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The Forgiveness Tree Project

Raised toward our $7,000 Goal
154 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on September 20, at 12:00 AM MST
Project Owners

The Forgiveness Tree Project

A big thanks to all of our donors who helped us raise 158% of our goal! With the funds raised, we were able to train groups of forgiveness facilitators to promote safe forms of conflict resolution in a schools, neighborhoods, and organizations. If you would still like to contribute to the Forgiveness Tree Project, gifts can now be made here: To all of our supporters:

We so appreciate your faith in us and our Forgiveness Tree project. 

Just 30 days ago we launched this campaign with nothing more than a personal belief that our society could be, should be, more forgiving.   And we had a hunch that you might share that commitment.

Now, more than a $11,000 and 150 supporters later, we are moving ahead with the confidence and resources you have provided.  Already we are launching a new wave of Forgiveness Tree Ceremonies, with one focused on Pinal County jail inmates and their families, and another on an inner-city Phoenix neighborhood. 

Thanks to the seeds you have planted, we feel certain that our project will grow and spread across our community.  And we will keep you posted on our progress.

All the best,

--The Forgiveness Tree Project team


Celebrating with Friends 8 to 80!  Campaign Continues!

We are celebrating the success of The Forgiveness Tree Project because of you!  Our leadership team, champions, donors, and advocates are making this a sensation!  In just two weeks, 105 of you have donated $7580!  That is 108% of our goal and we are still going strong!  We hear your message:  Forgiveness education is important!  In response, we are expanding our project to reach more schools and community groups.  All new donations will support these additional Forgiveness Tree Ceremonies. We are humbled by you.  Thank you so much!

We particularly love hearing about how forgiveness moves all of you.  Two stories from the past week have truly moved our team.  After watching The Forgiveness Tree video with her dad, eight-year old Mackenzie, pleaded to make her own contribution.  She shared with her proud dad, “Forgiveness is about love and family, to show how much they need each other.  Now we can show our love and needs for others that need help in this world.” Out of the mouths of babes.  Thank you, Mackenzie!

Worldly and wise, an 80-year old Forgiveness Tree donor of California was also moved by our quest.  After watching the video, he turned to his wife and said, “We need to support them.”  Thank you for donating and sharing your story!   We’d love to hear more from all of you! The testimony and support of each supporter is truly awe-inspiring! With your help, we hope to grow forgiveness trees everywhere!   Helping People Forgive

The Forgiveness Tree Project teaches how forgiveness can be an empowering and constructive alternative to bitterness, anger, bullying, and violence. 

By sponsoring a Forgiveness Tree Ceremony you will help us train groups of forgiveness facilitators to promote safe forms of conflict resolution in a school, neighborhood, or organization.

Your Support Will Make a Concrete Difference!

Please join our community of supporters. 

Your gift will help kids and adults learn to practice forgiveness in their own schools and communities.  ""Seed money"" raised in this campaign will help fund demonstration projects in local schools and community organizations. We will then seek  financial support from philanthropies and other funding sources. Your donation will help us purchase supplies, develop curriculum,  involve university students, train facilitators, and conduct demonstration projects. ASU faculty are donating their time and expertise to this project. Funds raised by this campaign are used to support training in our community.                                                                                                       

Why Forgiveness Matters

Research conducted at ASU tells us that people who learn to seek and grant forgiveness for harmful behavior are less angry, isolated, and violent.

Forgiveness is also a ""teachable"" process.  It requires holding people accountable for the harm they cause and the use of five key communication practices.  Learning how to forgive helps people let go of bitterness, grudges, and the desire for revenge. The result can be more respectful and peaceful relationships.  

We have pilot tested the Forgiveness Tree ceremony. We were encouraged that 130 community members applied forgiveness principles in their own relationships.  With seed money raised in this campaign we will conduct demonstration projects in five school and community centers and launch our effort to attract large-scale funding.  

We Appreciate Your Financial Help!

How it Works

Step 1: Teach forgiveness principles

Step 2: Participants privately reflect and write on ""leaves"" what they learned about forgiveness

Step 3: Members place leaves on their forgiveness tree, in a prominent community location

Step 4: The forgiveness tree serves as an enduring reminder to the community about its commitment to grow forgiveness

Step 5:  Trained community leaders and members model forgiving behavior and encourage others to use it as an alternative to aggression, bullying, and revenge.                             

What We Teach About Forgiveness

We teach that forgiveness is  (a) a process that holds ourselves and other community members accountable for hurtful acts, (b) a free and conscious decision to let go of the justifiable desire to seek retribution and the negative emotions that typically go with it, and (c) a commitment to create relationships that are safe, just, and mutually respectful for all parties. We make clear (d) that forgiveness and reconciliation are distinct but related concepts. Specific cognitive and communication strategies are taught, including how to: be accountable, express remorse, verbalize emotions, develop empathy, seek forgiveness, grant forgiveness, and focus on the future rather than the past.

3. Using a ""train-the-trainer"" model we will train students, human services  professionals, and faith community leaders  to hold Forgiveness Tree ceremonies in their communities.

Why We Teach About Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a constructive response to the hurt most people experience (and cause) at some time in their lives. Forgiveness reduces bitterness, guilt, grudge-holding, and disrupts cycles of mutual aggression.  Acts of seeking and granting forgiveness are associated with improved mental and physical well being Our research at ASU shows that communicating forgiveness can heal damaged relationships, but most people lack an understanding of how to go about it.  Thank You For Your Help!

Your gift will help make the world a more forgiving place.  

Research and Readings

Tutu, D. (1999).  No future without forgiveness. New York: Doubleday.

Waldron, V. Kelley, D. (2008).  Communicating forgiveness.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Waldron, V. & Kloeber, D. K. (2013).  Communicating forgiveness at work.  In J.M. Harden-Fritz & B. L. Ohmdahl (Eds.), Problematic relationships in the workplace (2nd Ed.).  New York: Peter Lang Publishing.  

Worthington, E. L., Jr. (2006). Forgiveness and reconciliation: Theory and     application. New York, NY: Brunner/Routledge.

Worthington, E. L., Jr. (2001/2013). Five steps to forgiveness: The art and science of forgiving. New York, NY: Crown Publishers.

Choose a giving level



Join our community of supporters. Your gift is a sign that you support our commitment to provide forgiveness education in community settings.


Planter: Sow the seeds

Purchase the supplies needed to construct a Forgiveness Tree at a community site.


Nurturer: Help it Grow

Fund training materials for community members so they can learn to facilitate Forgiveness Tree Projects in their own communities.


Cultivator: Help students grow

Support an ASU student who is learning to be a co-facilitator of Forgiveness Tree Planting Ceremonies. Student facilitators complete training on forgiveness. They are supervised by ASU faculty and trained staff.


Site steward

Sponsor a Forgiveness Tree Ceremony at a school or community site of your choice. You locate a willing community partner and we provide the training.


Forester: Make it sustainable

Fund a ""train-the-trainer"" session to prepare community members to be Forgiveness Project facilitators. Working in their own communities, they will magnify our efforts and teach others.

Our Crowdfunding Groups