Engage the culture, change the world;” this is the school motto here at SPU and something that everyone in the MAM-SSM program aspires to do. Many of my peers hope to enter into the nonprofit sector after graduation. On an early Friday morning, my class had the privilege of meeting Mr. Jeff Wilcox, the President and CEO of The Third Sector Company – a nonprofit that focuses on the development of people through several accounts including:

  • Succession planning for upper level management
  • Transitioning CEO’s for companies who are without a CEO
  • Executive performance, planning, and review
  • Running academies- for people who want to be board members for nonprofits in the future
  • Learning the political structure of nonprofits
  • Helping hire people to work within the nonprofits

I enjoyed getting to learn the principles of what social enterprises and nonprofits actually are:

  • Social enterprises-are companies or organizations that help the common good which are profit bearing.
    • You have the responsibility of what to do with the profit.
    •  Sustainability versus viability in for profits is also a factor in social enterprises.
    • True social enterprises should make the public sustainable and teach those in the community how to sustain on their own.
  • Most nonprofits were founded by two ideals:
    • A movement- to help/eradicate something
      • Our values create this movement.
    • Always be a cause, never be a corporation
      • People will get behind and support a cause.

Mr. Wilcox shared with us his background including how he got his initial start to the nonprofit sector. When he was a student at SPU, he partook in a project stating to: “Never underestimate how far a project can take you; it took me to my career of 24 years.” Hearing him speak of how far projects can take you really got me thinking of our winter quarter’s Social Venture Plan Competition. I wonder how far this upcoming project or any of the projects that we have worked on throughout the program is going to take my cohort?

It was a delight learning about nonprofits from Mr. Wilcox, and I look forward applying the knowledge that I gained from him in the future.

Until next time,

~Rebecca

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