Oh my goodness!  When I wrote this post about how to change the world with the $100 I was given at Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit, I couldn’t have anticipated your beautiful visions and generosity!

Countless people shared their visions for how they would use $100 to change the world. (You can read all the beautiful comments here).

$800 in donations were collected from investors in this blog community who want your dreams to come true.

And some of you were inspired to donate $100 – or more – to charities of your own or to give away products and services you’ve created in order to help others.

I was moved beyond words at what happens when people open their hearts, release fear, tap into the Oneness that unites us all, and commit to service. Bless you for restoring my faith in humanity and inspiring me to give back in bigger ways.

I had a tough time choosing how to invest the $100 Chris invested in me, but I finally chose Sara, mostly because her creative vision for how she will use the $100 felt most in line with Chris’s vision and mission, and it felt somehow fitting to pay it forward in a way that once again pays it forward.

Here’s How I Spent My $100 Investment

Sara plans to visit the hub of her community—a diverse and eclectic population of approximately 40,000 people—and spend an entire day meeting 100 people, giving each of them a single dollar bill, asking them to think of ways they could use that $1 to make a difference for someone else. “I would ask them to be creative with it—for example: buy a stack of note cards and spend time writing heartfelt notes to special people; buy a homeless person a hot, comforting cup of tea on a cold day and really listen to his or her story; buy a packet of seeds to plant and then give the seedlings away to people to plant in their own spaces; buy one dollar’s worth of bird seed and give it to children in a park to scatter; buy a small ball of yarn and spend part of a day visiting and knitting with an elderly person in an assisted living facility; buy a single blossom and give it to someone who looks like she could use a lift …  whatever they can come up with. The possibilities are endless!”

She goes on, “The idea here is to exponentially augment the impact of the project by involving everyday people in a mission of greatness … and, much like the pay-it-forward concept, perhaps the people those initial 100 people interact with will respond in kind and start thinking about small, simple ways they too can help make a positive contribution to humanity.”

You can read Sara’s response to the news here.

8 More $100 Investments

Choosing how to invest the other $800 those of you who donated contributed was no easy task! I was so wildly inspired by all of you, and I sincerely wish I could fund every vision described here. Although I’m a big fan of nonprofit organizations like Kiva.org, Charity: Water, and The Girl Effect, to narrow down my choices, and in the spirit of Chris’s The $100 Startup, I made the decision to give the money to people who were doing something with it themselves, rather than giving it away to other charities or non-profits. Here are the stories of those who will each receive $100!

The Investments

  1. Lindi plans to seek out 10 people in a grocery store where unemployment is high, where she’d give $10.00 each to 10 people. “The goal is 10 people to spread a bit of cheer to 10 other people they encounter in the world, which is a 100% return on investment.”
  2. Zuzonna is an artist, whose friend Tim was her muse until he committed suicide 2 years ago. In loving memory of Tim – and as a reminder of life and rebirth – she plans to use the $100 to bring an artistic vision to life, creating prayer and herb-filled butterflies, so she can walk the streets and give them to everyone she can find to remind them that “we are one, we all matter, and [we must] always have faith, trust and belief in the awe of life.”
  3. April plans to set up an online employment agency, matching up start ups and entrepreneurs with single parents for part time, work-at-home jobs that offer a flexible schedule, new skills and experience, and a little bit of extra income – “like paid internships, but for parents, rather than college students.” She plans to use part of the money to set up a workshop to teach single parents in her area some legitimate ways to find work-at-home jobs (and how to spot the scams.)
  4. Kim has two friends in unhappy marriages who plan to leave their marriages, but may find themselves struggling financially when they do. Yet they are courageously moving forward anyway. “I couldn’t think of a better surprise than to give my 2 friends each $100. I would match your $100 with $100 of my own. But I do believe the story you have provided impresses the most impact. After the $100 has serviced its worldly purpose, the story will continue. I would even venture to guess that they will be inspired to bring an offering of goodness to another and another and so on and so on.”
  5. Kimberly plans to use the $100 to start a program where she provides small art kits and some art instruction to homeless individuals, so they can create art to sell. “The ability to communicate artistically would hopefully raise awareness and allow these individuals to share the beauty that lies within their hearts, bridging that gap that lies between us.”
  6. In Georgetown, Guyana, Julie plans to create the Flourish Centre, a safe, loving, and enriching place for youth to come for after school programming, where they will spend time with animals, learn gardening, do arts and crafts, and learn the life-skills that help kids Flourish.
  7. Meadow wants to start a non-profit to help low-income single moms get out of survival mode and create beautiful, sustainable lives for themselves and their families. She plans to invite coaches, mentors and entrepreneurs to donate some of their online coaching and informational programs to highly motivated low income single moms.
  8. Daniella has been supporting a 6-year old Tibetan girl in India, whose family is about to make a big move to a refugee camp to Italy, where she will start first grade in September. “We found them a house, furnished it, and found a job for her dad. I am sooo excited because now all possibilities will be open to her. So I could use $100 and add $400 myself for a total of $500 to put in a bank account in her name.”

The $100 Startup

The five fabulous people I chose to receive copies of Chris’s book The $100 Startup are as follows:

  • Jessica McMahan, who makes her own Hawaiian flower and gemstone essences/elixirs to help with healing
  • Julie-Anne, who wrote a book Nothing but Respect – A True Victim to Victory Story and wants to donate them to women’s shelters, outpatient treatment programs, suicide prevention programs, and fibromyalgia support groups
  • Cynthia Hanna, who created a project called Gifts Of Compassion, a group of 11 artists using creativity to survive illness/challenges. They offer others a creative, heart felt way to plant seeds of healing, connection and joy within their lives via art postcards available in their Etsy shop.
  • Pauline Campos, who is in the process of launching a new site called Girl Body Pride and hope to help women who were harmed by society’s weight obsession and mean kids on the playground.
  • Ashleigh, who longs to establish WILD Wellness (Women with Illness Living Deeply), an online community that exists to serve as an outlet for women dealing with chronic illness, disability, or pain.

So many would benefit from reading Chris’s book, because it reminds us that it doesn’t take a huge investment or even loads of planning to start living our dreams and changing the world – right now.

How To Stretch $100

In this country, we are blessed. $100 may not go very far here, but in others, $100 can make a profound impact on the lives of many. $100 can help women set up small businesses that give them autonomy, self-worth, freedom from abusive relationships, and a way to feed their children. $100 can help provide clean water to dozens of people who are used to walking ten miles in order to collect mud they barely filter before drinking. $100 can help girls who might go uneducated attend school.

There are countless other good causes. In case there are more of you wishing to donate $100 to serve the world, other causes our community longed to support include: San Pedro, Belize Humane Society, Lamia in Greece who cares for stray dogs and cats on the island of Amorgos, Global Giving to prevent poaching in Africa, Mariel Hemingway Crowdfunding Anti-Monsanto Film, Take What You Need project, Reunite Victims of Child Trafficking with Their Families in Nepal, Why Vegan,  Praying for Taylor, Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, Trio Animal Foundation, and Ashley’s Prints with Love.

I Dare You

Even if it’s a stretch for you, I dare you to donate $100 – or your time, services, or products – to something that matters to you. I just donated to Charity: Water, whose nightclub promoter-turned-nonprofit founder Scott Harrison, spoke at World Domination Summit about how one person really can change the world, one glass of clean water at a time.

What will you do to change the world? Tell us how you’re inspired to make a difference.

Update

Here’s how one of our recipients decided to change the world:

Inspired to give,

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12 Comments

  1. Julie-Anne

    Lissa,
    I am so honored that you have selected me as a recipient of Chris’s book. I am VERY much looking forward to reading it! I love the idea of being able to change the world with $100.00! I have my own books packaged and ready to be mailed out to a number of needy groups as soon as I get over to the Post Office.

    Frankly, I was also relieved NOT to be one of the $100.00 recipients as my vision of “Paying it Forward” while out on a speaking tour has been put on hold for the time being. I know that it will happen soon; This was just not the right time and opportunity for me. Keep doing what you do! You’re blogs are SO inspirational!

    With Unconditional Love and Gratitude,
    Julie-Anne

    Reply
  2. Lindi

    Lissa,

    I’m thrilled you selected Sara as the recipient of your $100. Her vision of energizing everyday people to spread love and light among one another touched my heart. All the submissions were amazing. Thank you to the kind & loving souls who donated to further this beautiful mission.

    I’m honored and humbled you selected my idea. The thought of selecting ten random people food shopping to bestow $10 upon has me giddy. Perhaps I’ll encounter an elderly couple on limited income, a mother trying to feed her children, a single dad, a young couple just starting out in life, an unemployed person juggling coupons to stretch a non existent budget or a person who had a rotten day. I can see the surprised smiles, hear the conversations that will take place and feel the the joyful energy that will travel forward. Lissa you’ve done any amazing job with your initial $100 received from Chris. You’ve inspired us all.

    Big Hug !!
    Lindi

    Reply
  3. Holly

    Hi Lisa,

    This is so inspiring! I love it when a smallish amount of money can make a difference for a philanthropic group or a person.

    One of my colleagues is helping women go from homelessness to self-sufficiency, and if anyone is looking to invest their $100, the organization has a goal of $100 from 100 people.

    Here’s the link for more information: http://www.leaptosuccess.org

    Kind Regards,
    Holly Kolman

    Reply
    • Dana Bristol-Smith

      Hi Lisa and Holly,

      Thank you for sharing how we are helping homeless women with Leap to Success!

      One of my inspirations for starting our program came from a $10 gift that my church made to each of us to invest in others!

      Money + intention creates powerful results. In the past year, we’ve empowered more than 100 women!

      Thank you for your encouragement!

      Dana Bristol-Smith
      Founder, Leap to Success

      Reply
  4. April

    I had to read this twice and then have someone else read it to make sure I was reading it correctly. Am I seriously one of the $100 recipients? I really get to actually start helping other single moms instead of just thinking about it? So many ideas and plans swirling around in my head right now! I need a project name, put together the materials, reach out to my local social service contacts, enlist some friends to do some mentoring and maybe contribute to the material….so much to do and I can’t wait to get started! Thank you, Lissa, and also a big thanks to the other investors!

    Reply
  5. Cynthia H

    Lissa, I’m so excited to learn that I’ll be receiving one of Chris’ books!! I’ve been trying to ‘think outside the box’ for months now, looking for a way to rebuild my own life as well as support the start of Gifts Of Compassion.
    My income went to zero on January 4th of this year. I would be homeless if my 21 year old son hadn’t been willing to provide for me – and that, on a minimum wage salary!
    I’ve begun to change my circumstances via creative thinking AND Gifts Of Compassion. I’m earning a small salary by handling social media management. And hope to help other women in serious financial crises, because of serious health issues or major life challenges, to begin rebuilding their lives as well.
    I’m eager to read the book and to find better ways to rebuild my own life – and to pay it forward!

    Reply
  6. Michelle Medina

    I love love love seeing how all of you are changing the world!!
    Thank you Lissa for sharing and thank everyone who has stepped up!!!
    I’m not sure what I’ll do on the 1st of August with my SSI but I’ll definitely share when I figure it out!

    Reply
  7. pauline (aspiringmama)

    thank you so much. I truly appreciate the support and love you and your spirit.

    Reply
  8. julie

    Thank you so much Lissa! Thank you to all the generous readers who donated towards funding these beautiful Dreams. Thank YOU who are reading this now for sharing the Love & Light!

    I’m just delighted, honoured, and so grateful for the $100 support to make Flourish Youth Centre a reality. More about Flourish and my ebullient thanks here: https://candle4kindness.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/flourish-youth-centre-first-investment

    Keep Shining,
    Julie

    Reply
  9. Zuzonna Huot

    Thank you soooooooo much Dearest Lissa and all the other generous patrons who are helping to make so many dreams awaken into reality.

    I was so touched by all the entries that you received and my heart was renewed at the love and selfless action that so many beautiful people are embarking upon to make the world a better place.. healing ourselves, each other, and all life upon and including our beloved planet. Yes!!!

    Needless to say, I was overwhelmed when Universal love magic sprinkled itself heavily like a warm blanket upon my heart… and I found out that I was one of the recipients to receive $100 to enable more of my caterpillars to transform into butterflies…In awe….I feel the wings I always have had folded and invisable for the most part, only coming out when feeling totally safe, start to flutter ecstatically behind my breast and prepare for flight. Ahhhhhhh

    I am so ready to give life to the dream that created this dream….already the performance pieces I have been working on are breaking through into the light…I have a lot more work to do to put them all together, but now I know everything I ever needed, and need now to manifest what I have come to this earth to do, has always been here and will be there and I graciously stand aside and let the space be that provides the portal to appear that will deliver my souls song to the world. May it touch and open many hearts as I flutter along my path.

    My muse is very much still alive within me and about me in the most spiritual, ethereal and powerful way. Love never dies…

    Again thank you one and all…I am so honored to be a part of you!
    Namaste’ Lissa and Chris for showing us the power of Paying it Forward and reminding us all of how important each and every one of us is…one person at a time, we “are” changing the world!
    Onward in Grace…

    Lots of Love, Zuzonna

    Reply
  10. Lissa Rankin, MD

    You’re all SO welcome. It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to see Chris’s investment multiply in this way. Bless you all for having such vision, generosity, and hope for a better world.

    With love and gratitude,
    Lissa

    Reply
  11. Daniela

    Thank you so much Lissa!!
    I cannot believe my idea has bene chosen!
    Lanzey is the final recipient of the donation. She is due to arrive in Italy in August.
    How exciting! From a refugee camp with no future to school and a new life in Italy!
    I believe the world can be changed one person at a time, expecially investing in girls, the mothers of tomorrow.
    Thank you so much for everything!!

    Reply

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