“Does Money = Impact?” by Chris Castro

“Often times, we think that we need financial resources (i.e. money) in order to make an impact in our communities, or that there’s nothing we can do as individuals; both which create this unnecessary hesitation to take action and do something to shape our community.

Now let’s be real, to some degree money is necessary in some form or fashion, but it’s important to note that money also comes in the form of partnerships. There are so many assets that one can leverage by creating a mutualistic relationship with other local governments, companies, and organizations. In October 2012, I actually spoke at the TEDx event in Orlando and referenced this topic in particular: biomimicry.

These stakeholders in our community have resources, which replaces the need for actual money, especially if your event, project or program aligns with their goals. Each of our networks, talents, and relationships can all be utilized to provide positive impacts that can sometimes not require any financial investment by the person or group trying to undertake an impact.

rsz_hiveorlando2It might sound crazy but over the past 6 years, IDEAS For Us has been a 100% volunteer-run organization. Many people think that because of our chapter network, successful programs, or partnerships we create, that we have a full-time staff and tons of funding to support our work…

In reality, we have never had a paid staff person, and all the money we’ve ever raised as gone towards projects and programs that further our missions in communities around the World. Simply put, our staff, board, country directors, and chapter leaders are passionate citizens working full-time as volunteers to accelerate solutions to climate change and environmental issues; something far more important and meaningful than just getting a check at the end of each month for the hours we’ve worked.

Don’t get me wrong; money is important and we are actively looking for organizational funding to financially support some of our staff in 2015; but if we sat around waiting for money to cover our cost for our time, materials, etc, we would have failed from day 1.

At the end of the day we need to learn how to be resourceful when we have limited resources. In IDEAS, our passion about the cause, and persistence in making our community (and the World) a better place, has far outweighed the need for money in order to drive impact.”

-Chris Castro
IDEAS Co-Founder

The Orlando Hub of Global Shapers pose for a photograph after a tree planting event at Azalea Park Elementary

The Orlando Hub of Global Shapers pose for a photograph after a tree planting event at Azalea Park Elementary