A numbers game: Betting on $1,000,000
By Davia Rivka
I love asking people for money. First, I give them a gift when I ask. The gift is an opportunity to know that they can have an impact, to remember that they matter, to amplify their voice. People desperately want to make a difference—especially now.
Second, when I ask someone to make a financial contribution to Citizens’ Climate Education or Citizens’ Climate Lobby, I am also offering them the chance to play a game: a numbers game. The more we can support CCE and CCL’s work with our dollars, the further we can advance the cause of effective bipartisan climate action.
The first challenge
In 2015, my sisters and I each made a $10,000 contribution to CCE. (The thanks goes to our recently deceased parents who made the contributions possible.) My sisters and I asked that the $30,000 be matched, turning it into $60,000. That year, CCL raised a total of $260,000. A big thank you to all who rose to meet that challenge.
In the beginning of 2016, our illustrious development director Lynate Pettengill asked me if I would consider making the same contribution. Her request sparked an idea. Ever the game player, I said, “How about if we ask 10 women to contribute $10,000 each and issue a matching grant challenge—generating a total of $200,000?” Never one to shy away from a dollar sign followed by lots of zeros, Lynate was all in. The “Women Who Will” was born.
Ten women said yes before we could blink an eye. A game is only a game if there’s some stretch in it. We chuckled and said, “Let’s raise the bar to 15.” The 15th woman came on board just three weeks before Giving Tuesday, and in 2016 we raised $700,000! Not too shabby.
Ready to play?
Though we’re still in the first blush of 2017, I’m never one to let dust collect under my feet. New year, new game—and this year’s game has expanded. This year we are looking for 25 Generous Gentlemen to join in this effort with 25 Women Who Will. When we bring 25 women and 25 men on board, we will have raised $500,000. And when we match the contributions from those 50 women and men, we will have raised $1,000,000!
“Our total combined budget for 2017 for CCE and CCL is $2,900,000. This Giving Tuesday campaign will make up over one-third of our revenue!” Lynate says. “A huge thank you to the Women Who Will and the Generous Gentlemen who will create our matching gift pool, and to the donors who will leverage this match this fall.”
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate CCE and CCL’s 10th rockin’ year in existence. This will be the year we turn the tide on climate change! Become one of the Women Who Will. Become one of the Generous Gentlemen. I’d say this is absolutely a game worth playing—let me know (email@example.com) if you want to join the team.