Sometimes deciding that something is worth supporting takes someone else demonstrating their support first.
We don’t always shout “THAT’S A GREAT IDEA!” until we see other people nodding their heads in agreement first. We don’t always bother to fish out a few dollars for the collection plate until we see it filling up on our way to us.
Sometimes, we need a nudge.
That’s why I really like the concept of a challenge match, where someone says “this issue or organization is so important to me, I’m going to support it in a big way as long as everyone else does too!”
The Wayne County Foundation recently did a version of this. We said, “We’ll support the not-for-profit organizations that our community values, as long as they show that others in the community will step up to do the same.” (I’m currently the Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, so I get to see a lot of the things neat the organization does in the community.)
And so because there was giving, there was more giving. Because there was financial support for community improvement, there was more financial support for community improvement. On and on, until we got to a million dollars.
If anyone questions that Richmond is capable of great things, of rising to a challenge, point them to this incredible support – spread across many people from many walks of life – for our community’s future.
It’s pretty inspiring. And who knows what other kinds of support it will spur on?