KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

May 25 2010

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Mixing charity with business

Saturday morning I went to see a new client at their home to talk about their new kitchen. I had already talked to her on the phone the other day and told her that my first consultation at her house bears a cost. And that they have to save 200 children’s lives.

At $.50 per dose, the polio vaccine can save one child’s life in the world and the Rotary Clubs of the world deliver it. I happen to be the president of our local Rotary Club. A year ago, I started charging all prospective clients $100, which would go to the Rotary, if I took a couple of hours of my time to go to give them ideas for their kitchen projects. Over this year, I have raised more than $4,000.00 doing this. Only two people have declined and I have politely refused to go see their home. I figure that if they are that skeptical about me, the cause and paying me anything like a hundred bucks, this $50,000-plus project ain’t gonna go so well either. Most people actually think it’s a grand thing to do and are appreciative that I thought of letting them participate in this way!!

We do give our time a lot to folks who are just pokin’ around, so why let it go for free when you can do something like this? Who are you to let them steal your time and ideas and expertise on your subject and make no investment at all? Isn’t two hours of your life worth asking them to save some kids’ lives? That’s a “holy-mackerel no-brainer!”

Did you know? Rotary is the biggest and oldest “all volunteer” service organization in the world and the only other NGO (non government organization), besides the Red Cross, that has a permanent seat at the United Nations and is almost wholly responsible for eradicating polio from the planet!? Only four countries are left with outbreaks, and through some pretty tricky alliances, those countries are getting slowly immunized.

I don’t know if I’ll get the kitchen job, but I do know before I even get in my car, the lives of 200 kids will be saved as a result of the clients’ heart and of my plying my craft and just asking for their help. Everyone wins big.

Mark Brady

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 at 6:00 AM and is filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1.  rkeytex |


    What a great idea! Can you post the link to the Rotary program so we can copy your idea?

    Principal, organicARCHITECT
    Author, “Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies”

  2.  markbrady |

    Best to contact your local Rotary Club which can be found on Rotary.org and see how they can get your funds to Polio Plus programs.