Social impact is something I care deeply about. Some of you know that I founded a non-profit called Tricord. My partner David Briggs summed up the heart of Tricord in what I think is a beautiful blog. He writes about three strategies we use at Tricord. Please check out what David has to say about our non-profit, and explore Tricord’s website.  If you are interested in partnering or investing in Tricord, you can message me personally through this website, or through Tricord’s website. Thank you.

Tricord Global: Benevolence Enhanced, Billy Epperhart

  • Benevolence that sustains itself. In a nutshell, this model is simple. TRICORD will provide start-up capital to launch a community development or social outreach program as long as it is tied to a business that can sustain the outreach or program through the net profits of the business they start. The business the Peters’ launched was recycling trash to make cooking bricks that are sold in the market for cooking fuel. The cooking bricks are also an alternative fuel substitute for charcoal… This is a Bio and Eco friendly way to recycle trash, work against deforestation, provide jobs for people who are not only poor but illiterate, and offer an alternative cooking fuel to the community that is cheaper than the standard cooking fuel… The community development outreach they chose to launch was an adult literacy program. The net profits of the cooking brick business pays for the adult literacy program and pays the teacher’s salary.
  • Benevolence that empowers. …one of the clients in the program, who previously could not read or write, had written her name for the very first time! What is unique about this story is this lady was also employed through the “Trash for Cash” program, so it is actually her labor that is paying for her education. The donors who provided the funds for this startup can be and should be very proud of what their investment has produced. A profit-making business that uses a portion of its net profits to finance and sustain an adult literacy program that not only empowers people to be educated but gives them an opportunity to enter into the economically active sector, earn a living for their family, and be a greater contributing asset to their community.
  • Benevolence that does not imprison. This is one of the core values of TRICORD that goes right to the heart of the reason TRICORD was formed in the first place. Our vision wasn’t to create another benevolent organization or NGO that would reach out with heavily subsidized programs and financial aid that ultimately would destroy the creativity of the people we are trying to help. We wanted a system that would serve different philanthropic and social endeavors  and at the same time push them to develop a model that would make them dependent on the profits and cash flow that they created in the markets and communities in which they live and interact. It was that desire and core value that has given birth to our “GAP” (Global Action Partners) program. Our approach was to break an entitlement mindset that keeps people poor and non productive and keeps them dependent on the aid from others to survive and live on… learning how to release the poor from the invisible prison provided by their benefactors is a real first step in helping without taking away personal initiative or human dignity.

I truly believe that these three core enhancements of benevolence are a part of the key to ending poverty in our world. See the full blog and other articles from Tricord here, Entitlement Verses Empowerment.

In what ways do you contribute to ending poverty? What key to ending poverty do you promote?
I will be posting a new blog every Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Join me tomorrow to talk about Entrepreneurialism.