When is $150 More Than $150?

So I talk a lot about money (duh) but today, I want to talk about a very specific amount of money.


If someone handed you $150, what would you do with it?

If you’re not that inspired by that question, try this one: What could you do with it?

That’s the question RBC has been asking young Canadians – specifically, 3,000 of them – as part of their #Make150Count campaign. Better yet, they’ve actually been putting up the $150, no strings attached, for those young people to go and act on what they could do with $150.

Pro tip: if you’re between the ages of of 16 and 25, and you’ve got a great idea about how you could make $150 count? Get in touch with RBC on Twitter, Facebook or Youtube with your idea, and they might just hook you up with the money to make it happen – the campaign is still going on!

Reading through the stories, there were a few that stuck out to me, above and beyond the general awesomeness that was inspired as part of this campaign. (Photoshoots to boost self-esteem! Seasonally-appropriate footwear for people who couldn’t afford it! The list goes on.)

While all of the stories are heartwarming and clearly generated more goodwill, happiness and positive impact in their community than the original $150 could have without their involvement, there were some projects that turned the money into literally more money, to have an even bigger impact.

You guys know I’m all about investing in yourself, and in your biz if you have one, but I’m also a huge fan of investing in your community. When you combine the money side with the unique skills and connections you have, you can create an oversized impact beyond what you might have by just giving money.

Here’s an example to help you see what I mean, based on one of my absolute favourite stories from RBC’s Make 150 Count campaign.

The coupon that could

This guy used the $150 to offset the cost of free-range, organic eggs from a vendor at his local farmer’s market. He did it by putting out a coupon, and 20 people ended up buying eggs at a reduced price.

So not only did the farmer get support for his mission to help create a sustainable, ethical source of food for his local community, that original $150 support ended up generating even more income, and got more people involved in supporting the farmer and his chickens.

Also, have you ever had locally raised, free range eggs? I’m not kidding, put that on your bucket list, they’re amazing. (And if you’ve never talked to the farmers at your local market, they’re pretty amazing too.)

Here’s one more example, just to really drive the point home (and also, I loved this story too.)

A bake sale that turned $150 into $2600

One young woman (how old do I sound right now) used the $150 to sponsor a bake sale her sorority ran for Ronald McDonald House in British Columbia. It’s a cause that’s close to their hearts and that they’re really involved in, and they get to see the impact their fundraisers have when they volunteer and host events for the families staying there.

Since she knew the money could go further than simply donating $150, she used the funds for the bake sale, and got the word out to the greater university community. When all was said and done, the bake sale raised $2600, all of which went to Ronald McDonald House – pretty cool, right?

How can you make $150 count?

I know a lot of us are busy.

OK, all of us are busy.

But if there’s one thing that this campaign reminded me of, it’s that with a little bit of ingenuity, and a little bit of time, you can leverage the dollars you have available to support your community into something that creates an even bigger impact – just by getting a little bit more involved.

So the next time you have $20 to give you a cause you support, stop to think for a second about how you might be able to make that $20 go even further. Sometimes that won’t be the case, and the money is the best way of supporting the community – but you might be able to leverage that $20 into baking ingredients that raise $40 at a bake sale, or into craft supplies for custom crafts you can sell to raise $60.

This post was brought to you by RBC, but all opinions are my own!