My name's Jonathan, and I'm a millennial. This is the story of how I came to work full time for a foundation which looks beyond corporate giving.
A few months ago I was put in touch with Ben to hear about an idea he had. He wanted to find a better way of changing the world. Yes, I thought it was a bit ambitious too. Over the next few months (while I was battling the tail end of term as a law student) Ben and I met up for weekly 1 to 1 sessions. I’d share my thoughts and discoveries and Ben would smile politely, nod, and point me in the right direction. By the end of exams we had a good idea of how this was going to work. This model of mentorship which we had experienced was the perfect tool to drive change.
The challenge we then faced was to use our tool to drive change. What if the answer was to make a gang? If we can connect the right people, in the right place, with the right access to resources and the right idea, we could create a network of gangs who go out into the world with purpose. A fleet of boats which embark upon a project and then return to inspire others and share their insights.
Just think, all those times you've wanted to do something... Why not just, join a gang.
The problem is that doing good has always meant starting a charity, or working for one. Bite-sized, medium-term projects are prohibited by high startup costs, both in terms of time and money. This is something we can solve. By building a network, by securing access to financing, and by helping to charter a course, we allow you to maximise your impact.
I've been with the team at Atmosphere since April 2016. I am working full time for The Atmosphere Foundation to make this ambition happen. As friends and family slowly start to understand what I'm doing here, the smiles start to show and the interest becomes more than a courtesy. No, I'm still not sure what the path is but I know where this is going. And yes, Ben Hart still listens to my ideas, still nods politely, and still points me in the right direction.
Do come along to our event this July, or if you would prefer, get in touch for a cup of coffee.