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How Do I Participate

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with friends around food.


Contribute a financial gift that you’re comfortable sharing.

Bring A Story

Share a story about someone that you care about that might benefit from the common funds that were pooled together.

Meet Needs

Share resources, wisdom, experience, expertise and connections in coming up with good solutions.

What Is This About

Relationships > Transactions

Maintain the primacy of relational connection in all giving and seek to dismantle the power dynamics entrenched in cross-socioeconomic resource sharing.

Abundance > Scarcity

Demonstrate an economy of enough in an economic context that has modeled scarcity, disparity and unjust distribution of wealth. Start with what we have between us.

Collaboration > Isolation

Honor and value all contributions and the wisdom of the group – whether money, expertise, experience, time, connections, opportunities, or suggestions.

People > Projects

Give in ways that always maintain the dignity of those receiving, honoring their privacy and personhood.

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Below are some categories to think about and allow yourself to be creative. Groups have provided gifts from the smallest gift of a birthday cake that cost R20 to the largest gifts of medical bills, rent and car repairs. The greatest thing we’ve given has been ourselves.

Basic Living/Survival

A group purchased grocery cards for an aged-out foster care student. This group went further and took him shopping and taught him how to cook.


Friends paid for a single mom’s phone bills, allowing her to remain in contact with her kids while awaiting a heart transplant.


Generosity dinner guests helped source second hand books for a young man attending university

Gap Grant

A group purchased umbrellas for rainy days and gave them to neighbors who waited at the bus stop.

Health Care

Friends purchased a walker for a homeless friend.


Generosity Dinner guests paid for a door and lock replacement for an elderly woman in Khayelitsha.

Parental Support

Friends pooled their resources to help with final adoption costs – helping to build a beautiful family.

Professional Expenses

A group helped a friend with bankruptcy and legal fees – and spent hours with her giving financial advice and reworking her budget.

Self-Sustaining Initiative

A group helped a dad setup his own business after years in prison – months later they drew alongside him as he sent his daughter to college.


Two members in Philadelphia advocated for help for car repairs for a friend in kidney failure – and then went and got tested to see if they could donate their own kidneys to him.

These are not distant acts of charity; these are gifts of love from one friend to another.


Preparing to Share A Story

One of the most amazing aspects of generosity dinners is that it changes the way we respond to needs. Instead of ignoring or shying away from needs for lack of resources or wisdom, we get to proactively look for and respond to the needs around us.

Leading up to the meal, start thinking about opportunities you might bring to the table. Think about your co-workers, community members, family, friends or neighbors. To get the juices flowing, here is a small sampling of some of the stories that have been met recently.

Discussion Helps

You’ll hear lots of great ideas during the course of the evening. Help the person making a request by exploring alternative ways the need could be met. Try to limit the discussion around each idea, to allow time for all to share.

Questions and short discussions around each request are encouraged; try to come up with at least one actionable suggestion, resource, connection or idea which can support the requester in their concern, even if the group chooses not to help financially. Ask questions to learn more. Click here for tips on how to present a request.


The actual decision-making process can be the hardest part. We have found that after engaging group discussion there is often a clear and natural group consensus as to how best the funds can be met. Common Change will send a simple follow up email with a link to suggest which story you would like to support. Common Change will keep the survey open for 72 hours and have guests weigh-in.


We have created PDF resources to help bring forth thoughts, ideas, and conversation, as you gather with friends, around the table!


Host Tips.PDF

Host Checklist.PDF

Guests Get Ready.PDF

How to Present a Request.PDF

Each of us has a longing to know and be known, to care and be cared for. What if we could each reach across and beyond the barriers which divide us? At Common Change, we are seeking to find ways to live in a more inclusive economy by sharing with those we know and care about.

We believe Abundance > Scarcity
We believe People > Programs
We believe Friends > Projects
We believe Collaboration > Isolation
We believe Relationships > Transactions
We believe Change > Cents

Common Change has a deep commitment to ending personal economic isolation. How that is best-supported is context-driven. We desire to nurture generosity, sharing, and collaborative decision-making in the unique South African context. The country is still dealing with the effects of apartheid in the current economic, social and political spheres, which exhibits in massive economic disparity, high unemployment rates and still deeply felt wounds of inequality, oppression and lack of access to opportunity. In South Africa, our premise is that the best way to eliminate personal economic isolation is through a commitment to longevity and restitutive and proactive giving. We want to support the groundswell of individuals and groups who desire to practice communal giving to individuals who either bear the brunt of the legacy of apartheid and/or are working hard to redeem and work against the effects of it in our cities.

We wish to support those who believe that giving together and in deeper relationship with each other will multiply our giving, expand our impact and longevity, grow our intentionality and increase our communal wisdom. What we all do on our own already, will be done better, together.

Join us as we demonstrate our conviction that relationships rooted in generosity and gratitude truly matter.


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With Common Change you and your friends can contribute into a common group fund, present opportunities to help, and discuss and approve requests in a collaborative way so that your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers are not economically isolated when they face hard times. We help you share not just the money you contribute but your voice, experience, wisdom, time, talents, and connections in helping people around you. Common Change helps you do this all via a platform that engenders trust and ensures transparency and accountability, supporting your desire to spend your time and money on what matters most—the people you care about.