My name is Mark Leonard and I am the new Business Development and Partner Relations Manager at CommitChange.
Professionally, I have worked in the nonprofit sector for a decade. In that time, I have seen good times and bad, and most everything in between!
The good times were great. Back in my younger professional days, I used to teach outdoor sports to kids from disadvantaged backgrounds, and it was fantastic. One thing that always stood out for me was being able to provide a child with the memory of a lifetime, a memory that a child in certain social circumstances could otherwise not afford to have. I felt so privileged to be there at the time and place when this child could literally be having the very best day of their young lives. I used to love to think about how they would fondly remember the time they went sailing or kayaking or camping with their friends, long after they had forgotten the name of the annoying instructor who only wanted to make sure they were returned in one piece!
But the bad times had their days, too. Subsequent to my time in the Great Outdoors, I had moved my career forward to work in an urban After School club for socially-economically disadvantaged youth. After 30 years of serving a community of asylum seekers, families living below the poverty line, foster children, and many other disadvantaged cohorts besides, the After School Club was unceremoniously shut down. Funds were cut. A familiar story.
Every day, the children who had attended the After School Club had been fed, helped with their homework, and given much needed play time. No longer was this service available to them or their families. Moreover, there was little recourse for our service users. We were closed and that was it. And it wasn’t just the children who suffered. One of the things that most saddened me about the situation was the plight of a mom who wanted to go to nursing school. After the closure, this was no longer an option that she could afford to consider.
I had to change tack. And I had to change with the times, too.
The destination was SF, the tech capital of the world. My journey to the States was guided by a very specific goal: to work at the intersection of the tech and nonprofit communities. Through my rich and varied professional experiences, I had come to recognize this at the point from which maximum civic engagement could occur. Now, I just had to find an organization with the right culture and the right vision. I found just that…
CommitChange has been created with the explicit intention of using tech to serve the global nonprofit community. At CommitChange, my goal is to leverage the nonprofit experience of our team so that it can shine through our tech, and meet you, the nonprofit, on the other side.
I want you to know that we’re on your side and that I would love to work with you at EXACTLY the point at which I find you.