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Blogging For Chickens – Will You Join Me?

Chickens LrgCan Blogging Make a Difference in this World?

I think so – that’s why this week I’m going to be blogging for Chickens!

Today when I logged onto my computer a Calendar notification popped up at me telling me that it’s ProBlogger’s 2nd birthday. Time flies when you’re having fun.

So how does one celebrate a blog birthday?

Blogging has given a lot to me. It’s helped me meet some great people, it’s given me a more global perspective on life and provided my family with a good income (to name just a few benefits).

But I want more….

I want my blogging to benefit others. Not just in the information that it provides – but I would love blogging to become something that changes the lives of people who through circumstances beyond their control are unable to live to their potential.

The result of this is that instead of having a blog birthday that is all about me and my blog I want to have one that gives something back.

So for the next 7 days I’m going to blog for chickens!

Over the next week V and I have decided to use a percentage of our blogging income to buy Chickens for people in parts of the world who are experiencing poverty.

We’ll be doing this via a charity that I strongly believe in – Oxfam Australia (I know they are global but we’ll be giving through Oxfam Australia).

I’d like to invite you to celebrate with me by considering donating Chickens too (read on to find out how).

Why Chickens?

Oxfam Australia have a great online store where you can buy ‘presents’ for family and friends that actually help fight poverty. One of the items in their store is Chickens.

$10 (Aussie dollars – that’s $7.50 USD) buys a family living in poverty a pair of Chickens. The $10 donation covers:

  • Buy local chickens
  • Train families in how to care for their chickens
  • Provide vaccinations for the chickens
  • Provide market awareness training so families can make the most of their feathered friends

In essence purchasing chickens for these families and their wider communities the potential to provide their families with food (through eggs) and a means of income (through selling the chickens that breed). Chickens break the poverty cycle in a practical and empowering way.

Give Chickens

V and I are going to put a percentage of our week’s income into Chickens this week and would like to invite you (the ProBlogger community) to join us.

I’m going to keep a tally of how many pairs of chickens we buy over the week – (a chook-o-meter) which will help inspire us a little in our giving.

How to Give

There are two ways that you can give to this project:

1. Head to Oxfam Australia and Donate Directly – Here’s their chicken page where you can buy as many Chickens as you’d like. Remember $10AU is $7.50US. If you want your chooks to be included in the chook-o-meter send me an electronic card as part of the purchase process – please include in your message in the card how many pairs of chickens you bought (email it to darren AT problogger DOT net (replace the AT with a @ and the DOT with a .)

2. Shoot me your donation via PayPal and I’ll buy as many Chickens as we can afford with our accumulated donations at the end of the week - I’ll collect any money deposited into my paypal account (via the ‘Make a Donation’ button at the top of my sidebar) with a note saying it’s for the ‘chickens project’ and will purchase an equivalent amount of chickens with that money at then end of the week. I’ll add the equivalent amount of chickens as they’re donated to the tally.

How Much Give?

Ultimately this is completely up to you. A pair of Chickens cost $10AU and I’ll count them in $10 units. If you’d like to give one then that’s great – if you want to give 10 that’s great too, if you want to give a percentage of your earnings then that’s much appreciated also – I’ll leave it up to you and won’t be publishing a list of donators or how much people give.

In my opinion this type of giving is a private thing – if you want to publicize how much you give you’re welcome to do it on your own blog but here we’ll just add up the totals as a way of inspiring each other in our giving.

If you can’t afford to give $10 then there’s no pressure to. You can support the project by spreading the news about it and/or giving a smaller donation if you wish.

I’m not sure how many pairs of Chickens we’ll raise but hopefully together we can get a nice flock peep of them going!

PS: the chook-o-meter in the sidebar will be updated every 12 or so hours so if you make a donation and don’t see it go up please know that I’m doing this manually and will periodically update it. Thanks for your patience on this.

Update: This project is now over – the receipt for the donation is posted here.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Hsien Lei says:

    Your kindness and generosity puts so many of us to shame, Darren. I wonder if you could put some kind of donation meter to let us know how the project is doing as a whole? It could help motivate people to push it to the next level.

  2. Hsien Lei says:

    OK, I suck, I missed the part about the chick-o-meter. Yay!!

  3. Ashwin says:

    Congratulations Darren. This is a great place to visit, learn and earn more. :D

    At the moment I don’t earn much, but one day, hopefully I will do something back to the society. Good going!

  4. Duncan says:

    Oxfam is a blatantly political organisation that is much more than a charity, they are socialists with a hard left wing agenda (they’ll deny they are, but look behind the fluff, or engage the commo who next approaches you from Oxfam at your local supermarket). Also like many similar charities, not much of your dollar actually goes directly into the actual delivery of stuff to those in need. I wonder how much of the $10 goes on admin…or whether the market awareness training includes a copy of The Little Red Book?

    BTW, that’s a very, very expensive chicken, even with the training involved. I can buy chickens at my local market (yes, real live ones) for under $1 in bulk. I would imagine that chickens in the third world would be a whole cheaper again.

  5. Jake Rinard says:

    Great idea Darren. I remember when my kids were very young they did chores to raise money to purchase some rabbits for another country. What an awesome thing that was for them.

  6. Great marketing strategy. Helping the world, the chickens and you.

    Happy birthday!

  7. Nice move, Darren. Would you believe that there is a movement afoot to protect the chickens instead of the starving people? Of course you would. But just to confirm this, check out this Letter to the Editor from a newspaper in New Jersey USA: http://courierpostonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060923/OPINION/609230312/1047
    In the meantime, let’s feed the hungry. I’m in.

    Congrats on the two year anniversary!

  8. vivaspots says:

    good luck with the chickens …. and happy birthday problogger

  9. Darren Rowse says:

    Thanks all.

    Duncan – while I respect your opinion on this I’m not sure that this is the place for a political debate. If people don’t feel comfortable with Oxfam then by all means they’re welcome to give it to whomever they please.

    I’ve got quite a few friends that work and have worked for Oxfam and who have seen the work they do first hand in a variety of the countries where they have projects – I’m more than satisified to support them at this time in this way.

    In terms of how much is spent on admin – from my understanding it’s about 16% which in my experience of charities is fairly normal. While I know there is always debate over the administrative costs of charities I don’t have an issue with helping to cover the costs of those who do such work. Again – if people feel they’d rather take some other approach then they’ve got my support.

  10. Great idea.
    My wife bought me a dairy goat for Christmas, which was placed with a “child run household” in Rwanda. I’ve lost track of the goat since then, but I hope it’s still helping out.

  11. jhay says:

    Cool! Too bad, we don’t have PayPal here in the Philippines. Else I’d help out in buying chickens too. But this blog-feat sure great and noble.

    Happy blog birthday!

  12. JD52 says:

    Since I am a poker player I will be donating all of my cash game winnings this week to this project. Chickens for all.

    Oh and Happy Birthday!

  13. Cary says:

    Great idea Darren,

    Lori & I have been giving through Heifer International each Christmas, and I will be more than happy to head over there right now and purchase some chickens!

    I’ll let you know how many we bought : )

  14. This is a great idea Darren. I will certainly support it by buying a chicken. I’m familiar with this program and I think it’s a wonderful way for those of us in the affluent countries to spread the wealth around in a meaningful way. You have also inspired me to think of ways that I can use my business blog http://www.officestuffer.com to make a difference in the world – even if it’s just a small contribution. Congratulations to you.

  15. Andreas says:

    I think this is a great idea, but is it really a smart thing to give people chickens with the whole avian flu thing that was scaring everyone a few months ago?

  16. Terry says:

    Very cool idea Darren. A chicken is the gift that keeps giving for sure.

    Hey Steve R., what’s with the affiliate link in your comment? Did you do that by accident or something.

    Figured you did that by accident. ;-)

    Terry

  17. David Krug says:

    I personally have raised money for Oxfam and they do suck. Much of the money goes to overhead. Unfortunately but I think its great what your doing.

    Oxfam has been accused of misusing and misappropriating funds after the Tsunami in Indonesia as well as in the Sudar Darfur region.

    http://www.abc.net.au/ra/asiapac/programs/s1633628.htm

    Sorry until all that clears over no donations for me. Unless you list an alternative well less corrupt organization. I’d be more than willing to toss down 20 dollars.

  18. David Krug says:

    In fact if youd like I will donate a flock of chicks through heifer

    http://www.heifer.org/site/apps/ka/ec/product.asp?c=edJRKQNiFiG&b=477887&ProductID=164803

    Just give me the word and its in your honor man.

  19. Satollo says:

    An idea I had without great success is to make my friends with personal site (with low traffic or very low adsense income) to share an adsense account and to put some advertisement in their site from this account.
    All the income would be used to help others people throught donations.
    I’m still using an “adsense channel” to track income from some of my sites (or parts of them) that will be used for others.

  20. Hsien Lei says:

    Andreas: The risk of dying from bird flu is significantly lower than dying of other causes for many of these people in developing countries such as poor to no healthcare, malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, etc. Hunger and poverty does much to compound the effects of these serious life-shortening factors.

    For more information on bird flu, I recommend http://www.FluPatrol.com.

  21. Miku Araman says:

    Steve R.,

    I think you’re comments are way off the mark. Just because some wants chickens to not suffer doesn’t mean they are making a choice between chickens and starving people. The corporate factory farms that supply the fast food industry in western civilisation have very little to do with supplying poor third world people with chickens as a form of sustenance. I think someone could very easily support both PETA and this chicken donation program with no problems.

    I am a vegetarian, but I realize that I am lucky enough to have a choice in the matter. People in third world countries aren’t fortunate enough to have the choices that most of the readers of this blog do. Sure, someone can protest the cruelty to animals that KFC causes, but that in no way means that they would want anyone to starve in a third world country,

  22. Cary says:

    “Just give me the word and its in your honor man.”

    David, why do you need the word? Just do it brother!

    : )

  23. Darren Rowse says:

    David K – as I say – if people feel more comfortable with other charities (including heifer) then they should go with that. If they want to be included in the chicken-o-meter then they are welcome to send a receipt or something to me.

    This isn\’t about any charity in particular or even geting the meter up high – its about people looking beyond themselves and giving to people in need.

    In terms of the Oxfam article you link to – it seems to me that some of their employees misappropriated funds and that they\’ve been disciplined for it with most of the money being recovered. I don\’t read the issue as being a systematic thing that puts Oxfam itself as a misappropriator of funds.

    I\’ve had a fair bit to do with a number of charities over the years who\’ve been through similar things – it gets hard once you have staff and volunteers. I\’m not sure every time a staff member commits fraud that it should neccessarily bring down the company though – if that was the case then there would be many companies, governments, schools, churches, sporting clubs etc etc etc around the world who should be avoided.

    I do agree that charities need to be held accountable with how they spend money and what % goes to admin/costs – but from what I read of Oxfam they do this and are within what is regarded as normal and legitimate in terms of charities. From what I can see if Heifer for instance (from their anual report) they use 24.6% of their funds for administration (17.4% for fundraising, 7.2% for management). Oxfam spent 19% on non programs in their last financial year. As I said in my comment above – this is part of running a charity these days and I guess it\’s something we all need to weigh up in our giving. I personally think it\’s a worthwhile thing as I\’m not in a position to fly to these countries personally to arrange for chickens to be given to families in need.

    In the end – this is up to people to decide whether they want to participate in or whether they want to engage in giving (or not) in their own lives in their own ways.

  24. Tom Bailey says:

    Keeping the list private and just adding up the totals is a good idea.

    Makes it more about giving and less about being a linkback scheme.

    Shows character. Kudos.

  25. Chase says:

    There are a few places that do this kind of stuff. One such organization is http://www.heifer.org where you can buy Cows, Sheep, Water Buffalo and more for familys or communitys all around the world.

    -Chase

  26. Jake says:

    Who would have guessed it. Well I suppose I would have. Whenever you try to do something good, many someone is sure to complain.

    I see it almost daily.

  27. John says:

    This is such a good idea, i love it,

    Jake: people love to complain (well some do) its human nature ( i dont believe that really) bit it sure seems like it at times!

  28. Jake says:

    Wow Blogging for Chickesn had a great day!

  29. chickenmoo says:

    being a chicken myself I would like to thank you for your hard work
    many people look at the wars around the world and my people go
    unnoticed. Every year literally billions of my fellow chickens are killed.
    the only thing worse then that is then the murderers eat us.

    The United Nations has rejected our requests for help

    but soon the chickens of the world will unite and fight the menace
    that attacks us.

    FREEDOM TO THE CHICKENS

  30. MyGreenEnvelope.org, launching around December 1, offers such tangible donation opportunities from across the entire spectrum of causes, from hundreds of leading nonprofits. Visitors will be able to do more than select an organization to fund; they will choose exactly what they want to accomplish, such as protect an acre of the rainforest, fund an hour of a cancer researcher’s time, or provide books for children, drugs for AIDS patients, shelter for refugees, meals for the hungry, etc. By making giving tangible and more emotionally rewarding, these donation opportunities become better alternatives to traditional gifts. Wish lists, registries and greeting cards further promote this more meaningful way of showing we care.

    MyGreenEnvelope.org will do for nonprofits what the mall did for shopping. And it will do for shopping something that shopping has rarely done for anyone: elevate our spirits and add meaning to our lives. “ImportantGifts will change not only the way money is raised, but also the way nonprofits fit into people’s lives.”

  31. jellyfish says:

    Dear Darren,

    I realise I’m a little behind the 8 ball on this one, but wanted to give you the big congratulations for your initiative. I am learning about Avian Influenza at the moment. The scary thing is that this is a pandemic waiting to happen and at the moment there is very little to stop it. The thing is this is the first time in history the world has ever had the knowledge to do something about a disaster like this before it happens.
    One of the most effective ways of preventing Avian Influenza from effecting humans is eradicating it from domestic populations. However, the people in countries where the virus is emerging are too poor to get rid of their infected chickens, and their governments cannot afford to replace them either. 140 million chickens exposed to the virus have already been destroyed, an enormous loss in developing countries where many families are reliant on their chickens for food and income. As these countries are no longer able to support much further loss the virus continues to spread, with people hiding the infection because they simply cannot afford to report it.
    It is projects like these that will make a difference in preventing enormous loss of life worldwide, and it saddens me that some people in western nations who have the money, influence and power to change these circumstances will whinge, ridicule and dispute others generosity and humanitarian actions. Well done, to you and to all your contributers.
    Read more at the WHO website, article Responding to the Avian Influenza Pandemic Threat: Recommended Strategic Actions

Trackbacks

  1. [...] To celebrate ProBlogger’s second birthday (it feels like ProBlogger has been around forever, though!), Darren Rowse is blogging for chickens! I’ve celebrated my blog birthdays before with giveaways for readers but this inspires me to think of something similar for Cottontimer’s upcoming third birthday. Meanwhile, if you’ve got a few bucks to spare, I hope you’ll help Darren celebrate with a chicken or two for Oxfam Australia! In essence purchasing chickens for these families and their wider communities the potential to provide their families with food (through eggs) and a means of income (through selling the chickens that breed). Chickens break the poverty cycle in a practical and empowering way. [...]

  2. [...] The Joy of Giving… Chickens! By Lyman Reed Problogger is 2 years old today, and Darren Rowse is celebrating by blogging for chickens! [...]

  3. [...] Blogging For Chickens – Will You Join Me? Happy blog-birthday to Darren Rowse whose Problogger.net turned 2 years old today. He’s celebrating with a great project aimed at aiding the less fortunate. If you’ve got $10 to spare, please go help him acheive his goal. Go buy a chicken for a family w (tags: problogger charity blogging) [...]

  4. [...] Darren has put out a call to Blog for Chickens. Through Oxfam, if you make a donation via Darren’s PayPal Chick-o-Meter, his birthday celebration will donate pairs of chickens to families in needy areas all over the world. [...]

  5. [...] ProBlogger Darren Rowse bloggt jetzt für Hühner. Für 6 Euro kann man im Shop von Oxfam 2 lebende Hühner bestellen. Bevor jetzt jeder aufschreit: Den Hühnern passiert nichts! [...]

  6. [...] The whole thing stems from an initiative by Problogger.net’s Darren Rowse, who marked his rather informative blog’s 2nd anniversary by announcing he was going to “Blog for Chickens” – giving a percentage of this week’s proceeds to buying chickens at the rather forward thinking Oxfam Unwrapped, a site that shows you precisely where your donated dollars are going. Do you know just how influential a pair of chickens can be? Chickens can be fantastic little feathery friends. We give them to poor families who then pass on the new hatchlings to other families. Chickens breed fast, feed hungry people and provide new income avenues. Don’t chicken out – buy 2, 4 or half a dozen today! See How it works for more detail on how super chickens can be! – Oxfam Unwrapped. [...]

  7. [...] Blogging for money makes more sense than Blogging for chickens. I mean, c’mon, chickens? [...]

  8. [...] Darren Rowse celebrated ProBlogger’s second birthday by raising $1100 (AU), or about $830 US, to buy 110 pairs of chickens for impoverished families via Oxfam Australia. [...]

  9. [...] No joke, this guy has convinced his web visitors to buy 110 pairs of chickens for poor people throughout the world:  http://www.problogger.net/archives/2006/09/23/blogging-for-chickens-will-you-join-me/ [...]

  10. [...] For many of the years I have lived in Tampa, I have helped Metropolitan Ministries around Thanksgiving and Christmas with either the soup kitchen for serving a meal or in the drop-off tent sorting donations. This year, due to health reasons, I’m unable to give of myself as I usually do. After seeing what Darren Rowse did in Australia with his blog, Problogger.net, by raising enough money to donate 110 pairs of chickens to the poor, I decided that I could do far more good for the community by pooling all the resources of my readers to help out the families this year. [...]

  11. [...] For many of the years I have lived in Tampa, I have helped Metropolitan Ministries around Thanksgiving and Christmas with either the soup kitchen for serving a meal or in the drop-off tent sorting donations. This year, due to health reasons, I’m unable to give of myself as I usually do. After seeing what Darren Rowse did in Australia with his blog, Problogger.net, by raising enough money to donate 110 pairs of chickens to the poor, I decided that I could do far more good for the community by pooling all the resources of my readers to help out the families this year. [...]