Give & Receive

"Give & Receive" is a process I developed to help people make meaningful connections, strengthen their sense of community, and practice articulating what they want and can offer to others. I am actively looking for opportunities to bring Give & Receive to new audiences, especially schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, and governments, and am willing to facilitate for very little cost. So if this something that intrigues you, please contact me!

FAQs about Give & Receive

How does it work?
Everyone comes with at least one thing that would feel good to give away, and something in mind that they'd like to request from the group. We write down our offers and requests, and then do two rounds of sharing. Each person has up to one minute to explain what they are offering (or asking for), and then they pass their paper around the circle while the next person shares. As papers are passed, each person in the group has the choice whether or not to write down their name as someone who is interested in the offer, or can help with the request.

What kinds of things get exchanged?
All sorts of things, both tangible and intangible.  People have offered food, books, tutoring, plants, advice, hand-me-downs, conversations, and artwork. The only rules are that you may only offer things that would feel good to give away, and only accept things that you actually want to have. We've found that the more specific you can be, the better. (For example, "I'd like someone to help me tackle my clutter" is not nearly as effective as "I'd like someone to spend an hour helping me sort through a stack of papers that I've been avoiding" or "I'd like advice on a system I might use to organize my files.")

How long does it last?
For a group of 6-16 people, 90 minutes is plenty of time. A Give & Receive process can also be built into a longer workshop that is customized to address particular needs and interests of the group.

How do you keep things fair and even?
We don't worry about it. The beauty of it is that when people only offer things that they want to give, and only accept things that they really want, each transaction is a win-win, and no one owes anyone anything.

What if I offer something that no one wants?
That is totally okay!  Sometimes it works out that way.  Often, in those cases people find the perfect recipient for their offer later in the week.  The same is also true for requests.

What if more than one person wants what I offer?
That is okay too!  As the person giving, you can choose to follow up with people however you'd like. And even those who want what you have and don't get it aren't any worse off because of the experience.

How do I keep track of everything I express interest in?
You don't have to. Follow up is the responsibility of the person who initiated the offer or request -- in other words, the person who goes home with the sheet of paper that has all of the names and contact information written on it.