Who gets your support?
I’m a mercenary bastard.
I support charities, but chiefly to avert unpleasant dentist experiences.
I’ve supported everyone from The Big Issue to Greenpeace, but only fleetingly, haltingly and superficially.
I’ve read a hundred times that true happiness comes from serving others.
It can also be rather good for business and branding.
So why don’t I bloody-well do it?
I tried editing The Greens’ newsletter, but found it too distracting.
(I hate working for free, so I put my paid work first.)
I donated to Animals Australia, but I didn’t go to their rally.
(I hate crowds.)
I seem unable to:
- Choose a cause.
- Stick with it.
- Make a significant, lasting contribution.
- Give of myself.
Not so my amazing clients.
BBBS is a program run by Try Australia (a 128-year-old Melbourne charity supporting young people and their families).
Why? Easy. Because I had the good fortune to be raised in a stable home with two parents who cared about me. Capable, loving souls who had a crack and did alright I reckon.
I later discovered that what I had is not so ‘normal’. So many kids get a rough start with parents who are doing their best with what they have under difficult circumstances.
I reckon it takes a whole community to raise a child and that’s enough to motivate me to do what I do on the board for Try and BBBS Melbourne. I’ve been actively involved for the past 8 years as a director and 3 years as chairman.
We run a $32m business to support our programs, so as a charity we’re responsible, not hoping for govt handouts. They dry up! We have a couple of major events to raise funds and that’s it. In November we have a BBBS fashion parade.
What I get out of it is huge! Certainly more than I give. I’ve surrounded myself with board directors who are much smarter in ways I’m not. I’ve learned valuable business skills that are serving me well. I also get to hang out with some really cool people.
I’m setting a great example for my daughter in terms of what community means. Walk the talk baby. Don’t just say it, do it! I know I’m a better person for what I do and that’s good enough for me. I only need to answer to myself, no-one else. Bonus is that kids who need it the most benefit from the choice I make every day.
So because of this, I give to nothing else. I’m so clear on what I DO that I don’t have to worry about what I DON’T! I don’t even put money in a tin. And it doesn’t bother me. I get HIGH on what I choose to DO instead! That’s it.
Helen and Mike have connected with a cause and followed through – at length and in depth.
Does this mean there’s hope for the rest of us?
Give it up
The first half of this post was about me, me, me.
What’s far more interesting is you, you, you.
- Do you have a No. 1 cause or charity? (You can add a link to their site.)
- If not, why not?
- If so, how or why did you choose it?
- In what way/s do you support it?
- What, if anything, do you get from doing this personally?
- Finally, does ‘doing good’ help your business or brand?
Your contribution could well make me a better human being.
So please, give generously.
(I gave at the office.)
Thank you for your support!