It’s always easier to do nothing than to do something.
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Profession: Research Analyst at Finch15
Twitter Handle: @jesstsai
What was your first philanthropic gift?:
Going through my clothes as a kid and donating what I couldn’t wear anymore was probably the first time I realized there was someone who was going to benefit directly from my giving.
What is your charity of choice?:
I recently joined the junior board of TASC, which works with public schools to bring 35% more learning time at 10% additional cost to the school day. I believe that investing in education is the most important thing we can do to address many of society’s challenges. I’m also Managing Director of Greatest Good, a platform for industry experts to raise money for their favorite charities by providing advice and consulting to paying individuals.
Who motivates you to give?:
People like those featured on Why We Give motivate me. It’s always easier to do nothing than to do something. These are ordinary people who don’t just talk about how things could or should be better and consider that their public service for the day. I’m inspired by people who aren’t necessarily in the non-profit world but are finding ways to share their talent, time, and money to support causes they believe in. They give me the confidence to do it, too.
What motivates you to give?:
I believe everyone should have the freedom of choice but I know that for many, that can feel like a luxury. If I can help in any way to make it easier for them to see that it’s possible– that they have a choice in their life, their future– that’s what motivates me.
What inspired you to be a part of Greatest Good?:
I’m lucky to have bosses that are not only brilliant at their day jobs but are in tune with the world around them. They’d probably laugh if they saw this but they inspire me to be more compassionate and to think more critically and thoughtfully about the world around me and the impact I have. The idea for Greatest Good came from them and so we built it together with an amazing team of professionals who are also volunteering their time.
What advice do you have for others to consider giving?:
I used to feel like a poser when I tried to help causes that hadn’t personally impacted me– I didn’t have cancer. I didn’t have pets. I didn’t grow up poor. I thought that I would alienate those I was trying to help, but looking back, it was probably an excuse. All you have to do is care.