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More than Money

AroundTheWorld

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Money is not just a method of selling and obtaining goods. Money has an underlying power to change the world - and it does so every day. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

In my pursuit of financial freedom - and as I teach my children about money - I have focused in on two ways in which my money impacts the world:

1) One obvious example of the power of money is chartiy.

At some point - and it is different for different people - 1MM, 5MM, 25MM, 100MM, you move on from the pursuit of money and start to look around and realize that you are part of something larger and you can make a positive change.

Some people, ex: Oprah, do this very well and effectively. Others don't appear to ever feel they have enough --- are never able to get beyond the point of pursuit of the almighty dollar. It makes me so sad to see people get stuck in this mentality.


2) Stewardship is another great example of the power of money.... do you put thought into what impact YOUR DOLLAR has? What is the difference between buying organic vs. non-organic? What industry and principles are you supporting with you money? What companies do you support? Do you pay attention to their values before you buy? Does that factor into your purchasing decision?

What companies/industries can you chose to support?
What companies/industries can you chose not to support?


Of course, there are other ways of making a difference..... providing a great service, volunteering your time, writing, etc....

anyway.... that's my .02 about the purpose of money
 
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andviv

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About the charity, my biggest concern has been how to know when the money I'm donating is actually going to be used wisely. I believe that the one that pays makes the rules. For example, if I put the money for, say, the firefighters department and then you read this in the news: http://cms.firehouse.com/web/online/News/DC-Investigates-Firehouse-Prostitution-Ring/46$56195
So now the money I am donating happens to be funding a prostitution ring. There goes the trust in the system. I was hoping the donations were funding firetrucks or other things like that, so how can I donate money to them again?
Personally, it affects me when the money I've worked hard for and donated with the best intentions is used for buying a 147-ft boat for the people running the charity, or other type of abusive behavior. I am attached to the organization that I'm donating. I donate every time I can to groups that fight cancer and heart diseases. I do hope they use the money wisely.

About the second point, completely agree. Having money gives you the power of CHOICE. By having money I can now decide who is going to get my business, as the only factor for decision making is not price anymore.

great post, rep++
 
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Russ H

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andviv-

The answer to this is to found your own charity.

That's the model used by all wealthy industrialists (and many high tech billionaires as well).

It is true that Warren Buffett donated his billions to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he did it b/c he's friends w/the Gates, and was confident that the $$ would go to good use.

That, and he knew that combining the Gate's charity contributions w/his would be world-changing (as has been pointed out a few times, he's no dummy).

You'll notice that Sonya is working on founding her own charity, and Diane has direct involvement as well.

Seems like a great path to take-- and all of us closet control freaks get to help direct where things go!

-Russ H.

PS As a strange side note, and integral part of our PLAN is to found a non-profit foundation dedicated to increasing financial awareness and literacy in children. This was the "big" thing we had under our hats at the RD get together this year. We had planned to discuss this w/the Kiyosakis and then the forum members (we didn't want anyone's money, we wanted to base the non-profit around the book RDPD and see if any of the forums members wanted to volunteer their time with us).

Due to the strange chain of events, we had to go back to square one to change our Plan in a big way. This was the main reason I was so shell shocked all weekend-- RK and RDPD was core to our charitable plan, and I had never even considered that would be a problem. Live and learn! (we're currently redefining how we're going to do this). Hearing the news that Sharon Lechter wants to spend more time on families and children is encouraging, but our new PLAN is not specifically tied to any other person or group (or book ;) ).
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Great post. I have a lot to say about this topic, of course, corrupted with my own opinion. First, the thread ATW refers too is a thread I haven't read. Unfortunately, management of this place has not allowed me to read every single topic and thread that comes into play. I'm sorry for that.

Over the years, I've become very distrustful of people in general when it comes to money and charity. In fact, most of my donations to charity I've often found weren't put in good stewardship and the motives weren't charity at all, but greed.

The gambit of entities I've donated too runs from medical non-profits, to bums pandhandling on the street, to my very own church. I used to donate regularly to one of those "sponsor a child" charities and quit when I discovered that some outrageous (%) of funds donated went to "administrative" expenses, which is usually just a front for the owner to take a big salary. When you donate $1000 and later find that 92% of it goes to admin costs, your money is being wasted. Yes, your heart is in the right place, but your money isn't.

And now, my very own church that I love and adore - has also been subjected to greed over motive. I attend service weekly, and donate weekly. Last week, the church accountant was arrested for embezzling over $400,000.

http://www.azcentral.com/community/chandler/articles/0831cr-church0901.html

Last month I called "Habitat for Humanity" to see if they wanted some kitchen appliances and windows which came off my home's remodeling project. These items are worth $1,000's. I was asked "how new" they were. I told the gal the stuff was about 15 years old. She said "No, we don't want them, they are too old". Here I'm thinking, "The homeless and destitute get new appliances? These appliances were in my luxury home for 15 years, and they were good enough for me and the prior owners, but not good enough for some family supposedly in destitution?"

I have a few other stories to tell as well but it will only serve to start my day off on the wrong side.

It is stories like these that close my wallet to others who seem to be in need.

I've decided that when I give, I need to see my money work. If I write a check for $1000, I want to see a receipt for $1000 from Home Depot to fix that Mexican families plumbing so they can have fresh, cold water. I've pretty much decided that I won't donate to American causes any longer because greed is so pervasive in our culture - American poverty isn't poverty - its discomfort (Poverty level Americans have multiple TVs, big screens, video games, cars, 1200 square foot houses)

Here is a story about how "not poor" America's poor is:

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Welfare/bg2064.cfm

All my charity now goes south of the border, to people who are truly suffering poverty. If I make a large scale donation, it will only go thru my own organization where I can steward the funding.

MAKING MONEY COMMENT
Now on the flip side, I believe to acquire wealth, one needs to have an element of unselfishness - the mindset to look at others, uncover their wants and needs, and fill them. Inward, selfish thinkers often troll their lives away with the mindset "How can I make money?" and it alludes them -- primarily because they are selfish.

One tenet of getting rich is letting go of selfishness, and become more selfless.
 
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AroundTheWorld

AroundTheWorld

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I've decided that when I give, I need to see my money work.
This is a very common concern.... as Andviv and Russ have pointed out...

This is another problem with chartiy.... is what the charity providing ACTUALLY helping?

Example: You ship a whole boat load of food to a starving community in Africa.
The people are fed - for a day or maybe a week. Ok... disaster delayed.
but....
what is the sustainable answer for this community?

Support local food producers so that the community begins to GROW ITS OWN food.... and support local families providing them with a chance at income.

When you ship food and give it away, you are undermining the local food producers and actually causing a LARGER problem next year...

You definately need to put thought into your charity activities!
 

kurtyordy

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This is a topic that is very near and dear to my heart. I saw your original post title and thought it had to do with different ways to bootstrap a new business, so I never read it. I am currently working with a charity that last report only 1% went to admin costs. I am very pleased with this.
 

Diane Kennedy

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I just discovered this thread....I have LOTS to say about this. I think I can mention my website with links to video on our charity projects (if not, I apologize in advance and please remove the post)

Website is www.MauiMillionaires.com - click through on Maui Giving and see the videos we've got up on some of the things we've been involved with. The model we're using is besides giving our own time, talent and money, we teach other successful entrepreneurs to do exactly the same thing. The videos show some of our seminar participants going out (with our film crew) to show the good they're doing. You'll see my family or me in some of the videos, but a lot happened without us. We just created the environment and it took off from there. It's why I get excited to get up every morning and, to be honest, why I'm still working in my businesses.
 

phlgirl

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I am guilty of the same assumption kurt made – when I saw the header, I thought the post was about how to bootstrap a business.

Like many others, one of my long term (hopefully not too long) goals is to found my own charitable organization. I so look forward to the time in my life when I can give back on a more full-time basis. In the meantime, I give to a few charities, which strike a chord with me, and hope for the best. In business and in life I am constantly asking myself, how can I do better than my alternatives? (thanks Keith Cunningham) I agree that it is completely frustrating to hear that some of these groups are so poorly managing funds; however, until I am in a position to run my own show, I have to choose that which is the best of my available options. So, in this case, I go with the ‘something is better than nothing’ approach and hope that a good portion of the funds reach the intended recipients.

One organization I have read about recently is FINCA - http://www.villagebanking.org/site/c.erKPI2PCIoE/b.2394109/k.BEA3/Home.htm

They give ‘micro-loans’ to men and women in struggling countries, so that they can start their own business. I love the idea of them having an opportunity to LEARN something and to better take care of themselves, which I would imagine is what they really want to do. Apparently they have a very high success rate, in the repayment of the loans (which i hope means the people are making some money!!!).

Also, a website I found (in trying to determine if the money is ever being well managed) is http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm

I have no idea how their rating system works or who does the analysis but it is an attempt to sum up how well a particular charity is performing. They will give you a high level analysis of where the money is being spent. Again, better than my alternatives – which would be completely BLIND : )

Great topic. Thanks for brining it up.
 

venom

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They do have a website that rates the charities and tells you how much money is going to administration fee's
I dont really see the issue with the food that goes to countries that need it. The problem I hear is that it often rots before arrival. Or is given out based on politics. Rather than need.
I just stick with the regulars
Cancer
diabetes
associations.
 

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kimberland

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When I die (hopefully not soon),
my half of the estate will go back to the scholarship program
that helped me through school.

I thought about funding my own charity
but why should I when this scholarship does the same thing?

Why do I like it?

The original scholarship funding was granted by the government.
The money was invested and the scholarships funded out of the passive income.

It is awarded based on schooling
(the average student, not the "best"),
athletic participation
(again, not necessarily the best athletes but participation),
volunteering
(the biggest component),
initiative
(some sort of start up, whether a charity, a business or...)
and
references.

The students get a four year scholarship (one of the highest $'s in Canada)
and swept into a mentorship program with people such as
Isadore Sharp, the founder of Four Seasons.
This mentorship program continues for life.

How could I not give back to an organization like that?

: )
 

michael515

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"American poverty isn't poverty - its discomfort"

That's sooo true... I've seen some pretty bad areas in the lone hills of West Virginia, but that's one tiny area compared to entire nations in tettible poverty

We truly are blessed living in America. Part of my confidence in taking risks is because of that. Maybe I'm paranoid in thinking that we may not be on top of the mountain forever.
 

kimberland

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I don't know about the American poverty is discomfort bit.
It is true if the person relies on the social nets
but there are plenty of families that think
the social nets are for the "extreme poor"
and won't take advantage of them.

I grew up without running water.
We didn't eat every day.
And some summers we spent in a tent outside.
We weren't the only families doing that.

But my parents wouldn't lean on the government
or charities
(other than neighbors donating hand me down clothes
and baking extra loaves of bread)
'cause we weren't desperate.
 
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Diane Kennedy

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Thank you for sharing a little of your past with us Kimberland. I'm sure there were a lot of lessons that you still carry from your childhood. My guess is that you have a lot of inner strength that others wish they had.

In early 2004, my husband and I traveled to India with Beverly Sallee (an amazing lady who combines business and social purpose in everything she does). One day we went out to a resettlement village. It was located about an hour out of Delhi. The govt had moved the people living in the torn down and destroyed buildings (now under a massive rebuilding effort) to an old village built on the edge of an abandoned mine site.

My question as we were driving out there, "Aren't there some environmental concerns?" I got kind of a strange answer that basically translated to, "That's the least of their problems."

We were met by children dressed in bright white clothes with flower leis of fragrant flowers. We put them on and later found out why....the sewer ran through ditches along the dirt streets. Without the flowers, we would probably have passed out from the stench. We were taken into a "house" which was about 10' x 20'. There was an opening for a door (with no door), no electricity, dirt floor, no water. We sat on chairs and the women of the village sat on the floor around us and began to tell us their stories.

I had gone there with the idea of "let's train them on computers, let's get their financial literacy up" and realized that these people had absolutely nothing to start with. They were at less than zero.

It felt overwhelming and hopeless. It was the time of the elections in India and many of the party rallys turned violent. When we were in the resettlement village, a communist rally started and the violence turned against us. The crowd began throwing rocks at us and our cars. To be honest, I wasn't even sure what was going on at the time - just that our hosts were hussling us out there fast. So, we didn't get to really stay and learn as much as I would have liked.

Amy, our company event coordinator, didn't make this trip but sent a card with me to give to Bev. I kept forgetting about it until that night back in Delhi at the hotel. I slipped the envelope under Bev's door that night. In the morning we met her for breakfast and she'd already been hard at it. The card had contained a check from Amy for $500 with a note to use it with the best purpose in India.

We ended the night disappointed, scared and overwhelmed with the poverty and illness. The note and check had re-energized Bev. She had already set up "Amy's Fund" which bought thread, beads and material for the ladies of the village. Bev had a group of wives of business leaders in Delhi already in a group ready to market the hand crafted items.

In no way do I want to minimize the suffering of people in the US, the devastation of the people still living without homes 2 years after Katrina or the children who grow up in th iscountry never feeling safe or loved. It took going to India for me, though, to see how much of the world really does live in poverty and how overwhelming the complete lack of EVERYTHING is. 80% of the world lives below the poverty level. And, that's what got me so involved with Mexico and the orphanages in Juarez.

I have friends who devote their time and energy to the arts in the US. I think that's fantastic. Whatever you want to do that feeds your soul will give meaning to the work you do. It might feel right now that you're just trying to get securely established on the fast lane, but eventually you may reach that point where you need the meaning and a way to renew the passion. For me, that's what the charitable purpose was.
 
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andviv

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I found this website http://kiva.org/ what promotes a very interesting way of helping others. I think this is a perfect fit for the entrepreneurial spirit found in this forum.

If you can be the lender for a small business owner in a third world country you'd be helping them to grow, instead of a hand out that will not produce anything new in the long term.
 
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AroundTheWorld

AroundTheWorld

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Holidays are a perfect time to be thinking about "More than Money"

For years now, my family has talked about the silliness of buying each other gifts - especially when we all have so much already. So much time and money can be spent buying gifts for people already have so much. Still, there is a certain joy in giving. How have we tackled this issue? A few different ways....

1) We started making homemade gifts. Wreaths. Knit or Crochet scarfs and hats. It is a joy watching the kids work hard in the planning and making of the gifts they will give. Their faces light up just as much when someone is unwrapping a gift they worked hard on as they do when they are unwrapping their own gifts.

2) For the last few years now, we have given people a donation to Heifer International in their name. It is the gift that keeps on giving.



This year, I have found something new. A beautiful little stocking stuffer for people - and it is still a gift that keeps on giving.


Recognize This anyone? Its...

Feed Your Family, Feed The World :eusa_clap::eusa_clap:

Enjoy!
 

Jorge

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I think the "micro-loans" best example is Muhammad Yunus. He received a Nobel for his contribution to social and economic development.

About Diane's story, its very true, even not that far away like india or africa. Here in Argentina there are places where people eat Cats and steal horses in order to eat (true story) So, when projects like the OLPC are everywhere I know that while I think they are really great, childrens like this don't need a new laptop or a micro-loan. They are starving, they don't have where to sleep. I don't think they "need" to get online.

If I get where I think I will, my dream has been for years this: (I wont get into great detail since my english is not good enough :p)

I would like to create a school / high-school / college where children could eat, sleep and learn. That would make their immediate worries disappear almost instantly and would keep them a little safer from drugs, street gangs and such.

This school would be sponsored by Me, the govt and big companies. The teachers should be the same as in best colleges from my country (they are not nearly as expensive as US ones)

When kids get legal age they would be required to sign a contract to go to college, this contract would mean that when they leave college, they should work for me, the govt or one of the companies, in a position according to their career. Their salary would be half the standard, and that money would go towards the foundation again.

After X years of working they would be free to go where they want to, or keep working with full salary; But would be prepared with good education and the believe that they can achieve anything in life.

Hope you can understand the idea. Some day, I will invite you all to the opening day! :)
 
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Yankees338

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I think the "micro-loans" best example is Muhammad Yunus. He received a Nobel for his contribution to social and economic development.

About Diane's story, its very true, even not that far away like india or africa. Here in Argentina there are places where people eat Cats and steal horses in order to eat (true story) So, when projects like the OLPC are everywhere I know that while I think they are really great, childrens like this don't need a new laptop or a micro-loan. They are starving, they don't have where to sleep. I don't think they "need" to get online.

If I get where I think I will, my dream has been for years this: (I wont get into great detail since my english is not good enough :p)

I would like to create a school / high-school / college where children could eat, sleep and learn. That would make their immediate worries disappear almost instantly and would keep them a little safer from drugs, street gangs and such.

This school would be sponsored by Me, the govt and big companies. The teachers should be the same as in best colleges from my country (they are not nearly as expensive as US ones)

When kids get legal age they would be required to sign a contract to go to college, this contract would mean that when they leave college, they should work for me, the govt or one of the companies, in a position according to their career. Their salary would be half the standard, and that money would go towards the foundation again.

After X years of working they would be free to go where they want to, or keep working with full salary; But would be prepared with good education and the believe that they can achieve anything in life.

Hope you can understand the idea. Some day, I will invite you all to the opening day! :)
Great idea! As soon as you started explaining it, I knew exactly where you were going. I think it'd be a great idea. Build schools/training centers in underpriveleged areas. Give citizens an opportunity to escape their situations. Some might see it as taking advantage (I guess it would attract businesses because they could get cheaper labor...), but it'd be doing a lot to help people who struggle to just survive. Plus, business can help establish a strong image as being a part of community and charitable foundations. I like the idea a lot! Count me in if I ever have control of a business that reaches that point!

One might argue that the schools and training centers would be even better than those offered by many established societies, because they'd be thought their normal subjects, in addition to learning about handling money and investing! Sounds like they'd have a pretty good career path ahead of them if they qualify to go down this path...
 

Diane Kennedy

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I think the "micro-loans" best example is Muhammad Yunus. He received a Nobel for his contribution to social and economic development.

About Diane's story, its very true, even not that far away like india or africa. Here in Argentina there are places where people eat Cats and steal horses in order to eat (true story) So, when projects like the OLPC are everywhere I know that while I think they are really great, childrens like this don't need a new laptop or a micro-loan. They are starving, they don't have where to sleep. I don't think they "need" to get online.

If I get where I think I will, my dream has been for years this: (I wont get into great detail since my english is not good enough :p)

I would like to create a school / high-school / college where children could eat, sleep and learn. That would make their immediate worries disappear almost instantly and would keep them a little safer from drugs, street gangs and such.

This school would be sponsored by Me, the govt and big companies. The teachers should be the same as in best colleges from my country (they are not nearly as expensive as US ones)

When kids get legal age they would be required to sign a contract to go to college, this contract would mean that when they leave college, they should work for me, the govt or one of the companies, in a position according to their career. Their salary would be half the standard, and that money would go towards the foundation again.

After X years of working they would be free to go where they want to, or keep working with full salary; But would be prepared with good education and the believe that they can achieve anything in life.

Hope you can understand the idea. Some day, I will invite you all to the opening day! :)
Jorge, thank you for sharing your dream. Your English is great. I think I have found my new goal - I want to bring my family to Argentina to meet you and let's see if we can figure out how to do this. In fact, I'm going to put out a couple of emails to people I know involved in international businesses tonight to see if they have any contacts.

You might have read the story about how my husband and I met our son David at a Mexican orphanage and adopted him 3 years ago. David has now started his own charity - he takes US teenagers down to Juarez (just over the border from Texas) orphanages to do a small project and play with kids at the orphanages. They make sure they have money for school, clothes, food and toys.

All of this started by just moving forward confidently in the direction of our dreams.

I remember this quote that I had above my typewriter in an office I worked at full-time while going to college:

Whatever we ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to be.

Saludos
 

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Jorge

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Jorge, thank you for sharing your dream. Your English is great. I think I have found my new goal - I want to bring my family to Argentina to meet you and let's see if we can figure out how to do this. In fact, I'm going to put out a couple of emails to people I know involved in international businesses tonight to see if they have any contacts.

You might have read the story about how my husband and I met our son David at a Mexican orphanage and adopted him 3 years ago. David has now started his own charity - he takes US teenagers down to Juarez (just over the border from Texas) orphanages to do a small project and play with kids at the orphanages. They make sure they have money for school, clothes, food and toys.

All of this started by just moving forward confidently in the direction of our dreams.

I remember this quote that I had above my typewriter in an office I worked at full-time while going to college:

Whatever we ardently desire, sincerely believe in and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to be.

Saludos
Diane...tonight was a great night for me. I went to the mountain with my GF and some friends to see the meteors and checked the forum from my mobile. I just couldn't believe what you are saying.
I spent the rest of the night telling my friends how awesome this forum is! Obviously as real slow-laners they didn't understood anything :rofl:

Are you serious? I don't really know how to respond to something like this, it has never happened anything like this before. If you are, I can't explain you how honored I feel...

Truly yours,
Jorge
 
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kurtyordy

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Jorge- awesome goal. I firmly believe that if all the haves step up in creativity without government interference, we can radically change the world.

Dianne- I got my first 'why not american kids' comment about my site. I thought of you and what you have experienced immediately.

Around the World- Thanks for the plug.
 

Diane Kennedy

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Are you serious?
Absolutely I'm serious. Great things happen with small steps. Who knows where this might go?

I sent a couple of emails last night. Let me get some feedback/ideas back from my group and I'll get back to you.
 

Jorge

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Wow Diane! You blew my mind :banana: Ok, when the times comes get in touch with me, I'm REALLY looking forward to meet you :hurray:

-kurtyordy

Thanks for your kind words :thumbsup: But I don't think that government just "interfere". I work in the government and my father has been in politics all of his life and I can honestly tell you that there is intelligent people that really wants to help! Off course, there are dumbs / corrupts also, but with intelligence, they can be beaten. At least in Argentina, Gov has made awesome contributions and really sad ones as well.

Cheers! :hurray::hurray:
 

Diane Kennedy

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Dianne- I got my first 'why not american kids' comment about my site. I thought of you and what you have experienced immediately.
Kurtyordy:

Wow! I finally clicked through on your link. You have an AMAZING website, concept and one of the best taglines I've seen.

I'm kicking around some bigger picture media strategies for the whole business/social concept. I'd love to have you involved, if nothing else highlighting your website as a cool way to do it.

Can I hijack this thread for a little brainstorming on what you call what you do? (building a business and support a charity at the same time)

Here's where I am:

Activist Entrepreneur - a little too 60's
Social Entrepreneurship - hard to spell
??
 
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AroundTheWorld

AroundTheWorld

Be in the Moment
Speedway Pass
Jul 24, 2007
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Social Entrepreneurship - hard to spell
??
Social Entrepreneurship has always been the term I have used....

What else is there???

Uh...

Social Business
Business for Humanity

Here are some words from Thesaurus.com for Entrepreneur:

administrator, backer, businessman, contractor, executive, impresario, industrialist, manager, organizer, producer, promoter, undertaker

charlatan, daredevil, entrepreneur, explorer, fortune-hunter, gambler, globetrotter, hero, heroine, knight, madcap, mercenary, opportunist, pioneer, pirate, rogue, romantic, soldier, speculator, stunt man, swashbuckler, traveler, venturer, voyager, wanderer
 

kurtyordy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
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jorge- what I mean is gov. red tape which gets in the way many times with efforts. Also, I find that in the US, once the gov. is involved in a problem, it typically gets worse.

Diane- Thanks, it has truly been a dream come true. I was looking back over the history of this. It was actually birthed in theory in June '06. There were a couple frustrating moments where it was tempting to give up, but I am glad we did not.

For the term, the best I have come up with so far is 'Entrepreneur 2.0' This is the next level of Entrepreneurship which is what this thread was originally about. Another option is Enlightened entrepreneur, but that is a little 'new agey'

The concept for me is redefining how business is conducted:
Microsoft- Bill and Melinda Gates foundation- detached from the consumer. You know you are helping fund it on some level, but how much of your purchase? Plus you do not control it.

Here, the consumer decides whether or not they care about the cause and then make their purchase in direct response.

I think I capture my thinking better on the blog I started. http://feedyourfamilyfeedtheworld.blogspot.com
 

Diane Kennedy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 31, 2007
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Here are some words from Thesaurus.com for Entrepreneur:

administrator, backer, businessman, contractor, executive, impresario, industrialist, manager, organizer, producer, promoter, undertaker

charlatan, daredevil, entrepreneur, explorer, fortune-hunter, gambler, globetrotter, hero, heroine, knight, madcap, mercenary, opportunist, pioneer, pirate, rogue, romantic, soldier, speculator, stunt man, swashbuckler, traveler, venturer, voyager, wanderer
No wonder so many people are conflicted on the whole concept of business.... It all comes back to the words we use, I guess. Thanks for posting this.
 

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