Thursday, October 24, 2013

If I Win The Lottery, I Will Start Hanging Out With Rich People

Act #297:  Fill in the gaps.

I never, ever play the lottery, for two main reasons:  1.)  I never win anything; and 2.)  I'm intimidated by the process - the mere thought sets me immediately into middle school scan-tron test-taking anxiety attacks.  But there I was on a road I don't typically drive, fetching coffee at a service station I've never been to, and all three people in front of me say, ".....and I'll have a quick-pick Powerball too."  The universe was encouraging me, so who was I to deny the universe?  And right this very moment I may indeed have the winning Powerball ticket sitting in a messy drawer in my kitchen. My friends asked me, what would I do if I really won?  What would be my first purchase?   Would I quit my job?  Would I move somewhere else?  And the answer is pretty simple. I would find a way to fill the gaps.

The Plain Jane Foundation
I would create a national grant-making foundation (most likely with a cooler name) that provides funding for new and innovative start-up social enterprises and non-profits organizations whose missions were to significantly impact and reduce economic and social injustice.  Think Silicon Valley for social change.  But wait.... (GAP #1) I wouldn't just hand out money to worthy causes that push the boundaries.  I'd provide these start-ups with the best, the brightest technology infrastructures, financial management resources, and marketing and public relations tools - things that are few and far between luxuries for most non-profits.  What else you say?  (GAP #2) I'd provide an on-going leadership training institute for the directors of these non-profits to share ideas and resources, offer continued support, collaborate, and identify best practices.  But I couldn't just stop there (GAP #3), I'd require the boards of these non-profits to have the following representation:  a local government employee or elected official, a researcher from a local university, a local business owner, another community non-profit organization with aligning missions, and wait for it.............a client or someone the organization would typically serve.   And finally, (GAP #4), I'd require these non-profits to offer paid, month-long sabbaticals for every employee who has worked for five years, in order to hit the pause button and set aside intentional time to reflect on individual and organizational possibility, potential, and capacity for innovative social change.

Of course my lottery winnings would run out eventually, hence me hanging out with rich people, to sustain and carry on the work of the foundation.  Just in case I don't win though, I hope some other person of wealth goes ahead and steals my idea.  It's not copy-written or anything.  You'll have my grant application on your desk by Monday.

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