My life almost changed drastically a decade ago.
My wife and I thought we were going to be missionaries. We went through a two-year training program and went to Germany to visit where we’d live.
We were serious about it, but it just didn’t happen. The doors were eventually closed, and we knew we were supposed to remain in Texas while I continued running Thrive Internet Marketing Agency.
But even though we weren’t sent to Germany, we still wanted to send. We wanted to find other ways to give back.
Giving back has always been a priority in my life, but it usually involved more of my time than money. But after starting Thrive in 2005, we made it our mission to assist others financially and give to organizations that help people around the world.
How Thrive helps others through giving
Giving back is a big part of the Thrive culture. Even in job interviews I tell potential employees about the importance of giving back to your community and encourage them to do so through our Thrive Gives Back program.
We support multiple charities and make community outreach a part of our annual Thrive Camp every year, bringing in our employees from all around the world to our office in Arlington to help with local volunteer work.
Thrive is also a partner of Kiva.org, a non-profit organization that helps to fund low-income entrepreneurs and students in more than 80 countries. For every business that works with Thrive, we give a micro-loan to another striving entrepreneur from Kiva to help them grow and succeed. Many are farmers or even women selling goods on the street in Africa who need some additional help.
Giving back to your community is a great way of investing in those who have supported your business.
How Thrive’s growth has spurred our giving back
My wife and I actually give back much more behind the scenes than we do through Kiva. From the very beginning of our business we’ve committed to giving back a percentage of Thrive’s profit.
Every six months we run a financial report at Thrive and we take a percentage of the profit and apply it to a spreadsheet that we maintain of about 15 organizations that we contribute to financially. We give different percentages to different organizations.
We’ve been able to give more in recent years because of Thrive’s continued growth and success. In 2018, we by far surpassed our highest total ever.
For the last 14 years we’ve kept our giving mostly private. We just didn’t want to make it a big deal. We just don’t think that’s joyful giving or the right kind of giving.
But I also realize it’s also important to encourage other businesses to give back. It’s important to continue to encourage my own team to give back. Hopefully this helps push them.
My wife and I often get approached by a lot of organizations that are in need of financial assistance. We have a discussion about every six months about our spreadsheet of about 15 organizations. We’ll go out to dinner and take the list with us to discuss which ones we’ll keep contributing to and others we might take off the list and replace with another organization.
The list wasn’t always 15. It started off with four or five organizations and grew over time as we were approached by more and more people.
One of the things that motivate me every morning is that I know the more Thrive grows, the more we can give back.
My approach is let’s use my business skills to grow Thrive but as a result of that we can give a lot more and make a bigger impact.
I love doing that, too. It’s one of the reasons I come to work every day.