by Angela E. White
Chief Shoe Giver is the title of Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS shoes. Blake was the opening speaker at the AFP International Conference in Chicago on March 20, 2011.
Blake's interesting title reflects his entrepreneurial spirit - creating a for profit company that makes giving back the core concept of the company.
His story of creating TOMS Shoes is fascinating, including the role of women in test marketing the concept of marrying consumer purchasing and philanthropy and the powerful impact of storytelling.
Get online and read about Blake and the story of TOMS Shoes. TOMS gave away their one millionth shoe this year - amazing!
Blake's title got me thinking of how we might re-title ourselves in the work that we do in philanthropy.
Perhaps instead of our common titles of Director of Development or Major Gift Officer, we might adopt the titles of Director of Making a Difference or Chief Life Changer.
Thinking about what our titles might be causes us to peel back our work to the core of what we do - the foundation of why we are engaged in this work of philanthropy.
Ponder your real title and the impact that you make in the world and how you can implement TOMS Shoes' "one for one" concept in your work.
By "one-to-one", I encourage you to think about how you can make certain that you incorporate giving into your for-profit partnerships. While you ponder, I am on my way out to buy some TOMS Shoes!
P.S. April 5th is TOMS One Day Without Shoes - a day for you to go barefoot to experience what is like to go barefoot and for the hundreds of thousands of people who have to go barefoot everyday because they have no choice. April 5th also happens to be my birthday, and I ask you to join me in raising awareness for the health and safety needs of those children around the world who have no shoes. Who knows, maybe all of JGA will be barefoot that day!