My One Focus For 2012

No, that’s not a typo and I didn’t mean 2013.

Most people are thinking about setting lots of goals for 2013 and what they want to do over the next year.

I’ll get to that in a bit, but first I have some unfinished business to finish up with 2012 first.

Building An #IMPOSSIBLE School

In August, we committed to building an #impossible school in 2012 with Pencils of Promise – an organization dedicated to equal education for all. We are really close. If you’re not familiar with PoP, take a quick read over their founding principles and you’ll understand why we like them so much.

Pencils of Promise’s FOUNDING PRINCIPLES

  1. If we don’t love what we do, then we are doing something wrong.
  2. We must profoundly understand local cultures before we can hope to improve their educational opportunities.
  3. Our most important partners are the communities themselves.
  4. We build more than just four walls: we foster lasting and sustainable education.
  5. Innovation, collaboration and creativity are at our core.
  6. We are dedicated to the long-term sustainability of each project we support.
  7. A nonprofit should operate with complete transparency and efficiency.
  8. All donors should have the opportunity to choose where their money goes.
  9. Every single contribution and contributor is a valuable part of the movement.

It takes $25,000 to build a school.


As of right now, we’ve raised exactly $19,322 – less than $6,000 left to go. We’re committed to doing this by Jan 1st. That means we have 22 days to make this happen. That might sound intimidating, but when you consider what big stories we’ve already seen play out, it doesn’t seem so daunting. Stories like:

  • Elaine raise over $1,600 and matched that amount herself.
  • Jarie gave $1,000 from a book release party for his first book.
  • Gwen raised and donated over $1,400 from a juicing campaign she created.

$6,000 is a lot, but it’s completely doable. To give you a practical idea of exactly what $6,000 looks like, here’s a few scenarios:

  • 240 people give $25.
  • 120 people give $50.
  • 60 people give $100.
  • 6 people give $1,000.
  • 2 people give $2,500 + 40 people give $25.
  • 1 person give $6,000.

Out of all those combinations, any of them will do, but I want to focus on the first option. 240 people means you can be a part of it. Anyone can find $25.

We’re looking 240 doers.

Make no mistake, this is happening one way or another. We’re looking for a lot of people to step up in small ways…and a few people to step up in big ways. If you’ve already given, thanks so much for your contribution. If you’ve been on the fence, we’d love for you to be a part of this, but this is happening.

And in case you’re wondering if this is going straight to some CEOs salary, it won’t be. In order to actually show what’s happening on-the-ground, in Guatemala, we’ll be actually going and help with the school construction once the full $25,000 is raised. You can also see PoP’s annual report here, if you want to check them out to see if they’re legit (they are).

What To Do Next

  1. Donate Here.
  2. Buy Some Gear (100% of the profits go to PoP).
  3. Buy a Backpack. Our friends at Ignoble Bags are donating 25% of your purchase price at Ignoble to the PoP campaign with code “IMPOSSIBLE”.
  4. Tell A Friend (and challenge them to be a doer).

My One Focus For The Rest of 2012. Lets make it happen.

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  1. davidd says

    I’m still not entirely convinced that the PoP kids aren’t using some of the money to buy balloons and party favors for their star-studded New York parties… but now you only need 239 more “doers” to pitch in twenty-five bucks.

  2. says

    “If you think we can’t change the world, It just means you’re not one of those that will” -Jacque Fresco

    Thanks for your passion on this project Joel. This blog is inspiring and I hope we can work together in the future. $25 closer!

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