first read that, I was like, “HUh???” My mindset now is that I’m enjoying life right now so much, that if happens that’s cool, if not, that’s cool. The problems arise when desperation creeps in. We have to be unattached to what we want — that’s the rub.
Also, I don’t think we have to feel compelled to change anybody. On my voice message I quote Jim Rohn, “The best way I can help you is to be the best that I can be. The best you can help me is to be the best that you can be.” I think that is a valid statement. Also Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Thanks for the back-story on the website. It’s fascinating.
This is my first exposure formally to the ideas in The Go-Giver, but I can tell you that they resonated with thoughts I’d had for years but just hadn’t fully verbalized.
I’m reading Sway right now by the Brafman brothers, and there is a section on brain scan studies they did that show that different areas of the brain are triggered by financial motivation and generosity–and that it is believed that one or the other gets triggered, but not both. This helps to explain the “punished by rewards” understanding of how reading programs that pay kids to read end up reducing their innate desire to read. Or how financial motivation can reduce internal motivation. I’m really curious to think out the implications for The Go-Giver in this regard, and how we can choose to stay in an “authentic” area when dealing with others instead of the trap of financial motivation can hijack our brains.
As I work in the education field, there’s a very public manifestation of this, as you have passionate, internally motivated educators squaring off regularly with educational vendors, and it’s very hard for either of them to see the world-view of the other.