That's a photograph of the donation box at the Watt in Roteang Village where the Sharing Foundation has most of its programs. I photographed it in 2004. Phonetically, one may pronounce this "pouttch bautha", and it means "donation to the Buddha." I think about that photo when I think about a culture of giving.
Roger Carr at Everyday Giving connected me with Dr. Mani, who has an inspired an online community of over 600 people who have supported awareness and fundraising activities for congenital heart defects for many years. Dr. Mani not only donated to the Sharing Foundation's America's Giving Challenge, but we've having a conversation about social fundraising. After clicking over to his site and his masterful use of social fundraising and his passion for his cause, I became a donor to his cause. (I hope you will too)
Dr. Mani has a new post called "Influence of Culture on Giving" riffing on an earlier post where I mused out loud about what influence culture has on giving.
The experience has shown me there are many different things that influence ‘giving’. Economics. Geography. Religious beliefs. Personal philosophy. And culture.
What makes some people dig into their pockets to contribute money to help a nameless, faceless person who lives halfway across the globe - someone whom they have never met, and very likely never will?
It’s such a fascinating ‘mystery’. I’ve discussed this many times with my wife, friends and daughter.
It probably distills down to the influence of culture.
“That’s why I don’t do memes; that’s why I rarely refer people to other sites which may be calling for donations for worthy causes. If I open that door, I will (and do) get flooded.“
Dr. Mani has a different view on influence and how it can be used for social good. Go read it. There is a connection here to something that Doug Haslam pointed me to on ThinkFree - "How Aggressively Should I Get Connected?" That's something worth a lot of reflection.
There has already been over $23,000 for the Sharing Foundation's America's Giving Challenge raised through the unselfish giving of over 850 people like Roger Carr and Dr. Mani. There is only a little more than 24 hours left to donate and change a child's life.