Something to say yes to!

When approached by BMW Foundation to pitch to the full audience at their World Young Leaders Forum in China in September, my first reaction was ‘Sure, I’ll ask them to support SITAWI!’ (SITAWI – Finance for Good is the non-profit I run). But that was the one thing I was not allowed to do. So I thought what can I ask for that 300 global leaders from business, academia, government and social sector would find it easy to say yes to? I decided to ask for stories: short, simple paragraphs on who they are, where they give and how it makes them feel.

The day I pitched ‘Give More, Give Better’, I got commitments for 50 stories, from ordinary individuals to Giving Pledge signees from all over the world (and we are working on the other 250).

As a nation, Brazilians give very little (0.2 per cent of GDP), which makes role models vital. The stories collected globally since September and those SITAWI and several of its partners are collecting in Brazil will be posted on a website, and possibly in a weekly newspaper column (with or without attribution), to inspire wealthy Brazilians to become philanthropists. The strategy is for the stories to build emotional connections and highlight common barriers, such as a lack of fiscal incentives for giving in Brazil.

Initially we will focus on the ‘give more’ part of the campaign, using written stories, so the metric for success will be the number of stories and visibility for the campaign as a whole. Over time, we will collect stories that speak to the ‘give better’ part, including videos and links to resources for donors and tracking ‘before and after’ situations, to help us to measure deployment of capital, at least anecdotally. And stories are assets that do not lose value when shared, so if we are successful, other countries can use the same stories to create their own campaigns.

Do you want to contribute a story?

For more information
Contact Leonardo Letelier at

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