Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ready to Commit

Responsible Referrals has a simple idea.  Let us find your next Real Estate Agent so that your favorite Nonprofit organization serving homeless kids can benefit.  Check our FAQ page or see the Process link.  It's all there.

Why will this make a difference?

At a time when Federal and State funding for homelessness (and other social programs) is facing serious cutbacks , nonprofits and corporations need to be able to cooperate and help each other.  It's more important than ever that we work hand in hand creating innovative solutions to the on-going expense of helping our nations homeless youth and families. It might be a little different than what we're used to - but it isn't difficult. 

They call it "corporate social responsibility (CSR)".  But how can a legal entity be " socially responsible"?  A corporation by its very nature is faceless and profit driven. 

That's where personal responsibility comes in. Corporate responsibility starts with a personal commitment to social responsibility. Watching the news last fall, I saw a piece describing an organization called the Giving Pledge.
"The Giving Pledge is an effort to invite the wealthiest individuals and families in America to commit to giving the majority of their wealth to philanthropy"
Currently there are 69 pledge letters from names you will certainly recognize:  Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, David Rockefeller, Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and George Lucas to name a few. These individuals and families have been invited to join this group. The Giving Pledge keeps its focus on,
"Billionaires, or those who would be billionaires if not for their giving".
Well that explains it, then. My invitation wasn't lost in the mail after-all. But wait! The Giving Pledge goes on to say:
"The idea takes its inspiration from efforts in the past and at present that encourage and recognize givers of all financial means and backgrounds. We are inspired by the example set by millions of Americans who give generously (and often at great personal sacrifice) to make the world a better place"
Most of us are not billionaires.  Most of us probably aren't even "thousand-aires"!  (Is that a word?) But apparently WE have inspired the billionaires!
So here's a thought.  Everyone can commit to giving in some way. It could be a set number of volunteer hours each year. It could be a percentage of income.  It could be the gift of prayer.  It could be the promise to frequent companies that include philanthropy within their corporate structures.  It could be any number of things. Is it possible that we could create our own "Non-billionaire Giving Pledge"?

Let's try it!  What will you do?  What should we call it?

Take some time and think about this.  Truth be told, this article has been "in process"for months.  The first draft was written in late June and then tweaked over the next number of months. The hesitation to "ship" this was overwhelming - is STILL overwhelming.  So why now?  Just moments ago, I was told of an individual who has recently been experiencing homelessness.  Things are beginning to look up and he now has a roof over his head.  In his effort to show gratitude, he said "thanks" by donating a little of what he has to the organization that helped him find his new beginning. 

I'm ready - here's my pledge. 

If you'd like to make one of your own, just write it up, sign it and send it to responsiblereferrals at  We'll include online links to your letter which will be found on the page called "A Giving Pledge for Regular People" (see the header in this blog).  Maybe the idea will get bigger than all of us and we'll need our own website!  Now that could be fun . . . to say nothing of what it will mean to so many.

Related Blog Articles:
* 68% of American Donors Plan to Cut Back on Charitable Giving (2011 Donor Report)
* 50/50
* Homelessness and the Gang of Six
* Responsible Referrals - Worth a Good Look


  1. This is AWESOME! I love your hand signing picture. I'm going to be praying and thinking about what I could pledge. Thank you for being honest, brave and mostly just plain inspirational.

  2. I agree with Linda! Definitely giving this some thought.