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18. December 2014

Giving Back

by Mark Linsz, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Partner, My Next Season

Throughout my 27 years at Bank of America, I often thought about how I could “give back”? I came to the conclusion that there were three ways for me to give back, beyond simply writing a check: I could work for not-for-profit full time, join the board of directors, or volunteer. All seemed like great options.

I decided to join the board of directors of Opportunity International, LifeNet International, and African Bible Colleges. I’ve enjoyed being on those boards but continue to contemplate if there were other or even more meaningful ways that I could “give back.” I could volunteer (which is important) but were there ways or places in the not-for-profit world where I might utilize the skills I had developed and refined in the corporate world?

I know many of my peers at Bank of America and elsewhere were asking these same questions. At My Next Season, we are partnering with not-for-profits by contributing 20 percent of project revenue to them and by working with these organizations to utilize the skills of executives that will be retiring over the next 10 to 20 years. We are supporting the work of our not-for-profit partners by matching their strategic needs with the capabilities of retiring executives. For example, we have a former CEO of a Fortune 100 company who is mentoring a not-for-profit first time CEO as she looks to expand her company throughout the United States. We have been asked if we could recommend someone with IT skills to review a technology platform, and to refer someone who has experience in building businesses in Asia for a not-for-profit as it evaluates how best to expand its footprint into other parts of Asia.

There is a tremendous talent pool of retired executives that will be increasing in size over the next decade. At My Next Season, we are changing the game by accessing this abundance of capability to fuel growth and possibility for not-for-profit organizations whose success matters to us all. It’s a win for everyone.

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