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Archive for the ‘Kindness’ Category

Two Piles

In Kindness, Tips on October 6, 2010 at 5:03 pm

All of life can be sorted into two piles – the things we do to extend our number of days and the things we do to make our days count. The first pile includes work and paychecks and food and exercise. The second includes family and friends and service. God is in both. And if we’re lucky, there may be some overlap where our work is also important or fulfilling.

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Taking On Harvard

In Kindness, Trends on June 15, 2010 at 7:20 pm

I’ve been following the growth of a new business model called social entrepreneurism. While it really isn’t new (remember all the “corporate citizenship” talk of the 80s and 90s?) there seems to be a renewed desire to use the free market for good, and a willingness to take the “doing well by doing good” model farther than before.

The standard-bearer for social entrepreneurism (or at least one of its most visible success stories) is Project 7. Tyler Merrick has used his run-of-the-mill company (he sells t-shirts and breath mints) to help thousands of hungry, poor and homeless. Tyler and others like him are proving out this new model with varying levels of success. A lot of that success, I suspect, depends on how little owners or investors are willing to accept in salary or return. And a good entrepreneur may be able to squeeze more efficiencies out of the business to deliver some level of both profit and philanthropy.

Today, I read an article in the Harvard Business Review that shocked me with its approach to this trend. While some schools (Clark University is a good example) are adding curricula and resources to stay abreast of these changes, HBR panned the idea and said, fundamentally, all entities have to fall into one of two categories. They’re either for profit or for good. Not both.

I couldn’t disagree more.

While I realize that profit and kindness are sometimes at odds in a capitalist market, I also reject the idea that entrepreneurs can’t use their business acumen to help those in need just as they use their spare time or personal resources. It comes down to heart. Companies have hearts – the collective souls of people who work there. And this issue, like any issue that matters, is about heart. It’s about motive. The article is right. We certainly don’t need any more corporations whose philanthropic goals don’t reach any higher than checking a box. If a company’s motive for supporting a charity is to generate some good PR and therefore increase revenue, then maybe they should rethink their business plan. There are more efficient ways to sell.

But outside the ivy-covered walls of Harvard there exist thousands of businesses whose people care as much about causes as they do about coin. And who’s to say that those companies aren’t just as legitimate resources for social change as any other forces? Who’s to say that capitalists can’t change the word? Much of the problem is that we just haven’t seen it. We’re used to seeing churches and the government help people. So we tend to think of charity (or welfare) as their bailiwick. But you know what churches and government are? They’re people. And I suspect (though I have zero research to back this up) that the groups of people who are most effective at helping others are not the ones who memorize catechisms or practice Lean Six Sigma. They are the ones who are most passionate about it. And the ones who most closely approach one-to-one relationship to those helped.

As an agency, we have recommended community and philanthropic initiatives to our clients in the past as a way to network with like-minded community members and grow a company’s influence while supporting worthy causes. But there have been companies we’ve worked where we didn’t pursue such an initiative because it didn’t fit their ethos. Some companies are only concerned with making money. I don’t find anything wrong with those companies. I appreciate their honesty in making that their primary goal and not pretending it is anything other. But there are companies who have both charity and profit in their core values, as crazy as that sounds. Harvard should look into it.

Happy New Year! (And Old)

In Kindness on January 2, 2010 at 1:59 am

Happy New Year!
To open 2010, I can’t help but taking a quick look back at 2009, especially related to what has happened with Water Is Basic. But WIB Coordinator Trey Hill says it better than I can. Please read his end-of-year letter below. And please consider joining the cause and see more lives changed this year!

Water is Basic Year End Update
Fri, December 18, 2009 3:05:08 PM
What an incredible year!

On behalf of everyone involved with Water is Basic and the people we serve in Sudan, I want to tell you how thankful we are for your support – 2009 has been a very special year and you were a huge part of it.

This spring we saw drilling begin in earnest. Our two Sudanese drilling crews worked through stifling heat and heavy rain, traversed difficult roads and thick stretches of bush so that their countrymen could have clean water. It may not sound like much, but Sudan is a place where tribal ties run deep and for these men to do what they do across tribal lines is momentous.

On November 6th, the 100th Water is Basic well struck water in the village of Katanga in Morobo County – a well the crew nicknamed the Hallelujah Well. One hundred communities – villages, schools, orphanages, even a prison – now have clean water because of their sweat and your gifts.

Hallelujah indeed.

To put the accomplishments of this year into perspective, 100 wells means that 200,000 Sudanese women & children no longer have to walk miles across dangerous terrain to get clean water. It means that thousands upon thousands of children now have hope of making it past their 5th birthday because they no longer have to worry about waterborne illness. One hundred wells means that 200,000 people in Southern Sudan have met the God of peace & know that He & His people are about quenching thirst.

There is only one word for that – Hallelujah!

As exciting as 2009 has been, 2010 looks to be even more amazing. Our partners in Sudan want to purchase a third drilling rig so they can serve the people in Darfur and they want to drill 200 new wells next year. In order to do this, they need your help.

Please continue to tell your friends, family, co-workers and classmates about Water is Basic – your energy and enthusiasm has always been the fuel that drives us. Don’t stop doing what you are doing.

Also, if you or anyone you know is looking for a worthy cause to support with a year end donation, please give to Water is Basic. You can do so online, here, or by mailing a check to Water is Basic c\o Irving Bible Church, 2435 Kinwest Parkway, Irving TX, 75063.

I hope the year behind us propels us into the year ahead.

Trey Hill
waterisbasic.org

100 Wells!

In Kindness on November 9, 2009 at 5:30 pm

A big announcement from Water Is Basic this week. REACH is proud to be involved with bringing clean drinking water to 200,000 Sudanese over the past three years. REACH and Water Is Basic were formed at roughly the same time and have enjoyed a close relationship. The 100th well in Sudan is an important and joyous milestone. We at REACH would like to celebrate by contributing more to the efforts to bring life-giving water to the “least of these.” Please watch this video for information about how you can help.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “100 Wells“, posted with vodpod

Please pass this along to friends and co-workers. And please follow or friend us to support the cause!

Thanks,

REACH Staff

Announcing Rupees for Referrals!

In Kindness, REACH News on August 3, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Rupees4WebGo to dinner on us.
Start a business for a needy family.
Don’t spend a dime.

We at REACH have been spouting off a lot lately about “getting creative” in the recession and “investing in marketing now” to reap returns when the recession is over. Well, it’s time we put our money where our mouth is. REACH is announcing Rupees for Referrals – a unique program to ignite business and help people in need. Here’s how it works:

1. We’re inviting all of our current clients, partners and business associates to pass along information about our top-notch creative services to anyone they know who is interested in hiring us.

2. Those businesses referred by our network call us to discuss their marketing needs.

3. For every such referral produced, we’ll reward the referring individual (not their company) in two ways: with a $50 check made out to them, and with a $50 donation to the Dalit Freedom Network business development program in their honor. Dalit Freedom Network is a human rights organization that advocates for India’s “untouchable” class – one of the most oppressed people groups in the world.

That’s it. Go stumping for REACH and get $50 back, plus a good feeling from helping someone who could really use it. Everyone wins!
(We should definitely go into politics.)

About DFN: Dalit Freedom Network partners with the Dalits in their quest for religious freedom, social justice, and human rights by mobilizing human, informational, and financial resources.