For the next 10 days the Dasvandh Network (DVN) is advocating for panthic causes and encouraging people to donate a small amount to their favorite Sikh project on their network. You can give one time, or sign up to give $10 per month. If 100 people sign up to give a re-occurring $10 donation, DVN will have reached their fundraising goal!
DVN is a 501(c)3 grassroots online giving platform where donors can participate in the spirit of dasvandh, the Sikh practice of contributing one-tenth of a person’s earnings for the common good of the community.
The concept of dasvandh was implicit in Guru Nanak Sahib’s gurbani:
ਘਾਲਿ ਖਾਇ ਕਿਛੁ ਹਥਹੁ ਦੇਇ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਰਾਹੁ ਪਛਾਣਹਿ ਸੇਇ ॥੧॥
“Those who works for what they eat, and give some of what they have,
O Nanak, they know the Path,” (SGGS, panna 1245).
It also falls into Guru Nanak Sahib’s concept of vand chhako, or sharing the fruits of one’s labor with others before considering oneself, and thereby inspiring and a supporting the entire panth.
Seva, in the Sikh tradition, can be a person giving the talents of their man (mind), tan (body), or dhan (wealth). DVN makes it quick, easy, and simple for people to search for Sikh endeavors that they can donate their wealth to.
“We strive to present the projects and organizations that speak to each potential donor,” reads their website. “By maintaining a portfolio of projects on DVN, donors can measure the impact of their donations and keep up-to-date on the progress of the projects.”
DVN is a unique method of raising money in the Sikh community. The founders decided to leverage the power of crowdfunding, or the practice of providing financial resources to a project via a large number of people. The idea is to harness, small, but many donations to make a Sikh project come alive. Economist Kim Kaselionis explains that crowd funding is a “large groups of people combining their economic power to support an organization, company or project they believe in.”
In that light, DVN needs your help! May 25, 2015 was the day DVN kicked off their #GiveYourTen campaign. Their goal is to get 100 $10 recurring donations in 10 days! “Please donate, share, post and spread the word! Together, we can help panthic causes flourish!” they announced.
DVN has many wonderful success stories. For instance, last year, due to the generosity of the panth’s donations through DVN, the Khalsa Food Pantry was able to support nearly 80 families per week with non-perishable goods and produce.
“We were able to acquire two refrigerators for food storage which has helped maximize our distribution of produce,” said Natasha Kaur, Khalsa Care Foundation sevadaar. “We are humbled and grateful to DVN and to all who have supported us!”
There over 50 different Sikh organizations and projects one can donate to via DVN. Areas you can donate to include civil rights, community service, public relations, advocacy, education, scholarship, camps and much more.
Some women-specific causes include:
- Bhujangan: Kaur Leadership Retreat
- Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Combat Violence Against Women in the Pacific
- Feature film “Princess of God”
The mission of DVN is to inspire an increased level of giving to organizations and charitable projects across North America and to foster the spirit of dasvandh among Sikhs by providing access and awareness to Sikhi-related causes.
“We are calling upon our community to ask themselves, ‘Can I do more?'” said Manpreet Singh, Treasurer of the Dasvandh Network, in a statement.
“Our primary objective is to promote and inspire Sikhs to participate in the true meaning of dasvandh. We hope to inspire a new set of donors to contribute to Sikhi and panthic projects”
So, who will you give to?