Week 1: Acumen

I am so excited that you’ve decided to join the pledge to give to 52 incredible organizations this year. To kick off this year of generosity, I knew immediately which organization I wanted to start with.

Acumen is a bold new way to tackle poverty that’s about dignity, not dependence, and choice, not charity. Acumen raises charitable donations to invest in companies, leaders, and ideas that are changing the way the world tackles poverty.

Their manifesto says it all:


It starts by standing with the poor, listening to voices unheard, and recognizing potential where others see despair.

It demands investing as a means, not an end, daring to go where markets have failed and aid has fallen short. It makes capital work for us, not control us.

It thrives on moral imagination: the humility to see the world as it is, and the audacity to imagine the world as it could be. It’s having the ambition to learn at the edge, the wisdom to admit failure, and the courage to start again.

It requires patience and kindness, resilience and grit: a hard-edged hope. It’s leadership that rejects complacency, breaks through bureaucracy, and challenges corruption. Doing what’s right, not what’s easy.

Acumen: it’s the radical idea of creating hope in a cynical world. Changing the way the world tackles poverty and building a world based on dignity.

I first heard of Acumen when volunteering in Uttar Pradesh, India with one of their fellows. Years later, I rediscovered this incredible organization through a talk about generosity and fundraising at the Do Lectures by Sasha Dichter, an incredible talk from my personal role model, Jacqueline Novogratz, and from the always wonderful Seth Godin, who serves as one of their advisors.

Again, I am beyond overjoyed that you have joined in to make this year amazing. I can't wait to share the rest of the organizations selected for this challenge as they are all near and dear to my heart.

Happy New Year!

Lots of love,