Participating in my first Dreamforce today, and for the rest of this week, is a culmination of several competing paths in my life, and an affirmation that is both professional and personal. I am grateful for the journey. I am also reminded that it is also a beginning. In words of Marcus Aurelius, “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy and to love…”
Changing the World…Together
I’ve worked in philanthropy for my entire career. Indeed, coming up on 27 years – really hard to believe.
I’ve had great jobs, tough jobs, amazing bosses, crazy bosses, access to incredible philanthropists and people and have mentored and coached super talented young fundraisers and I’ve been blessed with mentors and people to look up to, to help me find my way. To all of you, I say thank you.
I’ve been promoted, celebrated, fired and even vilified for my opinion, my tactics and my talent. Like you, I’ve had blinding ambition that has both served me well and knocked me down. I’ve also grown and changed and every day, I really do strive to learn and also to be my authentic self.
I woke up this morning before dawn in an empty house, pulled myself out of bed, got my act together, made my 25 mile commute and spoke to a group of leadership donors about poverty and the marginalized in the Bay Area over coffee – and all before 8am…Then, I was blessed to join my colleagues from United Way Worldwide and Salesforce.org to talk about the disruption of philanthropy and a project we are working on to amplify the ability for people everywhere to give, to act and to engage with the communities they live in and work in – truly remarkable!
When I spoke today to my colleagues, I was reminded that all of this work we do is all about love for mankind – plain and simple, it is the definition of philanthropy. Technology is fascinating and it can make things happen – it’s what we do with it – to increase HUMAN connectedness that matters most – that is what creates community, and ultimately changes the world. I am privileged to be a part of this team, at this time and in this place. Thank you to Brian Gallagher, CEO of United Way Worldwide, for the recognition today, to Anne Wilson, CEO of the United Way Bay Area, for believing in me, to my colleagues at United Way here and across the world, and to my friends and family who have supported me all along.
Today, I was reminded that I’m not alone in my journey or my desire for strong communities and a better world for our children. Indeed there are 200,000 people in San Francisco this week, and 10 million others who watched Marc Benioff’s keynote around the world who are exploring ways to increase connectedness, to improve the human experience, to celebrate human dignity and to do so together – to change the world.