Giving in Corona: One Cause at a Time

By Moshe Hecht

I consider myself to be extremely blessed to be in the position that I am in. Working with nonprofits from across the globe, I’ve had the privilege to learn and adapt to the multitude of cultures and practices that make every sector, city, and cause so unique. How many people get to have that opportunity? Very few. 

From a small day school in Brooklyn to a children’s hospital in Sydney, Australia, this position allows me an exceptional and profound perspective. If I follow the signs and trends closely enough, I see eye-opening consistencies, both healthy and not so healthy. I can see macro trends as they emerge. I have a front row seat to the ebb and flow of this $500 billion dollar industry of goodness. 

In the last three months, I’ve witnessed something which, never in my wildest imagination, did I think I would live through. A phenomenon of biblical proportions. Nothing short of a tectonic shift from what we’ve been used to for all history. 

But if you don’t look closely, you’ll just as easily miss it. 

The entire universe is walking hand in hand, step by step, penny by penny, in an equalized way to assist in the current and most urgent needs of humanity. People are doing everything possible to help others, clearing the path for, and giving each and every cause, its proper place in a pyramid of relevance and prioritization.

You can organize the types of causes in the world into just a few categories. Humanitarian, health, education, animal rights, environment, religion, and so on. And we all prioritize the issues that are most important to us, which are largely determined by our upbringing, values, and life experiences. But let’s be honest, we all have our favorites. And that’s okay. That’s actually kind of the point. 

But you know what? 

Historically, some of these causes have been neglected. And not because they aren’t as important. Indeed, some of them are actually the most worthy, but are neglected because societies don’t always possess the resources or courage to get things right. I would love to help a dying child across the world, but I may only have the means to help a hungry one in my community. It’s just the way things have always been, and always will be. 

Or will it? 

Among the many accelerative occurrences and miraculous events in the last few months is the beginning of a perfected alignment of priorities. Not man made priorities, but made by a force much greater than us. Call her what you will, but there is a force at work here. And if this force was giving a speech right now, it would probably go something like this:

Dear People of the Earth! Let’s get our priorities straight. First and foremost, the preservation of life is most important above all. No matter your color, ethnicity, language, religion, or origin, the sanctity of life itself is paramount above all else. So, I want to thank all the people who’ve given their time and money to save lives. The doctors, the nurses, the volunteers, and the givers. You rock my world. You are in fact the very bedrock of existence. You own the early months of this pandemic, and the giving of the world should be focused on you first, only once you are taken care of, shall we move on… 

I move onto those who helped prevent grave suffering and possible death. Who fed the hungry, sheltered the most vulnerable and masked the spread, preventing even more death. As I write this article, this is now your golden age … take it! The path is clear! If you are a nonprofit servicing in the fields above, you should be running an appeal NOW. 

And over the near immediate horizon…

My dearest society, I know that your suffering sometimes seems completely invisible, yet it is as real as the greatest of maladies. It can be in the mind and trapped there. It can be buried deep in the heart and fester. The need for friendship, community, and religion is the fodder we need to rise up from this epidemic wholesome and well. 

Any and all organizations that can help humanity come out stronger in the coming weeks, get off your couches and start planning! June and July is your moment! 

And, perhaps, in the near distant future, when school starts again, education will get its shining moment to own the airwaves of the collective consciousness of mankind. All you need to do is observe, listen to what the winds are telling you is most critical for the world right now, and do your part to help! 

Are you seeing the unfolding and evolution now? Pretty incredible, huh?  

In closing, it’s not for me to say definitively what is more important in life, or what you should prioritize over something else. But the cosmos are sending us a message, shining a light in a truly universal fashion, on causes. Almost one at a time. 

Here are the two main takeaways:

For fundraisers: 

1: If you run a nonprofit, listen closely and you will find your time to fundraise in the coming months. And when your moment arrives, you will have your time in the spotlight. 

For givers:

2: Take a look at the causes you support and prioritize some that may have “fallen through the cracks.” Be fully aware with your giving. “Be water” as the great Bruce Lee would say, by emulating the current cosmos and flowing toward the pulse of the most critical cause of the moment. 

Moshe Hecht is a philanthropy futurist, public speaker and chief innovation officer of Charidy, a crowdfunding platform and consulting company that has helped 5000 organizations raise over 900 million dollars. His articles have been published in publications such as Forbes, Nonprofit Quarterly and eJewishPhilanthropy. @moshehecht @wearecharidy#tzedakaspresent

This is the latest addition to Tzedaka’s Present: A column on current and future giving trends and opportunities.