Madhav's Blog

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Random thoughts on technology, books and anything else …

The Giving Back Whitepaper

One of the things I have struggled with is how to give back effectively.  Not a day goes by when I don’t realize I luck I am to have a healthy family, supportive friends and a workplace where I am respected.  It is easy to get into the swing of things and take things for granted but there are so many others who have far less than I do.

Don’t get me wrong, I do my bit.  I participate in my company’s community investment, with time and money.  I give back on a regular basis to groups that further the causes I believe in.  My answer is yes at the retail counter when asked would like to give $_ to non-profit X.  I am the one who will over tip if I know that I can really help the person who just waited on me.

However, I have the gnawing feeling that my ‘bit’ is not enough and I can do more, no should do more.  So I approached the issue as I would approach any business problem.  Take a step back and really figure different ways to attack the issue and throw proportionate resources behind each approach.

Here is my initial thoughts on the topic.  Crude but something that will help me, and I really hope others as well.

Contribute

– volunteer your time in ways that really use your specific skills (try sparked.com)

– share what you have in excess or don’t really need

– periodic investment so that others can rely on you

Advocate

– spread the word via networks, social (Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora) and otherwise (colleagues, friends, family)

– encourage mentees to give back

– harness the power of the enterprise

Lead

– drive initiatives

– participate in boards

– Start causes that you can believe in but also that you can really truly see through

Other guiding principles

– strive for a difference

– diversify between local and global

– be innovative

– basic needs – foods, health, shelter

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