The Giving Wall
The Giving Wall is a website where the urgent needs of men, women, and families living in poverty are met by the community.
At a moment's notice a person's life can dramatically change because of immobility instigated by a car repair they can't afford, a sick child who needs medical care, or the inability to pay for the certification needed to take a new (better paying) job. Too often needs like these entrap smart, hardworking people in a cycle of poverty, without a clear way out – until now.
What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)
We believe it is critical that each need posted on The Giving Wall is reviewed and approved by a caseworker or career advisor who is in close contact with the 'Believer'. Here's how we do it...
Geography of focus (500 characters)
The Giving Wall pilot was successful in Richmond, Virginia; it's time to grow. To arrive at a point where we can scale impact in Richmond, surrounding counties and cities, and throughout other communities nationwide, we must increase our capacity and
up-skill our technology to create a platform that can be licensed, a brand ready to be shared, and the processes and guidelines that can seamlessly map on top of the operating models of our nonprofit workforce development partners.
Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)
The Giving Wall is a simple website with powerful impact: empower and enable our community to meet the unique and urgent needs of people and families living in poverty as they journey from crisis to thriving. Damaging narratives that divide us are broken. New ones that unite us are built. Those who live differently from one another journey toward a generous and generative relationship born from reciprocity. This narrative reconstruction will build a future of care from closeness.
What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)
The Giving Wall exists to fit within a system of care where those who are most vulnerable are supported holistically. Workforce development agencies secure job interviews, job placement, and job security – while The Giving Wall removes barriers that block access to all three. It's not a solution in a silo, we move beyond meeting needs like car repair, work boots, and prescription costs. Within each 'transaction' that takes place on The Giving Wall are people seemingly unlike one another who have created and experienced the powerful feeling only compassionate community can deliver. In a moment, someone in crisis believes a stranger cares for them. In that same moment, someone showing up in support is emotionally connected to self and other by giving a hand up to a member of their community at a critical time. And in that moment, a hardworking career advisor or caseworker can deliver GOOD news, and take a much needed sigh of relief.
What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)
We have integrated into an existing system in support of the hopeful outcomes and impacts of workforce development nonprofits. In this way, their success measures are ours. In others, we have to tend to our own and look to their support in uncovering them. Right now the outcomes we measure are met needs, speed to meet them, supply and demand, and brand equity in the minds of Supporters, Believers, and Advisors. To date we've met 181 needs, totaling $30,479, in less than seven months, with only one partner. Our demand is far greater than our supply, which limits our ability to message to the masses regularly. In the Fall, however, we will welcome two new nonprofit partners who will cause the supply on The Giving Wall to increase dramatically – inciting the need for a marketing effort that inspires and activates. Running concurrently we will also be tracking outcomes more closely through technological solutions on our platform.
What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)
It all began because we became aware of a nonsensical issue: 25.4% of our community here in Richmond, Virginia were struggling deeply to find the resources to meet critical life-altering needs that nearly 3/4 of our community could meet with relative ease. This issue exists in cities throughout the country, and we've been lucky enough to engineer a simple solution that solves for an otherwise complex problem. We began less than one year ago with a leap of faith assumption: If we build a platform that showcases the needs of people living in poverty, members of the community will eagerly meet those needs. Our assumptions were correct. After seven months, we're proud to report a successful pilot, and the readiness to expand capabilities and grow our reach.
Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)
Richmond, Virginia has a poverty rate of 25.4%, totaling 57,000 human beings.
Richmond has the second highest eviction rate of any city in the country.
Richmond has one of the lowest economic progress rates of any city in the country – meaning, if you live in poverty there's a strong likelihood you will exit this Earth living in poverty.
And we are known for our segregated history where communities of human beings were cast out and blocked from progress because of the color of their skin.
We aren't unique in these narratives, and that's a shame.
But we are unique in that we're a city ready for change, one ready for innovative solutions to complex problems where the voices of everyone being served are held close and inform all decisions made.
How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)
We can write with confidence that The Giving Wall has been built for our community by our community from the very first day. From the three murals painted by community members that share stories of mutuality and progress, to a listening tour that invited all members of our community together, to leveraging community forums like Mindful Mornings to rally social good and social justice supporters, to holding community socials where Believers and Supporters could convene and share and hold space for one another – we have explored the strengths and weaknesses of our community as felt and understood by our community, and responded with solutions and space. We are a town that is courageous in our convictions, be them judgemental or evangelical. That brave vocalization of beliefs can either bring us closer or push us apart – we choose the former. You can learn more about our mural work here: https://www.nbc12.com/2018/12/21/different-kind-wall-makes-headlines-richmonds-giving-wall/
What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)
The Giving Wall lives in partnership with organizations in the field of workforce development. The reason? These organizations have a career advisor and caseworker force that provide holistic and lasting support through a model based on care, coaching, and mentoring. Their clients have needs. They vet and approve those needs. We place them on The Giving Wall, whilst inviting people to visit and support. The Giving Wall would not exist without these partners, because we refuse to 'solve' one problem without the other support systems in place. That's not systems problem solving and solution finding – that's the type of siloed thinking that fails the people we effort to serve. Our current partner is The Office of Community Wealth Building, the only municipal office of its kind in the country, and we will welcome The Goodwill and Caritas in the Fall of 2019.
What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing
Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing
Platform: Creating a community or market that facilitates interaction between users and resources
Idea Proposal Stage
Early Adoption: We have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have proof of user uptake (i.e. 16% to 49% of the target population or 1,000 to 50,000 users).
Group or Organization Name
The Giving Wall
Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)
All that we've mentioned is all that our group does as a whole. We're a team of volunteers looking to move from ad hoc effort to long-term engagement and support of the people and organizations The Giving Wall is proud to serve. Becky is our Founder. David is our lead technologist. Juliette and Louise are our designers. All are supporting in the early morning hours, late evening hours, and on the weekends. This is truly a labor of love – one that we know will turn into an employment opportunity, thanks to our projected financial model.
Type of submitter
We are not yet a registered organization but plan to register in future
Organization Headquarters: Country
Organization Headquarters: City / State
Richmond / Virginia