This was originally sent by StartSomeGood CEO Tom Dawkins to our team last week. After a great response it was decided to share it more widely. It has been edited only very slightly for this wider audience.
I would not presume to know the politics of everyone who gets involved in StartSomeGood. But from conversations over recent days, I know that some of us, and I’ll own up to being in this group, are shocked by the recent US election results and worried about the implications for the future.
However you feel about election results, I think it’s really important to remember that there’s only so much that we can ever expect our political leaders to do, and so much that we as citizens must do with or without them. If you’re worried about what Trump means for the future America, then realize the importance now more than ever of the kind of infrastructure that we are building to support citizens to create change for their own communities, without requiring permission from traditional gatekeepers of social change, such as governments, foundations, and the well-off.
StartSomeGood is about citizen leadership to create the future that we all want. Now of course governments have an important role, and there are issues that only government can work with, or can only work on at the scale required, but there is so much that we can do to create the changes that we seek directly, and indeed, things that citizens can do that government simply can’t do. You can’t legislate against fear and resentment, you can’t legislate to end sexism and racism, but you can reach out to people, build communities, build trust, educate and create connections that change people’s perspectives and sense of what’s possible. These local actions can create the kind of community that we all want to live in, one that is more fair, safe, prosperous and connected.
This is what crowdfunding makes possible for so many communities around the world, and this is why we do what we do. Because whatever happens at a political level people need to realize their own power to affect change. We live in the greatest time in human history for citizen-initiated change. Never before have we had such an incredible collection of tools that enable us to share our stories, collaborate with one another, and make a real impact on people’s lives.
Crowdfunding is becoming an increasingly important part of the changemakers’ toolkit, and that’s why we’re going to keep doing what we do to build better tools, make them more accessible, and teach people how to use them so that communities can create the future that they need for themselves.
Because whatever our political leaders may promise us, there is no one person who alone can “save us.” We can only do that for ourselves, together.
Thank you for everything you’re doing to advance this vision and enhance this possibility for changemakers in America, Australia and dozens of countries around the world.
And to anyone now reading this, and especially to the entrepreneurs, activists and community groups launching projects on StartSomeGood, thank you for stepping forward, sharing your dream and daring to make a difference.
Whatever you do, don’t feel defeated. This is a time for social entrepreneurs. A time for activists. A time for changemakers. And when you step forward to take on the hard work of social change, we will do everything we can to support you to succeed. Because we’re all in this together.