I still remember the night when after the kids were put to bed, my wife and I had a few minutes to regroup and share some moments of the day. We got onto conversation about being a well-rounded person, our faith and our desired legacies for when we are gone.
That’s when it hit me. At that time, outside of business activities, I didn’t do anything that was contributing to a better world. In some ways, it made me feel shallow and self- centered.
I decided that I would find an organization where I could volunteer my time and treasure to help further a cause bigger than me, and NOT for any personal financial gain or other ulterior motive.
So I turned the corner and got involved in some causes that I could get passionate about. Helping guide the mission of one of our local universities was a good start. Mentoring young college students and introducing them to people that could influence their careers was another way.
Sitting on a committee to get sponsor support for the Boy Scouts and getting students excited about being entrepreneurs are also some recent activities.
Of course, there is no shortage of worthy causes to contribute to, and we mention a number of them in the following pages. For me, I have developed personal criteria of sorts that help me make better decisions on which to support.
- Am I passionate about the cause?
- Can I have a meaningful impact?
- Will the majority of my donated time and money be beneficial locally?
- Do I like and trust the leadership involved?
For me, it seems as though most of my personal efforts are centered around education, which mirrors what I do for business. But it’s only because it’s something I am passionate about.
Now I must admit, volunteering has helped my business, significantly in fact. Being Brian the philanthropist has certainly helped Brian the businessman in more ways than just dollars.
I have learned over time that if your heart is in the right place and you are giving for giving’s sake, others seem to gravitate to you, and to trust you. That’s when the magic happens.
Somehow when my business relationships develop this way they are much deeper, and longer lasting.
Maybe this is the way God says thank you. Either way, I welcome the opportunities to serve.
In this issue, we think Anna Brosche (cover feature) sets a pretty good example to follow. For her, she found the United Way as the appropriate outlet.
Best of luck with your giving efforts. If you are not involved, we hope this issue triggers your own “aha” moment.
Until next time