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What's your day job

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On 10/4/2017 at 4:56 PM, Jasent said:

. You gotta be a little crazy to work with horses ;) 

after 55 yrs working where I had to deal with humans daily I've found horses be more honest and enjoyable to be around than a lot of people these days.  Now retired I can choose what I do and when I'm going to do it.  A lot more fun

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Industrial engeneer by education. Doing my thing in a large health organization (second largest in the world). Mainly managing, designing and improving work proccesses.

BUT- The day job is the least significant part of my life. It's a necessity to feed the family and enable me to engage my many interests - mainly blacksmithing. THAT'S my life.

I work to live, and do not live to work.

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But But But; I don't think I would know what to do with Significant and Substantial Philanthropy!!!!!!! (Cue Finnigan's Rainbow "When the Idle Poor Become the Idle Rich...")

Or was the philandering? Wife has told me that she wouldn't even bother with a shallow grave in the desert, the buzzards and coyotes could have the remains...

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On 10/21/2017 at 1:24 PM, genesaika said:

Well JHCC, how DO you facilitate significant and effective philanthropy?

On 10/21/2017 at 3:07 PM, Steve Sells said:

Yeah, enquiring minds want to know

On 10/21/2017 at 7:36 PM, Frosty said:

Me too John, that sounds like a skill I could use. 

Frosty The Lucky.

In a nutshell, it's all about helping a person figure out what difference they want to make through their generosity, and helping make that happen. In other words, every donor, whatever their other motivations, essentially wants things to be better (in a particular way) after the gift than they were before. My job is to help people identify what kind of impact they want to have, how that can be accomplished with the resources they have at their disposal, and given the opportunities to make such an impact at the college where I work.

For example, one woman I work with is really, really, really concerned about helping first-generation students (i.e., people who've never had anybody in their family go to college before) succeed. This is a real challenge, as the college environment can be extremely alienating and disorienting, and it can be really hard to find the on-campus resources you need (e.g., how to connect with a writing tutor or learn about summer internships). A lot of first-gen students can be really intimidated by the bureaucracy, and if they can't find what they need the very first time, they're unlikely to try again, just because it's such so hard to make the emotional and psychological effort. A lot of the time, they just need to talk to someone who understands where they're coming from. Well, we have a peer mentorship program for first-gen freshmen, where they get matched up with a first-gen junior or senior who helps them learn to navigate the college environment (that whole "teach a man to fish" thing). It's incredibly effective for the freshmen, and it's actually a paying work-study job for the mentors ( most of whom are also low-income and could use the money).

So, I told our alumna about this program and how it works, and she decided that this was what she wanted to support. She made a five-year pledge to create a permanent endowment, the income from which will support the program, and she also started making cash contributions to underwrite the program right away, while the endowment is building up. Because of her generosity, we were able to quadruple the number of peer mentors, which meant that each mentor had only a quarter of the caseload, which meant that they could spend four times as much time with each mentee. First-gen graduation rates go up, mentors have good campus jobs that teach them skills that will be incredibly useful in the workplace, and she gets the satisfaction of making something great happen that wouldn't have happened (at least not in the same way) otherwise -- so much satisfaction, in fact, that she subsequently decided to establish a scholarship fund for first-gen students.

I first met this same woman, by the way, when she decided to give us some cellos she'd had for some years and wasn't playing anymore. One of them was made in about 1725 and was probably (for all you Classical music fans out there) the instrument upon which Anatoliy Brandukov premiered the Tchaikovsky Pezzo Capriccioso and the Rachmaninoff Cello Sonata (Paris 1887 and Moscow 1901, respectively).

This is just one example; I've also helped folks with scholarship funds, funds for undergraduate research in computer science, resources for the renovation of our theater, planning to make gifts through their estate plans, and so on. The key thing to remember is, it ain't about the money. It's about what people care about and what kind of impact they want to make. Money is just part of how we make it happen.

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