Pooling Together

Launched Public Site

Members in 36 states and 9 countries.

Forged Collaborative Giving

Groups formed out of shared value, geographic proximity, and most of all relational connection.

Crazy Growth

255% growth in membership and still going!.

Giving to People

Small Gifts with Great Love

Families and friends received gifts of kindness in a time of need.

Giving Our Change

Members give more than money; they give themselves to propose, discuss, approve and fund gifts for friends and neighbors.

Giving of Time

Countless people dedicated their time, expertise and creativity to our vision of an economy of abundance where there is enough for everyone.


Shared with People We Care about


Volunteer Hours Dedicated


Average Amount of a Gift


Average Size of a Group

Successes to celebrate


We launched public beta in January and in April began design work on a new User Interface. During the year we integrated several new features including vacation holds, guest status, and comment and weigh-in via reply-to-email. In early September, we began rewriting our application and integrating the new UX. We look forward to launching in Q2 2015.


In 2014, we focussed on stabilizing operational and financial structures and procedures. We produced written and visual materials to support groups in forming and activating, integrated project and user management tools to help facilitate virtual team work, and have comprehensive process documentation for the majority of our internal functions.


In 2014, we established several strategic organizational partnerships and had the opportunity to speak at 8 conferences around the country. We identified the UK as a development region and launched two pilot groups which have become amongst our most active Common Change groups. We also identified South Africa as our next region for expansion and transitioned operational headquarters to Cape Town.


Basic Living/Survival $31830

We’ve helped friends in 24 States and have given gifts of kindness and care to those we love in Canada, Cuba, Ghana, Egypt, Liberia, Scotland,  South Africa, Uganda and the United Kingdom. From the smallest gift of a birthday cake that cost $1.58 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 in California helped an aged-out foster care student with food gift cards – but went further and took him shopping and taught him how to cook.


A group in California helped a single mom with phone bills to remain in contact with her kids while awaiting a heart transplant. On Dec 31 she received a new heart!


A 17 year-old Kenyan boy dropped out of school when his family could no longer afford school fees. A group paid for his last two years of schooling – and a member met with him regularly to mentor and encourage him.

Gap Grant

A group in Oklahoma helped a friend with living expenses while he launched a self-sustaining business.

Health Care

A D.C. group helped purchase a walker for a homeless friend. And celebrated Thanksgiving with him.


A group in Minnesota threw a party for a family living in a shelter – and a few months later helped pay the final costs on a Habitat for Humanity home for them.

Parental Support

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

Professional Expenses

Members in Virginia 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 in North Carolina 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.

Here’s what we got up to in 2014:

Month Need Met Amount
Jan Helping elderly in Cuba with food, medicine and basic needs $5,000.00
Jan Shoes/Clothes for memorial service $141.03
Jan New tires for friend $360.00
Jan Christmas meal and basic needs for Egyptian family and mom fighting cancer $580.00
Jan Mexican university student trip to Spain $1,800.00
Jan Housecleaning for family struggling $100.00
Jan New fuel pump for truck $300.00
Jan Medical bills for 2 year old with brittle bone disease $200.00
Feb Computer foundation course for young Kenyan man $450.00
Feb Tuition to help Kenyan boy finish school $350.00
Feb Memorial/travel assistance for friend after her mom passed away $250.00
Feb Help couple prepare for adoption $500.00
Feb Help with medical costs for 9 year old with inoperable brain tumor $200.00
March New tires $325.00
March Dental procedure after bike accident $2,896.00
March Outpatient lodging costs for mom undergoing cancer treatment $500.00
March Restoring money lost in a burglary $200.00
April Utility bill assistance $350.00
April Supporting seminary students with a gift of love $200.00
April Medical bills for young man without insurance $1,700.00
April Brake replacement $400.00
April Car repair $1,000.00
April Piano tuning for student $450.00
April Assist with credit card bill after friend gets married $100.00
April Plane ticket to funeral in Ghana $300.00
April Birthing costs $1,600.00
April Cleaning equipment for youth in South African township uplifting their community $465.00
April Housing for friend home from prison $250.00
April Pain patches for boy with rare bone disease $400.00
April Walker for homeless friend $114.99
April Temporary housing for family losing their house $375.00
April Helping community members reestablish livelihood projects after their village burnt down $2,500.00
May Tuition for two children after dad goes to jail $1,800.00
May Special Care for 8 Weeks for a Cancer Patient Undergoing Radio-Therapy $764.00
May Tuition for young Kenyan boy $450.00
May Medical supplies for neighborhood cooperative pharmacy $1,200.00
May Van repairs and cell bill for dad in kidney failure $2,000.00
May Root canal $1,485.00
May Emergency housing and search for long-term housing for dad and son $1,200.00
May Help with car repairs $225.00
May School expenses for family in Egypt $430.00
May School expenses for family in Egypt $1,725.00
May Emergency housing for friend in transition $1,500.00
June Utility bill assistance for friend laid off from work $125.00
June Diapers, supplies and other costs as family welcomes baby $400.00
June Rent and living expenses for family whose dad is in a coma from a scooter accident $2,000.00
June Transportation assistance for friend with cancer $900.00
June Car repair for single mom with three kids $1,000.00
June Summer school for young first-gen college student $1,800.00
June Car repair for friend in kidney failure $2,000.00
June Transportation assistance for friend in Ghana $800.00
July Rent for young pastor facing 45% property tax increase $429.00
July Months rent for friend who lost their job $1,000.00
July Renewal of permanent resident card $450.00
July Replace timing belt on vehicle $400.00
July Carpet cleaning for single mom trying to keep her kids $72.00
July Transportation costs for son caring for his mother with dementia $500.00
July Foreign adoption costs $400.00
July Help with basic living costs for single mom who recently lost her husband $223.00
July Mulch for team helping with a neighbor’s yard $60.00
July Repairing leaking roof for elderly woman $285.00
July Helping and encouraging a friend $159.73
July Sim and airtime purchase for elderly disabled friend $105.00
July Renovation of kitchen area, where workers are fed $850.11
July Motorcycle registration and insurance for man to get to work $367.00
July Support for family $119.00
August Rent and phone for woman waiting heart transplant $3,294.00
August Help with adoption fund $250.00
August Care package for 17 year old shot multiple times $400.00
August Auto repair $1,100.00
August Medical expenses for baby born prematurely $1,500.00
August Back to school backpacks $60.00
August Car repairs for single mom of four $350.00
August Care for woman after her husband passed away $700.00
August Van repairs $160.00
August Supporting young man through university $850.00
August Help for friend out of work due to leg disability $199.19
September Weekend away for friend after multiple bereavements $350.00
September Living assistance for single mom after dad goes to prison $500.00
September Food and back to school clothing for single mom and four kids $600.00
September Lifting debt burden for struggling family $1,500.00
September Refrigerator for rehab house $600.00
September Food help for an aged-out foster college athlete $2,400.00
September Funds for a keyboard for a musician $250.00
September Large print bible for man in prison $2.89
October Auto repair for elderly neighbor $500.00
October Getting started gift for new family $300.00
October Emergency food and soap making supplies for Liberian family fighting Ebola $250.00
October Flight to support grieving friend $400.00
October Birthday party for family living in a shelter $150.00
October Rent assistance for friend $300.00
October Help dad send his daughter to college $600.00
October Transitional expenses for family launching business $1,150.00
October Personal development course for 20 at-risk youth $400.00
October Medicine for woman in Uganda with HIV $250.00
October Medical costs for premature birth $2,000.00
October Replacing jar of coins and appliances stolen from elderly neighbor $500.00
October Utility bills $230.00
October Gas bill for single mom $400.00
October Adoption costs $350.00
October Airfare for community development project $1,350.00
October Cobra insurance fees for out of work friend $682.04
October Down-payment on accommodation for family in transition $389.02
November Basic living costs, food and medicine for elderly Cuban community $6,500.00
November Repair of a critically damaged roof for old man $412.12
November Starting a roadside café micro-business $1,200.00
November Recovery costs for mom after brain surgery $1,000.00
November Supporting a family business getting started $200.00
November 6 chiropractor sessions for woman with chronic anxiety and depression $240.32
November Medical bills after surgery $998.73
November Self care for friend working at an orphanage in Jamaica $150.00
November 5 tents for 5 Iraqi refugee families $2,000.00
November One month’s rent for woman out of work $1,097.00
November Assistance with property taxes $1,700.00
November Closing costs on a Habitat for Humanity home for family living in a shelter $1,000.00
November Window replacement for neighbor’s car $274.73
November Takeaway meal for family moving house $32.00
November Court fees for friend released from prison $204.15
December Helping pay for a funeral $475.00
December Utility expenses after unexpected car repairs and new baby $250.00
December Gas, food and prescription expenses for women undergoing treatment $250.00
December Bedding for families in poor community during winter $3,000.00
December Used car purchase for a friend $2,000.00
December Legal fees for woman putting her life back together $1,466.00
December Rent and insurance fees for single mom $1,500.00
December Car repairs $300.00
December Assistance for young woman working at a non-profit $900.00
December Insurance back-pay for woman facing surgery $600.00
December Flight costs to return home for young woman with cancer $300.00

Want to join the fun in 2015? Join Now and create your giving group.

Common Change was born out of a vision that still guides us: That there is enough for all who inhabit the planet. We believed then, as we do now, that if we could just get enough people together we could eliminate personal economic isolation.

Earlier this year our team articulated what we are doing and hope to see happen through our work with Common Change. Here’s our happily ever after:

9 years ago we started with one group in an experiment for six months. We simply asked, “What if we each contributed to a common fund and as we see needs in the lives of those around us, we figured out ways we could collectively meet those needs? We could lend our expertise, provide friendship and support for people suffering, or give money out of our common fund!”

This one group of friends found that, together, they could change lives. They have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to help those friends, family, coworkers and neighbors who were in desperate need. But beyond the money, they opened their homes to house the homeless, they helped disadvantaged teens find jobs, and they helped young adults start over. And there was always a hidden surprise.

It turned out that the people they helped appreciated their presence and support and loving kindness even more than the money. It really mattered that the money came from someone who was in the circle of friends of the person in need.

In order to make this amazing experience possible for more people, Common Change invested in a web- based platform to make it easy for people to set up a fund, donate to their fund, submit needs, weigh-in on needs and ultimately meet the needs of the people in their lives. Generous people are able to see where their giving goes. They are confident that the money and time they give is transforming lives. Excitement builds and giving grows as their outlook and approach to giving begins to affect their circle of friends and their community. They find themselves looking for people around them who might need help.

The people helped want to be part of this, too. As their lives turn around, they want to pay their gift forward. Groups begin to spring up as the ripple effect spreads until finally, no one lives in economic isolation. Safety is found within each community’s awareness of each other’s needs. It turns out there really is enough for everyone.


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