Friday afternoon reflections on another week of generous matters



So many choices, so little time. You know you should make better use of available technology. But finding time to seek out the best or most appropriate tools is a daunting challenge — especially for staffs of small and mid-size nonprofits. Enter the folks at Wild Apricot and their helpful blog. They’re generous enough to highlight other company’s web technologies, even as they make the case for their own products.  You’ll want to subscribe to this one.

Despise not the youth. If you’ve been following my blog, you know I am fascinated by young adults who are changing the face of philanthropy and volunteerism. Included in this group is Aaron Hurst, president and founder of Taproot Foundation. An entrepreneur since 16, Aaron began his career as a social innovator at the University of Michigan, where he designed and led an educational program for local correctional facilities, subsequently becoming the first student to receive the Michigan Campus Compact Award. Upon graduating, he worked in inner-city education in Chicago before landing in Silicon Valley as an early employee at two venture-backed social venture companies.

Aaron noticed that “most organizations tackling social problems don’t have access to the marketing, design, technology, management or strategic planning resources they need to succeed. Without this talent, few are able to have their intended impact on critical issues like the environment, health and education.” He responded with the Taproot Foundation, which, since 2001, has recruited more than 10,000 business professionals as pro bono consultants, making it the largest nonprofit consulting firm in the country for the past five years.

Generous always matters. As much as I marvel at social innovators like Aaron Hurst, their stories sometimes add to my sense that what I’m able to contribute to the world is rather inconsequential. However, as volunteer firefighter and nonprofit activist Mark Bezos states in a wonderful video from TED, there’s tremendous power in individual acts of grace and courage. Bezos’ advice: “Don’t wait until you make your first million to make a difference in somebody’s life. If you have something to give, give it now.  . . Not every day is going to offer us a chance to save somebody’s life, but every day offers us an opportunity to effect one.”

Reminds me of what Jesus had to say about faithfulness in little as the prerequisite for bigger opportunities.

What's your take on this topic?

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