My 30 Day Challenge #1: 30 Straight Days of Charitable Giving

Mar 01, 2010 28,129 Comments by

Because of Diet Coke and Matt Cutts I’m going to give to charity every day for the next 30 days…

A month and a half ago I made a bet with Sanaz that I’d stay off diet coke for a week if she refrained from coffee for the same period of time.  I’ve probably averaged 1-2 diet cokes a day since I was a teenager (for the taste people, clearly not the reduction of calories).  Its been a month and I still haven’t had any any soda.

This got me thinking, “What should be my next 30 day challenge?”  I’m not however the only, or first, techie leading the 30 day challenge charge.  The impetus came from my friend Matt Cutts at Google who kicked started his own set of 30 day challenges last year.

I thought about doing something around my health/family (which I’ve written about at length) or maybe something related to Docstoc and our new Docstore.  But those are the things I think about all the time anyway.  What I don’t spend enough time thinking about are all the problems other people face every single day that so many of us are blessed to never have to think about.

I’m guilty of using how busy I am as a reason not to do more for others.  I also justify it by rationalizing that that when I become really successful and rich, I’ll have all this time and money to give to others.  But that’s bullshit, I can and should be doing more now.  Up through my early 20′s I was volunteering 10 hours a week in various organizations to help with literacy and homeless shelters.  And 2 of the most important years of my life were spent volunteering as a suicide hot-line crisis counselor.

SO, for the next 30 days I’m going to do something each day to give to others.  Its not always going to be a large amount of money and some days it won’t be money I’m giving away; I may make a donation online to various charities, give clothes to goodwill, buy a homeless person by my office a meal – I think what’s important is that I make myself think about the struggles other people are going through everyday.  AND, I’ll follow up with a post at the end of the month detailing what I did each day, at the end of this post.

I started off the process by giving a donation to to help combat Autism, you can learn more here if that’s an issue that touches your life.

And now I have a favor to ask of you:

1.) Please leave comments with organizations or charities that you think I should pay attention to or help out in the next month

2.) JOIN MY CHALLENGE – or do any 30 day challenge that is right and meaningful for you

Other People Joining Me in the Challenge:

J. Mike Smith (thanks for being the first!)

David Travers, Rustic Canyon Partners – (you know you have great VCs when they join you in a giving challenge!)

Shira Lazar, @shiralazar – called me to say she wanted to take up the challenge

Dave and Leslie Moldavon – dear friends who wanted to help give back how they could

My 30 Day Challenge Log

3/1 – ICDL (combatting autism) – $200

3/2 – American Red Cross Disaster Relief – $30

3/3 – Boarding House Mentors in Santa Monica- $30  (thanks Tim Golden for the rec in the comments below)

3/4 – Disabled American Verterans – $50 (i saw a serviceman in the airport on the way home today, and thought how much I take for granted that so many risk their lives each day to keep us safe)

3/5 – Food Donation to Haiti through – $25

3/6 – First Book $50 (books for kids who don’t have access to them, thanks Bernadette W for the tip)

3/7 – Room to Read $50 – (thanks for the tip John Madigan and good luck with the marathon)

3/8 -  Jolkona – $50 (an amazing organization to give to various small projects around the globe, thanks for the tip Laura Kimball)

3/9 – Project Echo - – $50 (thanks Julie for the heads up in the comments, seems like a great org, def will stop by)

3/10 – Soles4Souls $50 (Taryn why am I not surprised that your charity is around shoes…. the better surprise is connecting with old high school friends who are amazing at PR )

3/11 – 826LA – $25 (thanks to Serena Brahney for the tip)

3/12 – 3/31 – Need to update this all, missed some days, not really proud of myself, goal is do do better on the next 30 day challenge


About the author

Jason is the Co-Founder and CEO of, the premier destination to start and grow businesses, offering the best selection of documents and content resources. Jason is also the creator of Startups Uncensored the long running and most widely attended tech mixer in Southern California. Before starting Docstoc, he was a partner in a venture consulting firm in Los Angeles where he worked with dozens of startups. Jason holds a BA from UCSB and his JD/MBA from Pepperdine University, where he was the Student Body President of both Universities.

28,129 Responses to “My 30 Day Challenge #1: 30 Straight Days of Charitable Giving”

  1. Jennifer Tooley says:

    Kudos! …thrilled to post a comment. Just yesterday afternoon, your neighbors, kids from Santa Monica High School, rocked the 6th Annual Project ECHO business plan competition. What an amazing day of young kids strutting their entrepreneurial stuff. You’d love Project ECHO (entrepreneurial concepts, hands-on–; they have an amazing track record expanding opportunities for kids in local high schools.

    I’d love to get you coffee and introduce you to the founder and the exec director…offices are walking distance from Docstoc. There are a dozen ways you engage these tremendous young entrepreneurs.

    My CEO, Andrea Azdril, is on the board. We’re close to our $5k commitment. You can easily help the kids by donating here:

    Hope to hear from you:

  2. Tim Golden says:

    Jason. Great idea and here is a local Santa Monica charity I think you should check out.

    The Boarding House Mentors is an outreach organization that provides a safe and healthy community environment by introducing underserved youth to a positive lifestyle through the exhilaration of board sports.

    It’s an amazing organization that is always in need of new volunteers, support, and money. AND, it’s local so you’ll be doing good right here in our community.

    Thanks again for everything.

  3. Bryan says:

    Hey Jason, I work with a microfinance organization that’s been doing great work in Haiti for a long time called Fonkoze. You can check out the website at

    Fonkoze uses microfinance as a platform in Haiti to educate its clients about business skills, literacy, children’s and women’s rights, environmentalism, basic health and sanitation, etc.

    Fonkoze is also on Twitter at We’ve been working in Haiti for 20+ years. The earthquake affected everyone in Haiti and we’re working hard to help get the country back on its feet.

  4. Jesse says:

    I always advocate giving back to your alma mater, the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University. But you can also give a dose of inspiration by sharing more about your 30 Days of Giving on the Waves of Service Facebook page – – I’m sure other Pepperdine alumni would love to hear about it.

    Awesome idea BTW.


  5. Bernadette W. says:

    Love this idea, Jason! I nominate First Book – The organization’s mission is to provide new books to children in need addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. (If you want to donate specifically to the L.A./South Bay chapter, mention “LAB124″.) Continued success!

  6. Yvette "@ollada" says:

    I love this idea. I wish more people in your position did this. If you need any ideas, I’d love to suggest my favorite charity which helps victims and survivors of human trafficking, . They run the National Human Trafficking Hotline for the U.S. Dept. of HHS.

    Also, Mother’s Day is coming up and you can even shop to help these women and children with jewelry from NightLight, an organization that helps women leave sexual exploitation in the red light district in Bangkok and gives them training in the trade of jewelry:

    Charity, philanthropy, and volunteering are totally “my thing” so let me know if I can give you anymore ideas. I have tons of charities.


  7. Nitu says:

    Touching post. There are so many people & organizations to choose from. I’m just going to suggest 2:). APSCA: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 50% of Dogs & 70% of Cats in shelters are put down. Dream Foundation. Connecting Terminally ill Adults with their lifelong dreams.

    Great reminder to think and do for others!

  8. Dave Viner says:

    This is an awesome idea. I actually give a monthly donation (and holiday-time donations as well) to the Eden Reforestation project for Ethiopia. Check them out at

    I like the concept of forcing ourselves to think about others on a regular basis. For me, whenever I see my paypal deduction for the Reforestation project, I take a few minutes to read up on the latest news about them, reforestation, and Ethiopia. It’s incredibly refreshing to think of what we can do for others, only considering the good that we can bring rather than the value we can extract.

  9. Taryn L. says:

    Jason, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do what you do! I’m constantly impressed. Check out Soles for Souls, they are a great organization that donates shoes to people in need. Lots of folks are great about donating clothes, but people tend to forget about shoes because they think people won’t want worn shoes, and it’s typically more difficult because of size issues. They do a fantastic job about getting shoes to those in need, especially with all the people displaced by recent natural disasters in Haiti and Chile. Thanks for considering them!

  10. Braden Keith says:

    This is a great idea. I try to live of 20% of my income and give away the rest. I would suggest They are a ministry that funds the rebuilding of churches in disaster stricken countries. Started because of Haiti, but will soon be helping Chile.

  11. Chuck Johnston says:

    Awesome idea! I’m glad to see this has engaged so many people so far. The fact that you mention that you may not necessarily give money each day is also huge. Nonprofits can benefit so much just by having awareness about them spread.

    I encourage you to check out

    We’re a vehicle for other nonprofits to get the word out about themselves and accept gifts. We’re starting out small but we’re growing pretty rapidly.

    The concentration is on “micro-donations” and turning giving into a viral experience. Other nonprofits who have posted we’d love to hear about you!

  12. Carmen Natschke says:

    My suggestion: Fight for Layla Grace (

    Layla is a two year old fighting a rare childhood cancer, Neuroblastoma and unfortunately the doctors have given her less that two months to live. She’s strong and is fighting hard.

    Her medical insurance doesn’t cover all of the medical costs for her treatment – the current financial mountain her parents are faced with is over $100,000. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  13. Benjamin Kuo’s Blog » Blog Archive » Helping Jason Nazar give away money/help others says:

    [...] series of events in Santa Monica for entrepreneurs–has a new project up his sleeve: giving away money (or help, or other assistance) to charities or other worthy causes for every day, the next 30 days. [...]

  14. Greg Porter says:

    Hi Jason,

    When considering non-profit organizations, please check those listed by your fellow Pepperdine alumni in Waves of Service media, like the fan page at . We’d also love to hear about your volunteerism and which non-profit organizations you prefer to give your time and talent.

    Greg Porter
    Director, Waves of Service
    Pepperdine University

    The Waves of Service movement celebrates, supports and connects alumni in volunteerism and careers of service worldwide.

  15. Dave says:

    Hi, a great cause to help out with is the Shriners Hospitals for Children. They run a network of orthopedic/rehab hospitals all around the country, where disabled children can get free care. There are also a few burns hospitals for children. The endowments have been hit hard by the stock market and they can always use donations, but they can also use volunteers to come and entertain the kids. It’s a great thing to do for them.

  16. les les says:

    Jason- this is such an amazing idea. This challenge that you’ve given yourself is admirable and inspiring and I would love to join in and contribute however I can.

    To start, if I am able to see you this weekend, I have several bags of clothes and shoes that I was planning to take to the National Council of Jewish Women donation center – Perhaps we can make that a donation day together and have it be one of this month’s charitable acts. Let’s please talk when you can.

  17. Laura Kimball says:

    Hi Jason,

    A tweet from @neilpatel led me to your blog and this post. I think it’s a wonderful challenge and an awesome idea. And I love that you’ve asked your readers for input–I’m excited to see all of the people and organizations you help out this month.

    I volunteer with the Jolkona Foundation ( We partner with existing organizations around the world and make it easy for you to discover low-cost, high impact philanthropic giving opportunities. We feature over 50 projects in categories such as empowerment, education, and public health.

    Plus, after you make a gift, we honor your donation by providing a proof of impact through our personalized website.

    I encourage you to check out our projects (, and add Jolkona Foundation as one of your ‘stops’ this month.

  18. Jill Peterson says:

    Hi Jason,

    I found your project via a post by Ben Gleib on facebook. I want to suggest The Girl Effect, they work to educate girls in developing countries based on the idea that this can have a ripple effect of benefits to their communities. Some points from their site:

    Today, more than 600 million girls live in the developing world.
    Out of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70 percent are girls.
    Approximately one-quarter of girls in developing countries are not in school.
    Research in developing countries has shown a consistent relationship between better infant and child health and higher levels of schooling among mothers.
    When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.

    I hope you find The Girl Effect as compelling an organization as I do!

    thanks for doing this inspiring project.

  19. John Madigan says:


    Awesome idea!!!

    I’m running the LA Marathon in two weeks (March 21, 2010) and raising money for Room to Read (a nonprofit focused on literacy in 3rd world countries). It was started by John Wood, a former Microsoft executive, who left his post to found Room to Read.

    My goal is to raise $260 (or $10 for each mile I run). I posted some info on my blog here:

    Or, you can see my fundraising page here:

    It’d be great if you wanted to support my fundraising efforts, but either way, keep up the good work :)


    John Madigan

  20. Jason Nazar Wants To Challenge You | lalawag says:

    [...] Nazar recently announced on his personal blog that he would be spending the next 30 days giving back to those in need. He explains in his post [...]

  21. Jim Z. says:

    Hi Jason,

    My brother is running the LA Marathon to raise money for the doctors that saved his Son’s life. Please read all about it at:


    Jim Zafrani

  22. Jennifer Tooley says:

    Thank you so much for your investment in the LA’s entrepreneurial youth via Project ECHO. Please be on the look out for my coffee invitation. I look forward to thanking you in person soon. All the best, Jennifer

  23. David Guterman says:

    To Jason and all:

    This is a great thing, Jason: I like your style, and the logic motivating you now!

    Perhaps you might consider the Heifer Project,

    This is a non-sectarian group that does work around the world helping poor people sustain themselves and their communities–through all types of animal husbandry: everything from alpacas, bees, and chickens to heifers (that means calves, for the agriculturally non-inclined, and those not already looking for a red one…), rabbits and water buffaloes: for food (milk, meat, honey); wool/hair; draft for carrying goods and plowing. etc.

    The Heifer Project gives the starter(s), and each recipient pledges to give some of the next generation of animal on to others. It’s viral…!

    They had 6 projects going on in Haiti at the time of the earthquake, and they and their partner organizations have lost people and buildings. But their work is continuing.

    I gave a small amount just yesterday, given their plight and their path to solutions in Haiti. (In this case, the people who might eat something tomorrow aren’t so interested in your waiting til you are very idle and very, very rich, however long that may be.)

    Try that web address, or just


  24. Andrew Skotzko says:


    Highly recommend NFTE: the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. It’s a well-run nonprofit that focuses on empowering underprivileged and disadvantaged youth to improve and take control of their lives by helping them to become entrepreneurs while young.


  25. [Paging Jason Nazar] Give More – And Expect More | Life Back West says:

    [...] week or so ago someone named Jason Nazar started a 30 days of volunteerism challenge via Twitter. It’s a great idea – the proposal that everyone do some act of selfless [...]

  26. Melisa Renell says:

    Hey – nice blog, just trying around some blogs, appears a fairly nice platform you are using for I’m currently using WordPress for some of my sites however trying to vary one in every of them over to a platform like yours as an attempt run

  27. odchudzające says:

    byl dopiero pozostaly cios Magnus byl sposrod kims innym filmy porno darmowe bo porno On kochal Jonatana
    drogo darmowe porno i jego kier permanentnie

  28. Online Marketplace says:

    yay google is my king aided me to find this outstanding site! .

  29. złomowanie samochodów będzin says:

    Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that
    it’s really informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels.

    I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing.

  30. auto złomowanie czeladź says:

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article.

    I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more
    of your useful information. Thanks for the post.
    I’ll certainly comeback.

  31. vergie1046 says:

    Hey there. Do you know steps to make a website cell phone favorable?
    I’m looking for a theme or plug-in that could possibly deal with this problem. Please share if you have any suggestions.
    Quick problem that’s 100 % from subject matter.
    My site appears to be bizarre when surfing.

  32. złomowanie samochodu sosnowiec says:

    Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with
    SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords
    but I’m not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share.

  33. dead bugs says:

    My brain was astonished when I’ve saw for the first time this sweet piece of action. Newest mobile game from a top of the line game studio, presenting such magnificent and grand baddies that I’m still shocked and awe strucked. Witnessing numberless zombie bugs dead, trigger constantly beating as I was firing my shadowgun and tossing grenades around. Ominous main character reminisced me of the old Doom PC game, though Combat Trigger: Modern Dead 3D has many additional gameplay features. Our armor gets to be personalized which is the only thing that lets us progress even deeper into this sci-fi horror. Modern warfare gets infused with murky and pessimistic futurism, where deep space exploration gave us only ineffable panic of having Earth infested by dead zombie invaders. Billions of them, actually. All hungry for our lives and our goods!
    Become a frontline commando with your guns flaming, or snipe the undead demons from large areas. All using only your android display. Only the best exploits of modern warfare mingled with an quick trigger finger will allow you to achieve victory over the undead zombies. Cool graphics encourage you to follow your call of duty. Combat in modern style your terror when traversing future Earth cities and throwing barrages of bullets from your shadowgun, become the extreme mobile frontline commando, killing numerous like an android.

  34. Gregory Despain says:

    I just want to mention I am just new to blogging and honestly savored you’re blog. More than likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You actually have superb posts. Thanks a bunch for sharing with us your blog site.

  35. investor property says:

    Good website! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a great day!

  36. Automotive Repair says:

    I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

  37. Educational Games says:

    You are a very intelligent individual!

  38. Vocational Education says:

    I would like to show some thanks to this writer for rescuing me from such a dilemma. Just after surfing around through the the net and meeting views which are not productive, I figured my life was well over. Being alive devoid of the answers to the issues you have fixed all through your entire guide is a crucial case, as well as ones that could have badly affected my entire career if I had not discovered your website. The training and kindness in touching all things was excellent. I am not sure what I would have done if I had not encountered such a step like this. It’s possible to at this time look ahead to my future. Thanks a lot very much for this reliable and effective guide. I won’t think twice to recommend your web page to any individual who needs and wants counselling about this matter.

  39. Green Technology says:

    Hey, you used to write magnificent, but the last few posts have been kinda boring¡K I miss your tremendous writings. Past several posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  40. Business Finance says:

    Great tremendous issues here. I¡¦m very satisfied to look your post. Thank you a lot and i’m taking a look ahead to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  41. home improvement leads says:

    whoah this blog is great i really like studying your posts. Stay up the good paintings! You know, lots of individuals are hunting round for this information, you could help them greatly.

  42. real estate clubs says:

    Wonderful beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog site? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

  43. Law Suit says:

    It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

  44. Clothes Shopping says:

    I precisely wanted to appreciate you once more. I am not sure what I would’ve done in the absence of those techniques documented by you on such a field. It had become an absolute difficult crisis in my circumstances, however , encountering the very specialised tactic you treated the issue took me to weep over delight. I’m thankful for your guidance and then believe you know what a great job your are putting in training most people using your web site. More than likely you’ve never come across any of us.

  45. Early Childhood Education says:

    I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or weblog posts on this sort of house . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this site. Reading this information So i am satisfied to exhibit that I have an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I such a lot no doubt will make sure to do not overlook this website and give it a look regularly.

  46. Health Insurance says:

    I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  47. family vacations says:

    Useful info. Lucky me I discovered your site by chance, and I’m surprised why this twist of fate did not took place earlier! I bookmarked it.

  48. Kids Clothing says:

    Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your web-site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this website. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and simply couldn’t come across. What a perfect site.

  49. Used Auto Parts says:

    It¡¦s actually a great and useful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  50. Property Investment says:

    hello!,I really like your writing so so much! share we keep in touch more approximately your article on AOL? I require a specialist in this house to unravel my problem. Maybe that’s you! Looking ahead to see you.

Leave a Reply