Do you live in Scarborough?
Do you feel like you could make more of a difference here, but aren't sure how?
Would it be nice to meet new people (even if only online)? (You choose)
Would you like to feel part of a group that helps the community?
If any of that applies to you, DidGüd can help.
DidGüd is an online group of local people who each contribute £5 per month to a pot, and then between us we decide each month who to give the money to.
How we decide .. that's the interesting bit. You get paired with someone different each month. And together you have a role. One month, your role might be to agree and suggest a beneficiary. Another month you might have to make a choice between two suggestions. Or you might be the couple who make that month's final decision.
It's designed that way so everyone gets an equal say. Strong personalities can't dominate, and introverts are heard.
When you receive your email telling you who you are paired with this month, it's up to you both how you would like to work together. Email is quick and works most of the time, but you might want to meet for coffee or speak on the phone. It's a way to make new connections and potentially new friends. And it's deliberately designed to mix ages, genders and backgrounds and get us outside our normal social circle.
Social connections are important to our world view and our mental health, and they provide us with powerful resources. Everyone needs a stronger community. Everyone benefits.
You've got this far, it's time to take action. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org, just say that you would like to join DidGüd and we'll set up a direct debit and I'll add you to the system and you'll get your first email with instructions around the start of the month. Obviously, you can always stop whenever you like.
Let's feel better and do some good.
(If you are not in Scarborough and would like DidGud to happen where you are, request it here.)
Yes, DidGud is a way to give money to people who need it and so do some real, feel-good stuff in your community. Awesome. But there's more.
We decide in pairs who to give to. You are randomly allocated someone to pair with each month and there are a few easy rules to follow but basically you get to meet new people (nice people who want to help your community). Meet over ice cream or keep it to text messages, Facebook or phone, up to you both.
It's amazing in that you can be paired (it's different every month) with a very different sort of person to the sort you usually hang around with, and that's really, really good because you are encouraged to understand each others' point of view and reach agreement. In this age of division and hatred, this is a real antidote. And hey, maybe you'll meet someone who will change your life for the better.
All this could save your life (the strongest predictor of how long you'll live is how many people you talk to). Not seeing people from day to day is such a big problem we now have a Minister for Loneliness.
There are also a variety of roles you get to play. One month you might be coming up with ideas of where to send the money. Other months, you'll be deciding between ideas given to you. And anytime you could be in the pair making the final, ultimate decision who to give the money to.
It's kind-of anti-charity, because people seem to have a problem with charity salaries. It's anti-establishment, because everyone giving could be the final decision maker. And it's revolutionary because we get to meet each other instead of hanging around on the sofa watching the world disintegrate.
It's actually doing something positive.
This is a Scarborough thing to start and it's always going to be local, but there's nothing stopping it being local all over the world.
So, the upswell of love you feel when the kid gets a new wheelchair .. is that worth a fiver to you?
Over to you.
Cripes, a lot's happened. An election. Christmas. Anyway, we rolled over. A lot. So this month we had £195.50 and donated it to help in the setup of Scarborough Community Fridge. There are lots in the area, helped by Coast & Vale Community Action and part of a nationwide movement.
Besides having to pay for boring stuff like electricity and insurance, volunteers who aren't already certified have to go through food safety training that also has to be paid for.
Community fridges are about sharing food that would otherwise be wasted and are free to all. (You have to be referred to get into a food bank.)
As at 12 Feb they haven't got their bank account set up yet, so I'm waiting for those details before making the payment.
In August we rolled over, so at the end of September we had £73.52 for the Scarborough Hospice at Home Marie Curie team.
We rolled over quite a few months and amassed £231.01 which went to The Scarborough Haven Project.
DidGud had the sniff of a company coming on board so held back running the system. Then the wait became untenable. Then members insufficiently engaged with the process and the final decision making pair at the top of the pyramid received no suggestions. That makes this month quite a rollover of, expect a little short of £200 which would seem to be a natural motivator.
This month is a rollover of £94.08 and we decided to donate it to India Robertson, a young actor with the Stephen Joseph Theatre, who is raising funds for a new wheelchair. You may have seen her in The Night The Moonchild Smiled.
Yes, my bad, I'm late with everything. November's donations of £47.04 (see how moving away from Paypal saves a little money) has gone to Scarborough Samaritans.
October's donations of £46.30 will go to Yorkshire Coast Families a charity which offers services to meet the needs of families/carer's of children and young adults (0-25) with Disabilities/Additional Needs.
In the last round, we paid out £46.30 to The Rainbow Centre in light of their recent break in.
The rollover figure was £92.60 and we sent it to Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team, thank-you.
We also decided that text messages would be a useful reminder for people, so I'll be programming that in due course.
This month the decision pyramid failed, the pair at the top received no suggestions. Holiday season, eh? So it's a rollover!
Also, we're going to use the pyramid to come up with a suggestion for how to not fail in future.
This month we chose to support Scarborough Young Adult Carers with £60.93, check out their video:
This month's charity is Scarborough Hospital League of Friends, I paid in £50.93 cash at the shop and got a receipt, I'll upload it here when I find it again :-)
Finally got around to working out how to send them their money.
This month's charity was Yorkshire Coast Sight Support, we will send £51.30. I've emailed them to see how they would like the money to be paid.
In order to get more people involved I've asked everyone involved in DidGud to go to our Facebook Page and share it, saying a little about why they like DidGud.
Also, if you know of any Scarborough companies who would like to pay £5 per employee, be seen as a sponsor and get their employees involved in the community, let us know.
This month we sent £61.30 to Willows Lull Children's Charity. The amount was a tad lower despite Devon giving an extra tenner (thanks Devon) because some of it's cash through Labour meetings and we've been a bit irregular at the moment with choosing our MP candidate. We'll catch up.
As part of growing DidGud I've asked Willows Lull whether they will sing our praises a little, we'll see what they say.
We mustered £66.67 for Scarborough Mind this month which was much appreciated, they sent back a certificate of appreciation and a lovely letter saying that receiving funds unexpectedly has a hugely positive effect on their morale.
I'm trying to get to the point where the decision pyramid and emails go out automatically and I did run that for March but I've questions about whether the emails are actually getting delivered so I'll hang on before committing that to absolute automation. Onwards & upwards.
This month's decision went to Scarborough Survivors. We have the same members but I think I'm missing a cash donation so this month's figure is £33.15. The system seems to work so the next job seems to be to grow the membership so we can help more.
The December test ran pretty much perfectly, we have 9 active members who collectively decided to pay The Rainbow Centre £38.15 (Paypal payments are received minus 37p costs, and one active member wanted to pay cash, didn't, but promised to so they are still in the system, so 5 x £4.63 + 3 x £5).
The January pyramid has been created and emails sent. Based on this successful trial I'll continue development and publicity. Obviously one thing to fix is to escape Paypal's charges :-) Another is, this way doesn't appear to qualify for gift aid, since I'm donating other people's money. I'll need to clarify that.