Artist and entrepreneur Tasha Wahl had a fledgling idea: She wanted to start a micro-philanthropy movement that combined Mahatma Gandhi’s popular concept, “Be the change you want to see in the world” with Edward Lorenz’s “Butterfly Effect” theory that even the softest flutter of a wing can affect the molecules around it, setting off a chain reaction that produces major change.
The result was The Butterfly Effect, founded in 2013 with the mission to promote contagious generosity through interactive art in communities all over the world.
The Butterfly Effect movement’s first giving activity, Butterfly Drops, began inspiring people to give in ways that were both unexpected and fun. In 2016, Tasha innovated this idea to produce Social Butterfly art installations in public spaces, which took inspiration to a whole new level, fanning waves of social media giving campaigns for a wide variety of causes.
Today, the Butterfly Effect, through its Butterfly Drops and over 100 Social Butterflies around the world, has raised nearly $120,00 for over 500 charitable organizations throughout the United States and globally, and has empowered countless individuals to make a difference.
The Butterfly Effect is a grassroots movement redefining philanthropy one “butterfly” at a time by providing individuals the opportunity to give to a cause close to their heart. Harnessing the power of social media, we create a ripple effect of contagious generosity through our Butterfly Drops and Social Butterfly Installations. Our movement is built on the idea that each and every person can be the change they want to see in the world by actively engaging in kindness, generosity and creativity.
Butterfly Drops globally
Social Butterflies in 28 cities worldwide
Raised for 500 causes
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Butterfly Drop Art Basel style
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Drops to date!
The Butterfly Effect is an underground movement redefining philanthropy one butterfly at a time by providing individuals the opportunity to give to a cause close to their heart. Harnessing the power of social media we create a ripple effect of contagious generosity through our Butterfly Drops. Recognizing that we can Be the Change we want to see in the world by facilitating small acts of kindness, encouraging generosity, and promoting creativity.
“I have a fledgling idea, of how I want to be the change, and hopefully set into motion molecules of hope, that will set into motion molecules of faith, that will set into motion molecules of love”. —Tasha Wahl Nov 11, 2013 upon founding of Butterfly Effect
Butterflies always captivated the imagination of artist and entrepreneur Tasha Wahl for their eternal symbolism of transformation, hope, beauty, faith and love. So when she created a micro-philanthropic movement that promotes contagious generosity in communities all over the world, of course she modeled it after Edward Lorenz’s “Butterfly Effect” theory that even the softest flutter of a wing can create a wave that results in major change.
Tasha knew that through small, contagious acts of generosity, the world could become a better place. Inspired by Gandhi’s call to “Be the change you want to see in the world,” the Butterfly Effect Movement was launched in 2013 and its signature giving activity, Butterfly Drops began inspiring people all over the globe to give in unexpected ways.
The heart of the Butterfly Effect Movement is the Butterfly Drop. Each week an artist decorates a beautiful wooden butterfly provided by Butterfly Effect and then hides it in a random location somewhere in the world; big cities and small towns, in hidden crevices, sunlit corners, on sandy beaches and in and around shady trees. Clues are sent out via social media. Once found, a donation is made to a non-profit organization of the finder’s choice. The butterfly is a memento for the finder to keep, but what resonates is change that will bring hope, rebirth, faith and love to the world.
It’s our desire to inspire people to promote change in their communities by participating in a Butterfly Drop. By harnessing the impact of social media and joining that energy with the contagious generosity of people throughout the world, we can bring real and lasting change that, over time, will grow into a beautiful storm of philanthropy. This random act of generosity will hopefully unlock something in the finder who will in turn respond to the invitation to participate in the movement of giving.
“For over a year now, the Serra community as well as many people around the world have witnessed “the Butterfly Effect”— which occurs when a Tierrasanta family leaves colorful butterflies in different locations for a chance to donate to charity. This unique way of getting the word out to donate was created by Tasha Wahl. Wahl was inspired by a conversation with her children about getting teenagers involved with donating to worthy causes. Her boys explained that working with charities would be a lot easier if money was available.
Since November 11th, 2013, Wahl has dropped over 102 butterflies worldwide. She begins by leaving an art piece of a butterfly in a specific location and then posts clues as to where it is on social media sites. Whoever discovers the butterfly follows the directions on the back, instructing them to contact her and choose a charity that they would like her to donate money to. Many Serra students have been involved in the findings of the butterflies including sophomore Ali Hall. She explains, “I found the butterfly at the homecoming football game after following the clues on Facebook. I decided to donate the money to a charity called ‘PoVa’ that helps people with disabilities ride horses.” Wahl and her family offer an opportunity for people to get involved with different causes even if money is an issue.
While being a teenager in high school, trying to balance academics as well as making money is often difficult and many students simply cannot afford to donate to charities. “By providing the money, it makes it extremely easy to get everyone involved with giving to causes—it is an awesome thing what Mrs. Wahl does,” says freshman Nick Liong. People within the Serra community as well as others around the world have come across these butterflies and have continually impacted numerous worthy causes. For clues and more information on getting involved, Wahl created a Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to spread the word.”
By LILY CANFIELD / Copy Editor