The Taproot Foundation or how my needs have changed

I never thought this to be true, but at some point in your life, money stops being the primary motivator for what you do. Being a poor student in college, Maslow seemed to be out of his mind when he came up with his hierarchy of needs. A job paying $20+/hour, a nice car and a hot girlfriend were the apogee of my dreams – everything else, esteem and self-actualization, would be naturally achieved through that. But dog on it! That block Maslow was on to something when he built his pyramid. Today, 13 or so years since being a poor student, I want my work to be more than a paycheck at the end of the week. Self-actualization doesn’t seem to arise from the car I drive or neckties I wear. There are other forces at work. (Perhaps, it also has to do with the fact that I drive a Hyundai Elantra.)

As the result of all that, a few weeks ago I decided to look for ways to use my skills towards goals other than a paycheck – in short, to volunteer. Volunteering is not something that I grew up with: in the Soviet culture, some pro bono activities were pretty much mandatory, but it was not something that you sought to do. In a country where everyone is taken care of by the government, there are no nonprofits, there really shouldn’t be a need for them.

After a little time spent searching for ways to do that, I decided to join the Taproot Foundation. This nonprofit foundation provides other nonprofits with HR, marketing and IT consulting services. The services are delivered through a nation-wide network of professionals volunteering their time to give back to the community. The nonprofits that the Foundation helps generally fall into 4 categories: health, education, environment and social services. The nonprofit organization must fall into the target annual budget range of $350,000 to $10 mil.

I am very excited to have found the wonderful folks at the Taproot Foundation who give professionals like myself a way to donate their time, to do something more than earn a paycheck. It’s a wonderful cause and I’m looking forward to working on some of their projects.

2 Responses

  1. I’m glad you have finally reached self-actualization.

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