Pay it Forward Friday and Pencils of Promise both began with an idea generated from one small act of kindness. The education charity featured this week has a two part mission: focusing on working with undeserved communities to build schools, and training young leaders to insure that those schools are successful and self sustaining.
Founder Adam Braun has taken a circuitous route to build Pencils of Promise. The idea took root with a small boy begging on a street in India, and has grown into an organization which just broke ground on the building of its 100th school. The wheels were set in motion when Adam gave that first pencil away in 2005, and his training at Bain & Company illustrated to him that starting a successful non-profit was going to have critical ties to a for profit business model.
Braun has embraced all that social media has to offer, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that Justin Beiber is on board and has introduced his fans into the company’s POP circle of supporters. Bringing new thinking to a small idea has reshaped the way non profits are viewing their role in the global world. Previously, the arenas of career and purpose have usually occupied separate spaces. It is exciting to see a new generation of entrepreneurial spirit combining the two and welcoming the concept of profitable purpose.
There are currently over 61 million children in the world without access to education. To think that a $25.00 donation can educate a child for a year is proof that Pencils of Promise is making a difference, one child, one pencil at a time.
Take a look at founder Adam Braun featured on Samsung’s new hot off the press commercial.