Philanthropy Friday: Simple Giving Lab

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

A past blog post from Seth Godin has stuck in my head. Since it’s short, I included it below.

The lab or the factory (from Seth Godin’s blog – 6.22.13)

You work at one, or the other.

At the lab, the pressure is to keep searching for a breakthrough, a new way to do things. And it’s accepted that the cost of this insight is failure, finding out what doesn’t work on your way to figuring out what does. The lab doesn’t worry so much about exploiting all the value of what it produces–they’re too busy working on the next thing.

To work in the lab is to embrace the idea that what you’re working on might not work. Not to merely tolerate this feeling, but to seek it out.

The factory, on the other hand, prizes reliability and productivity. The factory wants no surprises, it wants what it did yesterday, but faster and cheaper.

Some charities are labs, in search of the new thing, while others are factories, grinding out what’s needed today. AT&T is a billing factory, in search of lower costs, while Bell Labs was the classic lab, in search of the insight that could change everything.

Hard, really hard, to do both simultaneously. Anyone who says failure is not an option has also ruled out innovation.

I work in the lab.

I chose the name Writing Lab for my business because I knew I wanted to focus on writing, but I wasn’t sure where it would take me. I enjoy the journey, whether I am writing websites, articles or consulting with nonprofits and entrepreneurs.

Before heading to the Social Good Summit, I created a new lab. It’s called the Simple Giving Lab.


I started Simple Giving Lab because I felt the need for a bigger platform for my philanthropy work. The more I write about philanthropy, what it means to give back and how simple it is to make a difference, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I want to share.

I am continually thankful and encouraged by all of the comments and shares I get from my posts relating to giving back. I want to inspire more action.

Today I invite you to take a look at my new creation, Simple Giving Lab. My mission is simple: To inspire others to give back every single day. 

For now, Simple Giving Lab is a Tumblr blog where I share inspiration for everyday giving – quotes, photos, links to articles, videos and more. But Simple Giving Lab isn’t just about me sharing inspiring stories about giving back. It’s also a platform for you to share your own inspiration. Take a the post that Alexa at No Holding Back submitted or the one from TAMMACHAT Natural Textiles.

I continually see blog posts, videos and other work from social entrepreneurs, nonprofits, NGOs, bloggers and others that deserve to be shared. I want you to share your gems with me and the Simple Giving Lab community that I hope to create and grow.

In the future, I suspect this creation will be much more than just a website. I’ve got some things I’m working on in the lab. We’ll see where those things take me.

Will come along for the ride and experiment with me?

Join the Simple Giving Lab Community:

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