Building Millennial Philanthropy, 1% at A Time

August 24, 2011

Re-posted from, for all you AF fans who love innovative philanthropy. Beginnings In 2007, Daniel Kaufman started a conversation about philanthropic giving over dinner with his law school friends that has since blossomed into the One Percent Foundation (OPF), a national organization that engages young adults in philanthropy through giving circles and leadership development. That first circle of friends realized that they were giving reactively, rather than strategically funding the things they cared most about. They uncovered a pattern of challenges that stopped them and their generation from doing more: A concern that they couldn’t afford to be philanthropists. Not knowing where their money would be most effectively shared. Doubting their potential to make an impact. That group started their own giving circle, pooling 1% of their incomes and collectively overcoming these challenges to effective philanthropy. “I never meant to start an organization,” Daniel admits.  Soon, the original founders moved to New York, DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Seattle, growing into a national giving circle. By 2009, they realized they were filling a vital niche. OPF was ready to scale. “Millennials aren’t at the table. [They] don’t control any of the sources of funding, and the non-profit landscape represents… read more →

Why I’m Psyched about Awesome Foundation Seattle

July 21, 2011

This is Suzanne Tidwell and that fuzzy, rainbowed thing beside her is a tree. Suzanne is a self-proclaimed yarn bomber — think Stich’n Bitch + graffiti. Today, I watched Suzanne and her friends transform 7 or 8 of the Occidental Park maple trees into a fanciful, Christo-meets-Seuss installation (more pics below). I had a chance to chat with Suzanne during Arts Walk. She’s been scouring every Value Village in greater Seattle for discount yarn. She won a grant from 4Culture. And then came the paperwork and the permissions. In other words, a lot of love and hard work. The result? Complete surprise and delight from all passers-by. People petting trees. A reason to stop for a snapshot with a friend. Awesome. Suzanne was happy to hear that we are launching an Awesome Foundation in Seattle. She told me that winning traditional arts project grants can be tricky. “Foundations won’t often fund your project until it’s nearly completed,” making the start-up process challenging, especially for new artists like herself. A little recognition and a $1,000 grant for supplies could be a very meaningful first step for a new project. Coming home inspired by Suzanne and her yarn bomb, I wanted to… read more →