Can $2 Really Change The World?

By: Julien Leitner

Poverty , Activist

Anyone can make a difference with just $2. You don't have to go through the process of becoming an independent 501 (C)(3). I'm Julien and I am asking 1 million people to donate just $2.00 for a collective impact on a worthy cause - poverty. Archimedes is built on the premise that a single $2 donation won't make a difference, but a million of them will - 1M people + $2 = $2M.

When I was in 6th grade, I decided that I wanted to change the world. And while that may seem like a grown up goal for just a kid, it wasn’t unrealistic. The Greek philosopher Archimedes said, "Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I can move the Earth." Two years later, in the summer of 2011, I launched Archimedes Alliance (AA). In an effort to encourage and promote philanthropy on the broadest possible scale, Archimedes Alliance provides a vehicle through which a large number of people of ordinary means can collaborate to make a significant positive impact on the lives of others.

Archimedes Alliance is providing that place to stand by using the power of social media to reach out and convince people to donate just $2 each. With every donation, the lever grows. In 2013, we completed our first cycle and indeed, moved the earth. We donated $40,000 to Outreach International to help break the cycle of poverty worldwide. Our second cycle has begun and we hope to make it even better than our first. Join the Alliance. Be the lever. Move the Earth. Got $2?

 

When I decided to campaign for $2 donations, the first thing I did was learn more about poverty, what is being done about it, and who is making the biggest impact. It’s an issue that has been addressed more effectively in some cases and I wanted to ensure that our collective donations would be used to make a substantial impact. Outreach International helped inform our decision for the first cycle of our fundraising campaign and giving. We are currently in our second cycle and have selected Village Reach, Charity:Water and Choice Humanitarian as our candidates. Anyone that donates can immediately vote on which of these 3 charities they would like to receive the funds.

Rather than undergoing the process of becoming an independent 501(c)(3), we partnered with The Charitable Partnership Fund (CPF) to help us govern donations. They are a public benefit organization incorporated since 1999 and their mission is to increase philanthropic activity. I contacted CPF voicing my interest in joining them, and they guided me through the process of establishing The Archimedes Alliance as a project of the CPF, governed by the Archimedes Alliance committee.

I have effectively used social media to spread the message of giving small amounts collectively to create a big impact by urging people to give just $2. The initial success is measured by the $40,000 raised thus far. A key element was in creating a website, Facebook and Twitter pages and posting regularly and consistently. This is constantly broadening my network, engaging many others to the help in various corners of the world.

I’m a passionate musician and have performed in a variety of styles using a guitar, violin and most recently, rap. I write and rap socially conscious messages to original beats with a “chopper” (very fast and percussive) style, with complex rhythms and rhyme schemes. My first single, “Fight for a Cause,” is now available on iTunes. I am also offering it as a free download for anyone who donates to the Archimedes Alliance.

Team Members

  • Julien Leitner

    Founder

    My name is Julien, and I’m 16 years old. I have been playing violin since I was in kindergarten. I have gone from studying the standard Suzuki system to fiddling, back to Suzuki, and I am now playing rock violin. I have also been playing rock/blues/alternative guitar for 4 1/2 years. Writing has been a passion of mine since second grade. I have always loved words, but second grade is where that changed into a love of writing. We did a poetry unit and I had never really cared for poetry before, but during this class, I realized something: poems don’t have to rhyme, they just have to sound good. This opened a door to writing for me that I was no longer "get words on the page" but rather "making the words sound good and mean something." I had loved words for so long and finally got to put that to use. These two passions, a love for music and words, led me to hip hop. To me, hip hop and its craft is an art form. There is no other type of music that utilizes complex rhyme schemes, internal rhyming, alliteration, wordplay, and vocal rhythm in the same way. I spend a lot of my free time writing lyrics, creating beats, and mixing songs. I am currently working on an album. When I’m not working on my music, doing charity work, or going to school, I play, watch, read about, and talk about basketball.

Impact

Move The Earth in 90 Days - Campaign

March 30, 2015

Thank you for your support! We successfully raised $6,000
                 
                     Campaign: Move The Earth in 90 Days
                     Dates: December 1st - March 30th, 2015
                     Goal: 10,000 people x $2  = $20,000

TEDx Portland

Julien at TEDx Portland 2013

In The News

Kids' News World - Julien Leitner of The Archimedes Alliance, 1/11/15

Huffington Post - "Julien Leitner, Oregon Teen, Starts Charity To Change The World With $2"

Entrepreneur - "Lessons in Traditional PR … From a 14-Year-Old Philanthropist"

KOMO - "Portland teen launches effort to raise $2 million $2 at a time"

KGW - "Portland teen: $2 to change the world"

WIRED - "Spreading the Wealth: Everybody Wins"

OREGONIAN - "Worried about the right things"

Portland Digital Marketing Conference - "Julien Leitner Presents at #PDXDMC"

Portland Monthly - "A Portland teen sets his sights on millions—for charity."

Snippets Profile - "Archimedes Alliance Launches New World of Philanthropy"

OregonLive - "Portland teen's charity aims to move the Earth, $2 at a time"

KooDooZ

KooDooZ has worked with a number of youth social entrepreneurs to “mash-up” new approaches to philanthropy, imaging and supporting new ways to affect change.  This video was purposed to showcase the project on their site and engage peer to peer collaboration.

Press Release - December 2014

Contact Information: Julien Leitner, julien@archimedesalliance.org

Teen Charity Launches New Fundraising Initiative that Empowers Ordinary People to Change the World - $2 at a time.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Portland, OR December 1, 2014The Archimedes Alliance, a non-profit charitable organization that leverages small donations to make significant global change, is launching a social media based campaign through the month of December with the goal of raising $20,000 to improve lives around the world. Working with PeerSpring, an organization that connects innovative youth-run charities to funding sources, the Archimedes Alliance is harnessing the power of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to collect $2 donations from 10,000 people united by their desire to magnify their impact and move the earth.

Founded in 2011 by then 13 year-old Julien Leitner, the Archimedes Alliance democratized philanthropy by asking for $2 donations and leveraging the power of social media to reach people around the globe. Thousands of people from every continent contributed over $40,000. Last January, the Alliance made its first donation to Outreach International, the charity voted on by donors. Kevin Prine, CEO and President of Outreach International, wrote that Julien “has created a village of people with a common desire to make the world a better place. The contribution from Archimedes will impact almost 1,000 people living in poverty. Even more important, however, is the viral effect our work has on other communities as those living in poverty see the possibilities that are being accomplished by their neighbors. This will impact families for generations to come.” The current campaign seeks to raise $20,000 during the month of December, allowing the Alliance to make its second world-changing donation.

Visitors to PeerSpring can read about Julien’s initiative, contribute and—critically—direct others to the cause. Julien has appeared in regional, national and international news outlets including the Huffington Post, the Oregonian, CNN and local ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates.  He was invited to give a TEDx talk last year and has been a vocal and inspiring agent of change, particularly for young people eager to leave a mark on the world.

About Archimedes Alliance  The mission of the Archimedes Alliance is “to encourage and promote philanthropy on the broadest possible scale by providing a vehicle through which a large number of people of ordinary means can collaborate to make a significant positive impact on the lives of others.”  It is a non-profit operating under the umbrella of the Charitable Partnership Fund, a registered 501c3 located in Portland, Oregon. The Archimedes Alliance has an all-volunteer Board of Directors. Julien draws no salary, and over 95% of all money raised is donated directly to charity.

The video launching this new campaign can be viewed here.

Kids CAN Change The World!

Where did the Archimedes Alliance come from? A 13-year-old boy saw a world filled with hunger, poverty and disease and he wanted to change it, but he didn't have a million dollars lying around. And he knew there were other 13-year-olds like him. And 30-year-olds. And 83-year-olds. And he was inspired by Archimedes, the Greek philosopher and mathematician who said, "give me a lever long enough and a place to stand, and I can move the Earth." The Archimedes Alliance is that place to stand. You are the lever. Together, we will move the Earth. 


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