In 2016 we restructured the organization into 4 tiers to better understand the support MOT would provide. Also, to define what each group’s needs were. This significantly helped me, personally, to understand the capacity of our resources and not over commit.
2017 has found further clarity with the addition of our first contract worker. It was clear we needed more capacity if our subsidiaries were going to continue their growth. This got me thinking as I sat down to write you. What does the social entrepreneur really need?
As I sat and talked with the leaders of True Potential (Ross and Karen) it became evident. True Potential has grown beyond what any of us thought would occur in just 5 years. This has placed a burden on Ross and Karen to run their business, focus on their family, while continuing this incredibly important work. So, how does MOT support them and more in the same position?
This was further illuminated for me when I pulled my time invested in MOT last year. There are 8,760 hours in a year and of those, in 2017, I put 562 hours towards the organization. That’s only 6.5% of the entire year. Just think of what could happen if we provided a platform where leaders and volunteers could allocate a few hours a month and those hours produce the highest return, in terms of work accomplished and self-satisfaction to the individual. If everyone gave 1% of their year to their community, that’s 3.5 days a year – just over 7 hours a month. Imagine what would be possible if that time was used intentionally.
Looking at fractions of hours, it lends itself to the current ‘soup du jour’ of tech markets – the shared economy. Uber is networked transportation. WeWork is networked real estate. Blockchain is networked capitalism. This got me thinking, we must build a network of time and resources with our subsidiaries. This is where I hope we will focus our board meeting’s conversation to discern concrete steps to achieve.
How can Matters On Tomorrow build a platform to provide fractional support services? Where individuals who are the ‘weekend warriors’ can give 7 hours a month to take part in or lead a community. We provide the stability and off the shelf fractional services while removing barriers to taking action. We can make giving, in specific and meaningful ways, the most accessible that it’s ever been. I believe going forward this is where 80% of our organization’s time needs to be spent. A large opportunity for us to develop a blueprint to be used anywhere in the world.
I wrote the following in 2015 and it continues to be true as we seek to further focus our efforts and ability. It took us 3 years to get to this point and I believe strongly in the direction we are headed.
- Our goal is permanent change, not just a successful project
- We want to keep “the main thing,” the main thing: to empower others to build their community and if they desire, to scale that process
- Our strategy to accomplish this is to create a platform where philanthropic entrepreneurs can bolt-on to minimize barriers to entry, ongoing expenses and regulation.
- We are in development work[i]– this means first and foremost we are going to take chances. The reality is we fail far more than we ever succeed. For us to be in the venture philanthropy world means by definition we are the risk capital. Our goal is not to win every time, our goal is permanent change (and that’s difficult).
- Poverty is living without choices, it is fundamentally about broken relationships. The economics of poverty are a symptom of a much worse disease. Most spend an incredible amount of effort trying to treat the symptom, we will not.
I’ll close by saying how much I appreciate all of you over these years being here to support this dream and our organization. It is recognized and valued. Lots of experimenting and growth still to come. The adventure is only just beginning!
Founder and Executive Director
Matters On Tomorrow
[i] 3 ways ‘charity’ is enacted at home and in the world:
1. Relief – urgent and temporary (vast majority of aid, individually and on a commercial scale)
2. Rehabilitation – aid recovery of foundation from devastation (i.e. building projects, short term funds)
3. Development – process of ongoing change (takes decades and hardly done, especially in a manner of quality)
Book : When Helping Hurts