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‘Inspiring Social Change’ – a Panel Discussion
Looking for ways you can make a meaningful difference? According to Pratham SF Young Professional’s panelists, your best bets are to volunteer your professional skills or to donate funds to help non-profits build scale and improve their operational capabilities.
The panel, “Inspiring Social Change” was held on May 6th, 2010 at Sens Restaurant in San Francisco. Over 45 attendees enjoyed delicious appetizers and cocktail hour prior to the main event-an interactive discussion on "Inspiring Social Change." The discussion was moderated by Sandeep Chivukula, the vice president of Pratham YP SF and included representatives from a broad spectrum of organizations - Premal Shah (Kiva.org), Meghan Nisbitt (Salesforce Foundation), Yashvinee Narechania (Room to Read), and Jaimie Allison (SparkSF).
Premal Shah currently leads Kiva.Org (www.Kiva.org) a website that lets you make micro-loans to the world's working poor. Kiva has raised over $100 million in its first 4 years and was named as a Top 50 website by TIME magazine in 2009.
Meghan Nesbitt represented the Salesforce.com Foundation (www.foundation.force.com). In her role, she oversees the foundation’s partnerships with businesses adopting the 1-1-1 integrated philanthropy model and supporting nonprofits in their use of technology.
Yashvinee Narechania represented Room to Read (www.roomtoread.org). Room to Read transforms the lives of millions of children across Asia and Africa by providing solutions to the issues of literacy and gender equality. In her role at Room to Read she oversees the fundraising activities of 44 global chapters.
Jaimie Allison is the President of the Spark board (www.sparksf.org). At Spark, she oversees the various initiatives related to changing patterns of inequality that impact women. She is also currently a Program Officer with the S.H. Cowell Foundation in San Francisco where she is responsible for the Youth Development grant making.
The panelists discussed how each of their organizations enable social change by providing organizations with the capital and tools to be more effective in the long term. For example, Salesforce foundations’ 1-1-1 program provides organizations like Kiva and Room to Read the same enterprise class planning and reporting tools used by Fortune 500 companies. In another example, Ms. Allison from SparkSF, highlighted a project in Haiti where they are working to build a sustainable schooling system to enable the long term success of Haiti rather than simply adding to the temporary relief effort.
In parting, our panelists had the following advice for aspiring social entrepreneurs, donors and volunteers: You don’t have to quit your day job to make a difference. If you’re in social media marketing, instead of just volunteering to read at the local school, you might also look for opportunities to promote the school’s bake sale or charity drive through the social networks.
Finally, we would like to thank our panelists, the Pratham YP SF team and all the attendees for making this event successful! This event raised $1200.00 for Pratham USA.
For more pictures and details on this event and our future events please join us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Prathamsfyp.
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