Let’s start with some #realtalk – I am never going to be seen climbing an actual mountain because that would entail exercise which I strictly avoid at all costs 🙂 . But I have climbed my fair share of business mountains, emotional mountains, and spiritual mountains, throughout my life. Each of which have taught me some really painful, yet valuable life lessons.
Since selling my business seven years ago, I have spent most of my time climbing charitable mountains in order to give back, spending the majority of my days giving of my time, talents, and resources to support what I believe to be worthy causes. And in that process I’ve learned even more life lessons…
Experience has taught me that just because an organization’s stated mission is a good cause that you really believe in, the cause itself is only half the equation, as you also must also give equal consideration to the goodness and aptitude of the people leading it. Unless the organization has both firmly in place it’s best you avoid climbing that particular mountain until they do.
Having the ability to donate to good causes is a tremendous blessing, but it quickly sucks the joy out of giving if you have to spend your time worrying about whether an organization is misappropriating donor funds, or dishonoring donor intent, or mistreating employees, or disrespecting other donors, etc. The best way to avoid that happening is doing more diligence before you pick which mountain you are going to climb. And you don’t have time to diligence it yourself, partner with an organization that can. Because you don’t want to start climbing a mountain only to discover it’s not the right one.
For those who may already be halfway up a mountain and discovering you’ve chosen the wrong one – all you can do at that point is try your best to help the organization fix it, and if they won’t….simply descend. There are so many other mountains out there that have good causes, and good people, that treat people well, and respects their donors…all you need to do is find one of those and start climbing!!!
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )