Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Intersection of Family Philanthropy and Business Philanthropy

Think about walking past the community soccer fields on a Saturday morning. The fields are packed with children running around in bright colored shirts. Take a closer look and you will probably notice the names of companies on those shirts – those companies are probably family-owned businesses supporting the community in which they live and work.
Family owned businesses are crucial to our economy in terms of creating jobs, generating wealth and building community. According to Family Enterprise USA, there are 5.5 million family-owned businesses in the United States. What is astounding about these businesses is that according to that same study, 95% of them are engaged in philanthropy.  That is a lot of soccer shirts!
Corporate philanthropy (whether a business is family-owned or not) has been in the midst of change for quite some time now.  To simplify, what has emerged are three ways of thinking about the outward expression of company values.  These are philanthropy, community involvement and social innovation.  When combined, these practices ultimately define the company’s culture and, in the case of a family-owned business, they define the family’s culture and those things they deem important. 
The Network of Family Businesses is excited to present this Webinar scheduled for Thursday, December13th, 2012 at 10:00 AM EST, with Teresa Araco Rodgers, CAP® President and Founder of harp-weaver LLC.

This discussion will explore emerging practices, Philanthropy considerations, and questions your Family should be considering.

Teresa Araco Rodgers began her career at SEI, a global provider of asset management, investment processing and investment operations solutions.  Teresa founded harp-weaver LLC in 2010 because she wants to give donors a better way to add meaning and align gifting with personal, family and financial goals.  Her mission is to inspire others by helping them articulate their values and passions to be purposeful givers. With more than 10 years of grantmaking experience, Teresa works with clients in the Greater Philadelphia area, supporting donor interests professionally, ethically and cost-effectively.  As a "network weaver," Teresa brings people and organizations together to address issues of concern and enables donors to be more strategic with their charitable dollars and more fulfilled with their involvement.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Be Thankful for what you have,

                                   not what you don’t have.

Friday, November 9, 2012

What does it take to be an entrepreneur? A Mustache and a Dream. by guest blogger Aaron Cargas

When Chip Cargas started Cargas Systems, Inc. (my employer), it was 1988, and all he had was a Macintosh computer, a mustache, and a dream. On second thought, he also had an Ivy League education, and years of experience as an engineer, manager, and human resources executive.
What did he lack? He didn’t have any marketing or sales experience; nor did he have any accounting or financial knowledge, key skills if you are starting a business by yourself with no customers. The eighties were coming to an end, and Chip realized the days of covering up what you didn’t know by having stellar facial hair were soon to be over. So he gave himself a crash course in the areas of business where his knowledge was light.
He took some sales and marketing courses and learned enough to do the simple marketing to get him to the point of landing his first customer. Even though he wasn’t a typical salesperson, he learned the basics of building and managing a pipeline, doing the necessary follow up, creating proposals, and doing good presentations. He learned enough to build the business to the point where he could hire someone with natural sales talent.
He also read the Accounting for Non-Accountants book and learned the basic accounting needed to run a business. He became very proficient at building budgets, working with financial models, and dealing with banks. He ended up with a fundamental understanding of accounting that would rival a CFO’s knowledge in many companies.
You can learn a lesson from Chip and his mustache; managers, executives, and entrepreneurs should strive to have a working knowledge of all areas of business. Even if you are not starting your own business, this broad knowledge will help you understand what’s driving the motivations of all areas of your company. Too often people pigeonhole themselves and then become small minded defenders of the narrows interests of their own discipline. It’s great to be an expert, but it’s better to be an expert with a broad understanding of business.
Chip ended up shaving his mustache in the nineties as if to tempt fate and test the mettle of his newfound skills. The company continued to grow, so this proves the theory that well-rounded business knowledge trumps well maintained whiskers. So take a lesson and become well versed in all aspects of business. Then when you do decide to grow an awesome mustache, it will simply be icing on the cake.

Aaron Cargas is a board member and one of many employee owners at Cargas Systems, an employee owned business software and consulting firm. He has been writing on leadership, management, and entrepreneurial topics since 2003. Read Aaron’s blog at http://ManagerialMayhem.com and follow Aaron on Twitter @ManagerialMayhm.