The concept of “pay it forward” can be traced back to ancient plays in Athens, writings and poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson and the teachings of Benjamin Franklin and Woody Hayes. This philanthropic ideology can also be experienced during the Women’s Fund biennial Power of the Purse Luncheon.
Mystery Money is a Women’s Fund tradition that began at the 2012 Power of the Purse Luncheon. Each of our guests receives an envelope filled with money. Regardless of the amount, everyone is encouraged to use their “mini grant” to create change in their community.
Provident Financial Consultants, a Supporting Sponsor of the 2014 Luncheon, used their Mystery Money for a campaign promoted through RACK (Random Act of Christmas Kindness) Cards. Each card described the purpose of the RACK and how to participate in the campaign.
The RACK Cards eventually made their way into the hands of Zack Pawlosky, President of Candeo Creative, who took his staff to Caramel Crisp for an afternoon of buying people’s coffee. Each time they bought a coffee, they would hand off a RACK Card and ask the customer to email them with their own stories of paying it forward.
“It was amazing,” said Pawlosky. “We bought coffee for 30 people, we received over 100 emails back and the chain grew! People did everything from opening a door for someone, to bringing the homeless a meal on Christmas. It was tear jerking.”
After reporting his great news to Abbey Burlingham, Director of Communications at Provident Financial Consultants, she was overwhelmed with the positivity and holiday cheer that came from the RACK Cards.
“It’s great knowing that [the RACK Cards] had an impact, no matter how big or small, on people in the community.” said Burlingham. “We would love to do the project again this year!”
The Women’s Fund mission includes teaching the value and impact of philanthropy to all who attend our events and to the community at large. Attend the 2016 Power of the Purse Luncheon in spring for your chance to pay it forward. Also, if you are interested in participating in the RACK project this holiday season, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.