Rethinking Nonprofits

– [Man] The word non-profit scares me a little bit but it freaks the hell out of my parents. Have you ever wanted to do something that you knew there was little to no money in and can you offer myself any advice? – Yes. No, I’ve never wanted to do that. (laughter) You can keep the mic for a second but it’s really interesting timing that you ask this. I’m on the board of a non-profit called Pencils of Promise. And POP was started by an unbelievable young man named Adam Braun. Adam Braun’s brother happens to be Scooter Braun the guy who discovered Justin Bieber. Here are two brothers and they went in very, very different directions. Now imagine your bro who’s a year younger or older, excuse me, in this scenario not only didn’t go non-profit but went and fucking found the Biebs. Right? And made tens of millions of dollars. He’s run POP for about a decade and now he just got married a couple years ago and not making any money has gotten to a place in his life where he’s already done more good for the world than 99% of people and he’s now going, he’s just left and he’s now our Chairman Emeritus but he’s no longer involved.

And he’s going and trying to build what he now needs financially. I’ll tell you this, we’ve never lived through a generation where young people are willing to go that path. The cliché path is the way I always thought about the way I was going to give back. Right? Build a huge empire. Buy the Jets and then start giving back. Right? I got affected five to seven years ago by Scott Harrison who’s the founder of Charity: Water. Also very progressive non-profit. And he said, “Gary, you can give along the way. “You don’t have to build it all up and give it away.” And I’ve done that. And it’s been very rewarding to me but as a lot of you know, I don’t talk a lot about my non-profit work.

I think, there’s a lot of things I keep private. My kids. You know, it’s funny, I keep all my good shit private, you know, I just do. It’s just how I roll but I don’t think anybody can tell you how to live your life. You just need to make sure that you mean it. So I have a lot of 23, 24-year-olds, 22-year-olds right now that don’t know exactly what they want to do and they’ve painted a narrative that they want to be a non-profit because they like the brand association of making themselves feel like they’re better human beings than the other people.

I’m not joking. You need to make sure is that what you’re doing or do you actually want to do it? If you actually want to do it, you go head first but if there’s a part of you that likes the narrative that it paints on you as a human being and you’re concerned about the other parts like money and other things, you don’t have to beat yourself up about that. (light music).

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