the fundraiser to learn from

Pachamama Alliance Luncheon

I want to blog here about the Pachamama Alliance luncheon, which I attended Nov 12. I have heard about this luncheon for years, and met Lynn Twist a few times and read parts of her book the Soul of Money.

The luncheon raises a sick amount of money, and the work is really about supporting autonomous indigenous ventures in Ecuador and rainforests throughout South America, so I was very curious and needed to see it myself.

It was brilliant, as a learning experience, and as a giving experience.

The idea of Pachamama was devised by the Achuar people, in response to the pending destruction of their home environment. Basically, they said they needed the support of the “modern world” in order to sustain their culture and community against the encroaching dangers of that same modern world. As one of the Achuar leaders said, “We will only assimilate what we need, and we recognize the need to maintain traditional knowledge.”

Some of the ideas expressed by the founders of Pachamama:

– our current economic crisis…is a direct result of our global economic systems. we need to be creating local monetary systems that inspire freedom and justice, a democratic money system.
– The Achuar organized to get Ecuador to add a Rights of the Planet section to its consitution. Now all the nations of the Andean region are looking pass more.
– the goal is an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just human presence on this planet
– “i can feel mother earth, pachamama, speaking through me” – gertrude crue of belgium
– “together we are a genius” – lynn stone
– “the most unrealistic person is not the dreamer, but the cynic. after 8 years of torment, 5 million people organized as a civil society behind a dream. the dream of a cell is to become two cells. we are teh mothership, not the government. our work is deep, can’t be celebrated by cnn, can’t be created by privilege.” paul hawken
– “this is the unraveling of systems with no integrity, systems that need to fall apart. they are falling apart. fear is not the opposite of love, it is the absence, so put your money into what you love. its time to move forward, create a new pathway to the right future.” lynn twist

There are 1300 people in a warehouse lit like a rainforest. Each table of 10 people has a table captain, who hands out bracelets for people to onto each other, has a pledge card for each person there, and pens. I was a captain.

They run an amazing program with speakers from their sister organization in Ecuador, three of the Achuar people of Ecuador and Peru, facilitators of their Awaken the Dreamer symposium from Belgium and England, and then had Paul Hawken say it was the most important NGO in these times. Then on cue the table captains handed out our cards and pens and everyone filled them out right then and there. The we captains collected them, and handed them in on the way out, prolly 95% or more of the room gave, and was smiling while they did it.

At one point lynn said there were fundraising spies there. Now I was invited by a friend, but I totally took the opportunity to table captain so I could learn. What a learning, and I was of course totally moved and donated to the work myself.

I also have so many ideas about getting people to understand the uplifting and transformation nature of our work at Ruckus this well, and give this joyfully.