Give and Get

The business model for Open Field is this: we put our time and resources, and the time and talent of generous and likeminded others, into creating a digital publication; we promote the publication; we sell the publication; we give the proceeds to CARE; CARE uses the money to do good. You give money and you get a digital magazine. You give and CARE gets the money. It’s not sophisticated, but it’s working.

Soon we’ll need to find a sponsor (someone CARE is comfortable with), so we can pay contributors. While none of them has asked for payment, nor baulked at sharing their work for charity, the one thing that has bothered us from the beginning was asking people to donate their work. Contributors give work and get an audience, but we know that’s less than any professional should receive. We’re thinking about how to improve and evolve Open Field so it can respectfully, ethically, benefit CARE, creative contributors, and readers.

We also want to let people know about other creative charitable enterprises. These are some of the projects we think are clever ways to encourage people to give while getting. Let us know if you’ve heard about others – we like to share good ideas.

SHARE: The Cookbook That Celebrates Our Common Humanity

The publisher’s profits from the sale of this cookbook go to charity Women for Women International to help women in war-torn countries. The recipes come from the women living in the countries where Women for Women International operate and also from renowned chefs such as Alice Waters, Maggie Beer, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and humanitarians such as Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela,Christine Amanpour, Desmond Tutu, Emma Thompson, Judi Dench, Richard Branson, Annie Lennox, Paul McCartney and Mia Farrow. Several members of the Open Field team have this book so we can vouch that there are great recipes in it.

Yellow Bird Project

The founders of Montreal-based Yellow Bird Project explain it best: ‘We work with an amazing range of indie rock musicians to create unique t-shirt designs that benefit an array of charities, each chosen by the musicians.’ Give to charity, get a t-shirt. Excellent.

Suspended Coffee

Basically, there are places that allow you to pay for two coffees when you buy one. That second coffee (or two or three coffees, or food, if you want) is for someone who can’t afford it. Someone in need can then go into the business and ask if they have any suspended coffees. They are then provided with warmth and nourishment at no cost to themselves. Paying it forward, one coffee at a time. It’s a simple, small act of kindness.

Shout for Good

Shout is an app-based, micro-donation platform that enables users to donate the value of everyday items such as a coffee, a drink or movie ticket to not-for-profit organisations or worthy causes.  Co-Founder Jane Martino explains: ‘Shout is about demonstrating that collectively we can achieve great things by all sharing a little.’ Giving made easy – we like it.

Do Something Near You

This is a great, local idea: on this site you can find something useful and interesting you can do that’s in your area. You give your time (volunteering, fundraising, generally helping), you get to be involved in a neighbourhood activity that makes a difference. So far, only in Australia… If you know of a similar initiative elsewhere we’d love to hear about it.