The Giving Project Launches

May 11, 2010 · By Sloane Davidson, Founder and CEO, Hello Neighbor

*I really do believe that we all can make a difference. Have an impact. Leave the world better than we found it. *

But too often, in the day to day of life, we get weighed down by responsibility and it's hard, just plain hard to make it through. It's one thing after another and our very best intentions (whatever they may be) fall to the side as we struggle just to get through the day.

I'm no different. Even in my cause-filled living way of life, I often find myself not doing as much as I want to when I think about giving back. It's the Lance Armstrong effect. He gets on a bike and goes 50 miles without batting an eye. He must feel like he should do more training, step up his game, be the best he can be every day. That very best is more than most people could ever hope for, yet for him, those 50 miles don't seem like enough.

I'm no Lance Armstrong, but I feel the same effect. I give a piece of me every day to the world, and yet at night, I often feel like I should be doing more. My sense of giving has been normalized and I need more. In 2010, I decided, I would find a way to incorporate a more structured giving campaign into my life and share those details on my blog. That structure means a number of hours volunteered, money donated, in-kind donations, everything.

This May, I'd like to introduce The Giving Project. The Giving Project is where I partner with one nonprofit for a set period of time to help them, to lend them my skills, my contacts, my network and create a customized program that matches both their needs and wants with my skills.

My first partner is the St. Bernard Project. I was first introduced to them last year when I was in New Orleans volunteering. I loved their passion, their business savvy in a nonprofit world and their desire to ultimately "put themselves out of business." Their mission is to create housing opportunities so that Hurricane Katrina survivors can return to their homes and communities.

The St. Bernard Project, a nonprofit, community-based organization that carries out its mission through three primary programs: Rebuilding Program, Center for Wellness and Mental Health and Senior Housing Program. Over 900 families are still without their homes in St. Bernard and I want to do every little bit I can do to help get that number to ZERO.

In partnering with them here is what I'm doing:

I'm working with the founder Liz McCartney and staff on more ways I can get involved. Then what? I'm going to be growing this project, reporting back on what works and what needs tweaking and ultimately,_ creating a guide for YOU_ to create a Giving Project of your own.

Do you have anything like this you already do? Can you share with me how you decide where to give and how you get involved?