Summer Project: The Virtual Reciprocity Ring

I want to first give a serious shout-out to Kelley McCarthy, who has once again managed to inspire. Nearly three years after she blew me away with her dedication to her #52in52 project, she posted this quote this morning on Facebook to close out Women’s History Month:

IMAGE CREDIT: Unknown, but thanks to Kelley McCarthy for finding it!

IMAGE CREDIT: Unknown, but thanks to Kelley McCarthy for finding it!

Kelley’s post got me thinking about a project I had hoped to get going late last year, but faltered somewhat in the execution: the Adam Grant-inspired Reciprocity Ring. After reading about the concept of groups getting together with the express intention of helping each member achieve his or her goals in Adam’s book Give and Take (newly available in paperback, and I promise I am not being paid to say this!), I set out to create one of these rings for women. Life got in the way, unfortunately, and the plan to gather the powerful and talented women in my circle fell by the wayside.

Two issues with the Ring concept as it existed in its previous iteration: it was hard for people to get together who were in the area, and there were people outside the greater Boston area who wanted to participate that couldn’t.

But no longer. I found myself re-posting the quote above that morning, adding the caption, “What are you dreaming about, and how can I help?” I still want to create a space where this question can be answered: by many women, for other women.

For the next month, I’ll be collecting participant information and invitations for pitches via this form. Take your time completing it, and include a brief synopsis of the goal you’re trying to achieve, and what you’ll be asking for from the group. Starting in the first week of May, and lasting throughout the summer, I want to feature pitches from friends and colleagues (both here and on a dedicated Facebook group for this project), encouraging you to share what you can to help them achieve their dreams. Distance will be no object: the virtual format of this summer’s ring will allow people across the country (and internationally, if they so desire!) to participate in the project.

Make your pitches creative! Find a way to tell a story about how this idea came to be, what you need to make it a reality, and- most importantly- how those wanting to contribute can help, specifically.

This contribution could be as simple as an encouraging word or prayer, as utilitarian as the name and contact information of someone who could inform their passion project, or as significant as a monetary contribution. I fully expect the pitches to vary wildly, and the needs associated with them to vary accordingly. But in all cases, this is designed to be a constructive and positive space, created with the intention of helping good ideas flourish despite occasional fears to speak up for ourselves and our ideas.

For more information on the idea of the Reciprocity Ring, click here, here, or here.

And again, if you’re interested in being a part of it, register here!

Looking forward to some engagement, excitement, and encouragement from you all this summer!

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