Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.
Hugh Grant’s character points out that though gloom is so often the focus of our attention, good overshadows bad – if you just look for it.
And there’s no better industry, as far as we’re concerned, than the nonprofit industry when it comes to finding the good and the opportunity in all situations. We are constantly inspired by the things we’re hearing, so the short summary below is just a small taste of what we’ve heard about recently that has us nodding, smiling, and doing little fist pumps in the air.
Two brothers out of Utah built an app called KiwiTree, which allows users to donate their “change” by rounding up each purchase to the next dollar. It’s still in beta testing, but will provide a new vehicle for facilitating donations.
INVESTING IN COMMUNITY:
A group of a dozen Community Foundations convened to discuss shifting investments toward place-based impact investing; this means pulling investments out of Wall Street and focusing on their own communities instead. A Huffington Post article reporting on this meeting notes that, “The opportunity – or better yet imperative – ahead is the alignment of assets to mission: the integration of philanthropic gifts and investments for the health of all people in the community where you live.”
Similarly, the Hutton Parker Foundation, out of California, uses commercial real estate as a philanthropy tool and a method for investing in community. As an example, the Foundation recently purchased a building that will be used to create a “foundation center” that will allow the sharing of resources and networking benefits, similar to what you see with start-ups in a tech incubator. Read more about this exciting approach in this article.
In their 2015 Annual Letter, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation outline their “Big Bet”: that in the next 15 years, we will see major breakthroughs for most people in poor countries. Their big bet requires the involvement of people and they place a call to action for involvement and sign up at globalcitizen.com, a website that goes beyond one organization and, instead, pulls together the work of many to reach the common goal of ending extreme poverty. This is a good reminder that there is opportunity to achieve mission outside of an individual organization’s “walls.”
What opportunities are you seeing in the industry that have you feeling googley-eyed?