The Modest Needs family is growing! Today we would like to introduce Kimberly Kaye, Modest Needs' new Director of Marketing and Public Outreach. Please allow our newest team member to introduce herself, and explain why she'd like to talk to YOU:
Few things make me break into a cold sweat faster than the phrase, "Tell us a little about yourself." It’s been that way since kindergarten. Every first day of school my teachers would ask each student to state their name and sum up their lives in a few sentences for the rest of the class. Every year I'd find myself staring back at a room full of faces, stuttering as I tried to figure out what to say. Anticipation of the "Tell Us About Yourself" exercise used to drive me into my parents' closet, where I'd hide under my father's jacket until some adult coaxed me out and loaded me onto the school bus.
Which is why my palms are sweating as I try to answer that question now at Modest Needs' request. Can someone please define "a little?" How much is too much? Where's the line separating "sharing biographical information" and "boring people to death?"
And am I certifiably nuts, or does this wave of anxiety hit other people too?
While the "Tell Us About Yourself" gauntlet makes me squirm, I adore meeting new people and, even more so, having an actual conversation with them. The irony being that it's hard to start a conversation without first saying hello and telling the new face in front of you a bit about yourself.
So here it goes: I'm a born and bred New Jersey native. I have an addiction to social media that is, at this point, incurable. I’m good with words and have a violent, physical aversion to geometry. And I've spent the last five years as a journalist reporting on arts and culture.
Reporting on the arts, a world which has always relied on the generosity of patrons to sustain itself, helped me discover what can only be described as the art of giving. And I mean art in the most literal way; philanthropy is an art form. It is particularly special because, unlike music or painting, it is a craft that anyone can be good at from the moment they decide to take it up. Giving is the one art form in which the novices can lead the masters.
Uncovering the art of philanthropy pulled me into the essential ongoing conversation about giving, a dialogue I was thrilled to discover has been furthered by Modest Needs’ groundbreaking approach to helping those in need. The first organization of its kind to crowd-source for donors, Modest Needs asks people to tell others a little about themselves in order to start a dialogue about giving. Once that conversation gets rolling everyday people take action, making everyone from neighbors to strangers’ lives better in the process. You can watch it happen in real time as grants are funded on the Modest Needs web site.
It’s an ongoing conversation that I’m proud and excited to be joining now as a member of the Modest Needs family, but one that only works if both sides are talking and listening. So I’ve talked a little. Now it’s your turn. I invite you to talk to me, and keep talking, anytime day or night. Ask questions. Voice concerns. Bring the attention of Modest Needs anyplace it needs to go. Show us how you practice the art of philanthropy, or praise the work of others when they do.
Let's get talking now. What would you like to see more of from Modest Needs? And what would you like to see less? You can reach out right here in the comments section of this blog, email me at Kimberly.Kaye@modestneeds.org, find us on our Facebook page, or Tweet at us directly at @Modestneeds.
And, of course, please remember to tell us a little about yourself in the process.