Running is an entrepreneurial sport. You do not need a whole lot to get started, basically a good pair of shoes and a desire to go the distance. When you start your race, you cannot see the finish and often are not familiar with the course. For entrepreneurs, it is not all that different. They do not start with much more than an idea of where they will end up and the drive to see that idea launched. There is no set formula to finish, other than stay the course and keep going until the finish line.
PresenTense is one organization that has successfully drawn out the course map for entrepreneurs to take their ideas and run with them. PresenTense programs provide the framework for passionate people to address communal challenges. Over 1000 people have been touched directly by the organization and the ventures started as a result have exponentially been able to reach thousands more. PresenTense itself was just an idea several years ago, and today it is a start-up of good people helping to launch start-ups that do good things. All the while, PresenTense continues to challenge the conversation around what it means to make social change in communities around the world.
That is why on October 13th, I am running the Chicago Marathon to benefit PresenTense (www.100reasonstowin.com/marathon). I hope others will join me in supporting the organization. This race is about raising resources and awareness that will allow PresenTense to continue to position itself as a premier organization for social entrepreneurship and organizational development. I hope others are inspired, as I have been, to give to PresenTense by donating money, giving their time to support a local program or mustering up the courage to put their idea out there and apply to be a Fellow.
Over 400 innovators (www.presentense.org/fellows) with ventures that benefit their local communities have been a part of a PresenTense Fellowship. For example, Jill Zenoff of The Gan Project was a PresenTense Fellow in 2012, providing a source for sustainable agriculture in Chicago. Elizabeth Weingarten from Washington, DC, launched Tribelle in 2013 to help female Israeli artisans gain access to a broader market for selling their Jewelry. PresenTense has also provided direct support to organizations seeking to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit within their leaders, through consulting, training and partnership.
While working at The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, I coordinated the launch of the DC PresenTense Fellowship in 2012. Currently I train new Fellows, as a PresenTense Social Start Trainer. I have experienced first-hand how PresenTense programs empower individuals with new ideas for social change to make a difference in their local communities. PresenTense invests in people: innovators, entrepreneurs, community leaders, educators, and thinkers. They support and are supported by hundreds of volunteers and community members around the world, and they rely on donations to make those investments possible.
Running has become more than a hobby and piece of my identity. Similarly, PresenTense is more than a job for me. It informs how I approach challenges in my life and community. For me, being a runner is about taking steps to get farther and faster in life. The blood, sweat and tears I put into the sport push me to accomplish more in my day to day life. PresenTense is offering the same opportunity for passionate people with bright ideas for communal change, and I am willing to go the distance this fall to support it!
To donate to Andy”s Marathon to Benefit PresenTense join him for a Happy Hour at Thomas Foolery this Monday, September 16th from 5:30-8:30 (http://www.gatherdc.org/event/marathon-happy-hour-to-benefit-presentense/) You can also donate directly atwww.100reasonstowin.com/marathon.