Paul Shoemaker is the Founding President of Social Venture Partners International and was the Executive Connector of SVP Seattle for 17 years. With insights from this unique vantage point, he is the Northwest’s leading expert on activating social change agents and a global thought leader on how individuals can be the most effective philanthropists.
Paul believes that we need more people committed to giving long-term to make social change happen. In his book, Can’t Not Do, Paul shares stories of individuals who have distilled passion into potent purpose and made tremendous differences on the pressing social issues that plague our time.
On the latest episode of The Wealth Confidant Podcast, Paul and I discuss how to zero in on a cause that is not only a critical area of need, but is also personally meaningful, in order to double-down on impact.
Paul says that while researching his book, he “talked to many individuals who have made a huge difference, who would invariably say something like, it’s not that I can do this work, it’s that I can’t not do it.”
But how does one identify a particular cause when there are so many opportunities for giving?
Paul cautions that “folks are open to finding their ‘can’t not do’ at different times in their life” and that there is no one size fits all when it comes to generosity.
“There are times and places in our life where we have a little more open space in our hearts and in our minds. There’s a little bit of Maslow’s hierarchy going on here, right? If you know you’ve got your basics met and maybe you feel good about some of the things you’ve accomplished in life, then maybe you’re ready for what’s next or what’s more or what’s the bigger purpose. And we’re not always all ready for that. You need to listen to yourself…when does your heart feel open? When it does, keep your mind and your eyes open for that thing that just might grab you.”
What’s your “can’t not do”?
If you need some inspiration, I encourage you to read Can’t Not Do for compelling stories of individuals who have made single-handed difference through philanthropic giving for social change.
Thanks for reading and tuning in. I’d love to hear your insights on this important topic. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.