Purpose Eats Work for Breakfast

It’s 6am and lines of code are rolling down my screen at an indiscernible pace. My daughter will be up soon and these things tend to go much smoother without interruption. For minutes the feed of information pours down the page as our system tears through the information locked away in our database. It’s not an uncommon occurrence as each week we revise and adjust segments of our system but this morning the content is somewhat different. This morning, we’re allocating hundreds of thousands of dollars to families in need.

Allocating funds is typically a task handled by Sarah, who manages donor communication. Donation by donation, each dollar is linked to a specific family in need. It’s not an estimation or an exaggeration, every donor dollar is matched with the exact family it helps. Having built the original framework, that level of transparency was important to our team since the beginning. That level of clarity is unique to nonprofits and part of what drew me into work at New Story.

This is the future. Gone are the days of blind trust in any institution. The government, the church, nonprofits… trust has been violated more often than we can count. Radical transparency is the new social currency and the days are limited for those who fail to comply. Through technology, there is simply no excuse to neglect such an important detail of philanthropy, social impact, and money management.

Back at my computer, my daughter awoke earlier than usual and has now joined me. Finishing my original task, she begins eating breakfast. As I glance from my computer to her smiling face it occurs to me… the absence of a safe and comfortable home is something my daughter will likely never experience. Barring a massive, unforeseen event, this will never be a reality she faces. My heart is flooded with gratitude and appreciation as I glance back at my screen to the rolling list of families whose new journey continues this morning. In front of my vary eyes, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being allocated to dozens of families in need. Actual lives, changed forever.

Overcome with this touching realization and honor to be entrusted with the task, I scooped up my daughter and begin reading her the story of a family whose home was just funded. It’s a story of a father with two daughters. He drives a moto-taxi to provide for his family. We opened another family profile which included a video of the family moving into their home. As the music rolls, my daughter grins from ear to ear as we watch a mother dance with joy holding the keys to her new home.

The moment was precious. It was an intersection of fulfillment in the work, thankfulness for those who give so generously, and pride to share such milestone with my daughter on a seemingly average morning. At 15 months old she doesn’t understand the magnitude of what’s happening for these families, but one day she will. When that day comes, I hope these experiences will stir the same passion within her as they continue to do for me.

December 2017