On infectious generosity

Sarah Drinkwater
2 min readFeb 20, 2024

Last night I went to the launch of Chris Anderson’s new book Infectious Generosity. It tells many stories including one of mine.

Let’s rewind. I’ve written before about how, in the depths of UK lockdown, a complete stranger gave me $10,000. With it, I’d run a stealth microgranting program in my neighbourhood and contributed to projects that are still backbones of the community in an area of London that is emblematic of the broader city; gentrifying and complicated.

In time, I’ve come to see the biggest change it made was probably in me.

2021 was an especially weird time in my life (last night I told someone a little of this and she said “that sounds like chaos”. Yes, it was). But the project reminded me:

You can just do things.

You can do them your way.

By doing this, you send a batsignal out + attract others around you who believe the same things.

So this experiment, however small, was an essential building block in the path towards what I’m building now; Common Magic.

Because Chris reminded me that generosity takes many forms; sometimes cold hard cash but also attention and belief; I see you. Keep going.

[Note; In another life Common Magic would have a microgrant component as a compliment or feeder to the main investing vehicle (I love what Molly Mielke is doing with Moth Fund) — there’s something about very fast small amounts of cash as proxies for this belief. If any generous benefactors are reading this and want to fund a future experiment — get in touch]



Sarah Drinkwater

Solo GP Common Magic, investing in products with community at their core. Into communities, the best uses of technologies, London, looks and books.