2017 End of Year Appeals
Supporting Our Work
Like most nonprofits, if you look under the surface, we’re more than a little ambivalent about asking for money. There are many urgent and immediately worthwhile causes that we support privately, and that you can support as well. So why should you also contribute money to our organization?
Voting with Your Money
Well, to begin with, think about using your money as your vote. When you give money away, or use it to buy from one merchant or another, or hand it over to an investment manager or advisor, you’re conveying a vote of confidence in that person or organization.
And think about what that money will actually be used for. Will it go to feed the hungry, or to give them opportunities to feed themselves? In Haiti, which is a country we know something about, misguided “charity” has undercut local enterprises, and in the case of the Arkansas rice that Bill Clinton “donated” to Haiti as part of “international aid,” it actually destroyed the livelihood of some 15,000 local rice farmers and producers, and similar efforts have undermined whole sectors of the Haitian economy. Arguably, a good deal of what we call “charity” is actually destructive, and international development experts have been increasingly speaking up about it.
Supporting Earth Awareness, Conscious Evolution, and Practical Action
Our approach is different. In terms of Joanna Macy’s “three pillars of the great turning,” our first focus is on what she regards as the third pillar, the shift in consciousness, the “opening into wider spheres of identity with the earth, cosmos, and the whole of humanity.” As Macy writes, the structural alternatives we’re proposing “cannot take root and survive without deeply ingrained values to sustain them. They must mirror what we want and how we relate to Earth and each other. They require, in other words, a profound shift in our perception of reality — and that shift is happening now, both as cognitive revolution and spiritual awakening.” We’d also go so far as to emphasize the cognitive revolution part of this statement: we now know a lot more about the Earth, and about the universe, than our ancestors did; and we need to take responsibility for managing our role in it.
Without this shift in our collective mindset, it’s unlikely that we’ll turn humanity aside from its profoundly ecocidal and self-destructive course. Of course we need to transform our structures and systems — we need to develop new practices and institutions, and operate our enterprises and our communities from a different set of purposes, restorative rather than exploitative. But in reality we’re only going to do this on a very large scale when we can see the very real material benefits from doing so, benefits to our well-being as well as that of future generations, and start to experience the rewards in terms of our lives being more fulfilling, more satisfying, and more worthwhile.
It’s from this perspective that we then develop tools, organizational structures, and financing methods that can begin to build that new world “that our hearts know is possible,” as Charles Eisentein describes it.
An Emerging Model of Social Self-Organization
So when we’re asking for your money, we’re asking first of all that support our work as a way of framing the challenges and the opportunities for building a world that works for all of life. Imagine if Possible Planet was the emerging framework for a system of local, bioregional, ecosystem, and global governance — using a governance model that is closer to a set of “wisdom councils” than to the current international order. If you think this work is important, we ask you to invest in us as a way of supporting it. Of course, you’ll also be supporting our practical initiatives in clean energy financing, eco-community development, and global climate change policy.