Throughout my undergraduate experience and early professional years, I have always been mindful that my success is only possible because of the generosity of alumni and others who came before me. This motivates me to give of my time, skill and dollars in the spirit of opening doors for others who may not have the resources, connections or knowledge to pursue their educational and professional dreams.
Location: New York, New York
Profession: Director of Young Alumni Engagement, Syracuse University
Twitter : @DanKlamm
What was the first charitable gift you ever gave?: American Cancer Society
What are your charities of choice?:
Brooklyn On Tech (a nonprofit organization aimed at inspiring the next generation of technology thought leaders emerging from Brooklyn, NY). I’ve known one of the co-founders, Jessica Santana, since she was a college student. I was always impressed by her work ethic, leadership and authenticity, so when she filled me in on her plans to launch Brooklyn On Tech, I knew this was an organization I wanted to support. It’s important to me to believe in an organization’s leadership.
And Syracuse University (my alma mater and employer of the last seven years) – one of my proudest career accomplishments is developing a NYC-based young alumni leadership group to recognize some of our most ardent supporters and provide them with avenues for higher-level engagement with the university. In its first year, this group has grown to more than 50 members, all of whom give to the school in a variety of ways (including financial support). Now we are looking at tapping into the peer networks of these group members to generate even more supporters. The momentum is very exciting!
What motivates you to give?:
I was able to pursue my college degree at a prestigious private institution because of significant financial aid support. Throughout my undergraduate experience and early professional years, I have always been mindful that my success is only possible because of the generosity of alumni and others who came before me. This motivates me to give of my time, skill and dollars in the spirit of opening doors for others who may not have the resources, connections or knowledge to pursue their educational and professional dreams.
How do you give of your time?:
I’ve dedicated the first seven years of my career to helping students and young alumni at my alma mater be successful during college and after college. I also inspire them to continue the cycle of philanthropy by giving back to our school through their time, talents and resources as soon as they are able. In addition to my full-time work, I serve on the Advisory Council for Brooklyn On Tech (www.brooklynontech.com), where I provide guidance on building a sustainable organization that will make a major impact in educating Brooklyn’s youth about potential careers in the realm of technology.
If you could start your own charity, what would it be?:
An organization dedicated to the education and empowerment of first-generation college students. This population has to wrestle with a number of questions and issues on their own. It would be great to develop an organization that provides financial support—as well as much-needed mentoring, guidance, and programming—to first generation students.
What advice do you have for others to consider giving?:
When you find an organization that resonates with you, just give! Don’t worry that your gift won’t be large enough to make an impact or that you have nothing to add in the way of time and special talents. Every contribution makes an impact! Plus, giving back feels good.