Skip to content

Secrets of the rich, pro bono support, summer road trips

Secrets of the rich, pro bono support, summer road trips

Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 8:01 pm
By: AP

 By ERIN CONROY AP Business Writer THE RICHEST MEN IN TOWN: W. Randall Jones wanted to know the secret to becoming rich. So, he asked the wealthiest self-made man or woman in 100 towns across the country. Jones, founder of Worth magazine, visited cities as small as Belspring, Va., with a population of 169, and as large as New York City, for his recent book “The Richest Man In Town: The Twelve Commandments of Wealth.” What he found, he said, is that many never set out to become so rich. “I must admit, I was rather cynical about that because it’s easy to say when you’re sitting atop a billion dollars or more,” Jones said. “But I’m convinced now that they’re intrinsically, innately, almost genetically programmed to do whatever it is they’ve done to become wealthy.” Their fortunes are a product of discovering what they’re passionate about and gifted at early on in their lives, Jones said. Jonathan Nelson, the richest man in Providence, R.I. and chief executive officer of Providence Equity Partners, said he learned this lesson in a Beethoven class when he realized he would never match the innate gift some classmates had for perfect pitch — no matter how much he practiced. “In America we always say that you can be anything you want or dream of being, but the richest men in the country believe that’s an absolute lie,” Jones said. “Realizing the power of relative skill differences and figuring out what you instinctively are skilled at, that is the greatest key to being successful both financially and psychologically.” All of those he interviewed said they didn’t set goals for their lives or businesses, Jones said. They almost never borrow money and have never lived beyond their means, and none planned to retire. “They love the thrill of the hunt, and they love their lives and doing what they do,” he said. “They could never fathom the concept of moving to some sunny village and playing golf every day.” ——— PRO BONO AS CURRENCY: While nonprofits often say they need more pro bono support, nearly 40 percent plan to spend upwards of $50,000 on outside consultants this year, according to a recent survey. The research suggests corporate grant makers and nonprofits are more focused on giving and getting cash rather than making effective use of skilled volunteers to offset falling contributions, said Evan Hochberg, national director of community involvement for consultancy Deloitte LLP, which commissioned the poll. “The challenges are that businesses and nonprofits are still stuck in the old school thinking when it comes to volunteerism, treating it as simply a nice thing to do,” Hochberg said. “But if we’re serious about making volunteerism a powerful solution, we have to be more thoughtful in how we leverage intellectual capital and value skills and donation of time as currency.” About a quarter of nonprofit respondents said they have no plans to use skilled volunteers in any capacity in 2009, and about a third said they do not have the appropriate infrastructure needed to successfully deploy volunteers. Meanwhile, 95 percent said there is a great need of pro bono — or no-cost — support, especially in the current economic climate. Similarly, one in four corporations have no one to oversee an employee volunteer program, and 17 percent said they have no such program. “Businesses are expecting to give less cash and nonprofits are expecting to get less,” Hochberg said. “Now we need to expand the definition of corporate philanthropy and community involvement by opening a whole new door for resources during these tough times.” The poll of 360 nonprofit executives was conducted by Taproot Foundation, a nonprofit consultancy organization, while the survey of 300 corporate executives was conducted by Opinion Research Corp. ——— SUMMER ROAD TRIPS: The sputtering economy may have families avoiding buying plane or train tickets this year, but they’re still taking vacations. Summer travelers are visiting local beaches, historical sites, national parks and museums this summer, according to a recent telephone survey commissioned by Jiffy Lube International, and 71 percent of those polled said their transportation will be limited to the family car. The auto maintenance shop operator gives these tips for getaway driving this summer: • Clean dirty wiper blades. You can do this by simply running a paper towel over the blades to clean off dirt. Also, check for cracks and tears in the blades. • Keep your tires pumped. Winter driving may have worn down your tire treads and pressure. To maximize gas mileage, find the proper tire pressure in your vehicle owner’s manual or door jamb. Be sure to check your spare too. • Check your air filter. An engine air filter is like your vehicle’s lung. A clean air filter can increase fuel efficiency. • Check your engine oil and filter. The oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle. • Prepare for an emergency. If you don’t have a vehicle emergency kit, create one with items such as bottled water, a flashlight, flares, duct tape, an extra cell phone, energy bars, a blanket and a tire inflator. Published in The Messenger 5.27.09

, ,

Leave a Comment