Financial Capital. This one topic has the potential to stir fear in the hearts of changemakers. However, Carolyn Ashworth invited Greenhouse participants to explore this topic through the lens of knowing oneself, knowing others – specifically funders – and knowing how to ask. This invitation allowed fear to melt away in the face of honest, vulnerable and brave conversations.
The larger discussion led to small group discussions where participants processed emergent responses such as, fear of rejection, social taboos around talking about money, and the power dynamics inherent in philanthropy.
In sharing, members not only developed actionable ideas, they created spaces for support and inspiration. Dennis, one of the Greenhouse participants, said, “I learned that there’s a need to exercise patience and persistence during a fundraising event, we should never give up hope, we should keep trying.”
Drawing Upon Experience
As participants reflected on a time in their lives when they had given a meaningful financial gift to another, they sought to develop a deeper understanding of what was truly impactful about that experience. Knowing what prompted them to give and how it made them feel allowed them to think about how they might extend a joyful invitation and create a positive experience in their own relationships with supporters.
As Mafah Cornelius, another Greenhouse participant stated, “Changemakers are people who have the heart to do good and dare to do it. It is natural for other like-minded individuals to contribute to the excellent work a Changemaker does.”
Building upon that, Emmanuel and Herbie, two Greenhouse members, shared the idea that changemakers are like lightbulbs. When a lightbulb is on, it may attract many insects. In the same way, when a changemaker is immersed in the work they are passionate about, their light is on and will attract like-minded supporters.
As these changemakers with pure hearts and sincere intentions focus on growing their passion in an effort to help their communities and the world, they are not only keeping the light on, they are letting their lights shine bright.
An outreach of The Pollination Project, Greenhouse is designed to expand the consciousness of participants in ways that promote connection, community, resilience, and collaboration for grassroots changemakers around the world.
When we think of development in a non-profit context, often we think only of ways to invite more financial capital into our organizations. But what if other forms of wealth exist that have the opportunity to catalyze our work in ways that strengthen not only our missions, but also our individual capacity to see those missions through? Reflecting our belief that social change requires inner transformation, together we will map the nonprofit ecosystem in ways that explore social capital, material capital, cultural capital, experiential capital, spiritual capital, as well as financial capital.