We have $500 to DO GOOD this month! How should we use it?


@J.Money and I are busy putting the finishing touches on the Rockstar Community Fund (RCF), which you’ll see in January, but in the meantime we thought we’d kick off a fun little project here to start doing some good around the holiday season :slight_smile:

Rockstar Finance has set aside $500 for the month of December, and we want you guys to help us use it to make a difference in people’s lives! We don’t simply want to donate it to a charity - though that could be a part of it - but rather, harness the community here to come up with a fun, creative way to help some struggling people this month. And bonus points if we can use our digital connections here to amplify the impact.

How can we best use this $500 to DO GOOD? Is there a project you’ve always wanted to do yourself but don’t have the funds? Is there someone close to you - or a family of someones - that we can rally behind and offer some support? Does your company or school or church have a program that really resonates with you? Can we do something online to go mini-viral?

No idea is too big, too small, or too crazy here. Think outside the box and let’s see what we can come up with!

Hi, I'm Emily!


Here’s an idea to let a bunch of our community get involved, and capture some cool stories at the same time:

What if Rockstar pays for 25 Visa gift cards at a value of $20 each, free to any of our forum community members who want to pick one up (digitally, I think?), and then you guys go out into your world and use that money to buy a gift for someone you know or know of for whom you think it would make a really big difference this holiday season.

In exchange for getting the free money to buy a meaningful gift, your job is to come back here to the forum and tell the story of what you did and what the results were (bonus if you can include pics/videos!).

Additionally, once we run out of free gift cards, we can encourage anyone else who wants to participate to go spend just $20 of their own money to do the same thing. In fact, we could all promote this on our social media platforms and blogs as something this big group of people is coming together to do, and anyone at all who wants to use $20 for a meaningful gift to a deserving person in their community can do so, and then share their story with us here in the forum.

This could be a joyful holiday gift-giving project that a lot of people would have fun participating in, I think.

Anyway, just one idea. Respond with thoughts on this one, or more ideas of your own!


Great idea, guys!

I always carry granola bars, chips, and peanuts (any non perishables) to give away when I am stopped at stopped lights in the city. Lately, I have been spending more time in the suburbs at my BF’s where I see less people on the street. 'There is, however, one guy that is always on the street with a sign asking for food. The other day I drove by him (going the wrong way) and thought about taking him to lunch. He is young (late 20’s?) and doesn’t look too dangerous…though I know you never know! I thought if I take him to lunch I could find out his story and see if I can help in any way. I’m not necessarily applying for a gift card - I plan to do it either way - I just wanted to share my idea of making a difference to one person this holiday. To show the people who feel invisible that we do actually see them.


Great idea! I’m actually already doing this (in a sense) but without the funding. :slight_smile: A friend of mine is a foster mom and I offered to buy some things for her teenage foster son this Christmas. He wants some psychedelic jogger pants with a lightning storm on them. Not my taste, but that’s what he wants, so that’s what I plan to buy.


I’m going to need a pic of these!! :slight_smile:


Here they are in all their glory: https://www.amazon.com/Uideazone-Printed-Graphric-Jogging-Sweatpants/dp/B01E6JMYLS/ref=pd_sbs_193_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&refRID=8WHG4M8KQ68G1FZAWN6N&th=1&psc=1


Are you familiar with the Give Directly movement? https://www.ted.com/talks/joy_sun_should_you_donate_differently

Traditionally, aid organizations don’t give the poor money directly - they convert donations into something material (blankets, food, cattle whatever) and then give that to those that need aid. The assumption has always been that we know better than the recipient how to spend that money in the best way. Recent research challenges that idea and that is what the TED talk is about.

I find that this idea of giving directly ties in nicely with the values of this community. We believe in taking personal responsibility for your finances. We believe in educating ourselves and others about all things money. We believe in taking control of our money and using it as a tool to improve our lives.

Could there be a way to use this money to conduct our own ‘giving directly experiment’ and then using our blogs to follow up on what resulted (success or failure) and publicize it? As a community we could act as a resource if the recipient asks for financial advice, but we wouldn’t force it on them. We’d just follow the fortunes of the donation and document it (perhaps taking turns to do updates monthly on various blogs).

If this idea gets no traction, I’d also like to say that I like the idea that @nate proposed too, and would volunteer to take one of the gift cards and document what results.


First, I am willing to donate $100 from MillennialMoney.com to the RCF, as well as share the cause that everyone decides to pursue. I think we should encourage more of the RSF community to donate on behalf of their blogs (if they make money) or even it not! Then you could start a WALL of all the donated blogs on RSF!

Is there a place that we can donate the money?

One particular person in my life who is struggling is Brad Frost, one of my childhood friends 2 months ago got diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer. He had never really even been sick before. It came out of the blue! Here is his Go Fund Me page: https://www.gofundme.com/brads-road-to-recovery
He is also Podcasting the whole experience (the rawest content I’ve ever heard) here: http://www.defendingyourlife.us/

Just a thought.


I’d love to see it go to someone in need — paying off debt, struggling to pay bills, etc. Also, I’m a big supporter of women and women’s shelters often need things we take for granted, like toothbrushes, combs, and shampoo. There are SO many ways we can make a difference.


Well, this is a local thing…but we have a local homeless youth center that has an Adopt-a-Youth program for the holidays. They give you an age, gender and wish list from a homeless teen/young adult to buy for. I’m sure they’d love to have some gift cards or donations, as they are having trouble getting people to sign up to “adopt”.

Whatever is decided, I’d be willing to provide a match (up to $100).


Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish…

Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame has a not for profit organization; “The mikeroweWORKS Foundation started the
Profoundly Disconnected® campaign to challenge the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success. The Skills Gap is here, and if we don’t close it, it’ll swallow us all.”



Depends on what you want out of the $500. Are you aiming to make the most impact to mankind with those $500? Or is it bringing most joy to the giver?

If its the former you are after, pick someone from this list and rest knowing your money is being put to good use.
http://www.givewell.org/charities/top-charities (HIGHLY recommend watching: http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_singer_the_why_and_how_of_effective_altruism)

If its the later, then really its as simple as starting a free-order-for-the-next-person train at your local coffee shop/drive through. Done it many many times and loved it every single time.


Oh my gosh - these are THE BEST things I have ever seen. No wonder he wants them!! Seriously on fleek…isn’t that what the kids say these days?


I honestly think the goal is some mixture of the two. We want to tangibly help, yes, but not at the expense of making a difference for the giver as well (giving them the joy of physically seeing the impact of their contribution).

One of the big things I always focus on is trying to get people to see is that there are many ways they can make a small positive impact in people’s lives, and how these can add up over time to truly make a big difference in the world. Building out mechanisms where the average person can participate in a meaningful way to do good and give back, without costing them a ton of time or money, in a way that allows them to see or feel the outcome in a personal way, can go far in changing the circumstances of not only the recipient, but also the giver.

I’ve had this happen in my own life: the more I give, even in small ways, the more I see that a giving lifestyle can have a big impact on the world, and ultimately, it’s my own life that changes in a measurable way. And that change continues to have a ripple effect on all the lives I touch and help down the line.

This is the very long way to say that I think we want to get out of it something that makes a measurable difference for a person or group of people, and at the same time something through which the giver can see and feel great about the process and the results, and get excited about doing the next one. :slight_smile:


I really like Mike Rowe and this entire concept.


Adding this to the idea list, thank you (and also WOW thank you for the $100 match as well)!

If we went this route, do you think there’s a way to amplify our giving through any of our community resources (bloggers, etc) in a way that’s interesting?


Yes to both - individual and women’s shelter necessities - on the list…


Everything you’re talking about is everything we’ve been working on putting into place for January 2017. Like exactly. :slight_smile:

@J.Money and I built the Love Drop project 5 years ago, which had bloggers and community members banding together to help people like your friend Brad, and then yes, showing a WALL of giving on the site: http://lovedrop.us/total/

The RCF is going to be big like this next month, so we’ll keep you on the list for when we officially kick it off and go big! In the meantime, thank you for the $100 match (like @CentsiblyRich, yay!) on whatever we decide on for the mini project this month!

We’ll connect everyone up with donation information once we figure out what we land on…


I’m putting this TED Talk on my watchlist, and I love your concept ideas on how giving directly ties into the Rockstar principles . . . including using our blogs to conduct giving experiments both to give back and to track results.

Do you have any specific thoughts on direct giving activities that could be fun to do as a group here, and easy enough to track back?