Creative problem solving: Asking more people to do less
In the past week or so, I’ve seen three highly creative approaches to problem-solving that focus on requesting small actions from many people, rather than asking a lot from a few. When I saw the first, I thought, “Wow, what a great idea! I want to get involved.” When I saw the second, I thought, “That’s very cool. I’ll have to blog about it.” Now that the third has come across my email, I’m actually blogging about it!
Here are three strategies that involve reaching out to more people with smaller requests, thereby lowering the barrier to entry for making a difference.
A fellow member of a Facebook poetry group shared a link to Art4TheHomeless, a Georgia-based nonprofit organization that solicits artists of all types to donate portions of their income to help solve the problem of homelessness in America. From their website:
Art4TheHomeless is an Atlanta based nonprofit organization that unites artists of all mediums to promote homeless awareness in the USA. Our goal is to open an art gallery and venue spot where not only artists will be shown and promoted, but also funds will be generated to sponsor other nonprofit homeless relief organizations.
Art4TheHomeless was started as an art blog by a young lady. The dream of a young artist affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita was to give back to the kind people at the homeless shelter she stayed in Atlanta, GA. At the time, all she had was her own art. She went to trade school and learned about computers and started the art blog–and used it to promote homeless awareness. That original blog is still up and you can click here to see it today!
The thing that caught my attention was this:
Our goal is to raise $250, 000 one dollar at a time.
Imagine if 250K people only donated one buck!
Next up, Natalie Pace, a financial educator and personal Facebook connection, invited me to her event: $1 for 1 Day. The gist is:
Amazon is hosting a $1 for 1 Day sale of my new Amazon bestselling book, The ABCs of Money, on 3.3.13. Mark your calendar and share with your friends.
Think about various orgs that might benefit as well. You could gift 30 books to a high school math class for just $30 on that day. (I gifted books to the girls in Kenya whom I mentor, and to all of my retreat volunteers, for $80 instead of $1200.) All you need are the email addresses of whomever you wish to gift to. If the org is a 501c3, you could receive a tax write-off on your taxes, in addition to helping others.
If you are not in the U.S., one of your U.S. friends can buy and gift it to you. They just need your email address.
If you’re on Facebook and would like more info, here’s the link: http://goo.gl/mqQqY.
Lastly, I received this email via LinkedIn today from Christina Mylonas, a Peace Corps volunteer:
As a Peace Corps Volunteer, I do a community needs assessment, and develop projects based on that assessment. The biggest problem for the villages in Kavango Region is a lack of things for kids to do.
I am setting up a library at Diyana Combined School, with space for social events like: story time, girls’ day and games day. The space will also be used for speaker presentations and movies.
Here’s my problem, and where you come in: The library has very few books, and what they have are well worn. The shelves were mounted against the walls, so termites got many of them. I’ve since moved the shelves in hopes of eliminating that problem. I’m asking everyone in my network of friends, clients, and LinkedIn connections to send one children’s book.
Why just one? To do a book drive would result in one person shipping and paying for what could be a lot of books. That can get very expensive and time consuming. Instead, you can grab a book off your kid’s shelf, or used book store, or even your grocery store. Throw it into a brown envelope, walk it to the post office and mail it to: Diyana Combined School Library, P. O. Box 5061, Divundu, Namibia. The postage is your contribution.
Then you pass this email on to 10 friends. Before long Diyana will have enough books to fill its shelves. It’s a small thing to do that can make a real difference.
Thanks for taking the time to help out. For those of you who helped by donating to Andara Combined School, that library has been a big success. THANK YOU!
Christina Mylonas, PCV, Namibia
christinahelps @ yahoo . com
While none of these ideas may apply directly to you, as always I challenge you to find lessons from these concepts that you can apply to your own marketing, networking, and/or problem-solving efforts.
Two of these came to me via Facebook and one reached out through LinkedIn, so one lesson here is harnessing the power of social media. I also noticed that all of these creative thinkers are women. Gentlemen, where are your good ideas? Let’s hear them!
Here’s to innovative thinking in YOUR book marketing!
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