There's a philanthropist in all of us


Like a lot of Richmonders this New Years, I recently checked out the new Potterfield’s bridge that connects Brown Island to Manchester. The bridge in itself is really beautiful, but the close up views of the James and of the downtown Richmond skyline is truly something special to see. Looking over the city views, and realizing that the creation of this bridge has a pretty literal and also symbolic gesture of connecting two parts of the city together (i.e. my stomping grounds of good ole’ Southside to Downtown), I felt a huge burst of inspiration. Inspiration to spend more time exploring and appreciating Richmond’s beautiful outdoors, and most importantly to be more involved in philanthropic work in our community so that this city can continue to connect with one another and become a stronger Richmond.

When you hear the word “philanthropist” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? The first thing I think of are the Bill Gates’, and Richard Branson’s of the world. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing (y’all keep doing your thing), but the main theme there is money and power, right? Well guess what- that stereotype about needing to be extremely wealthy in order to be a philanthropist, or to make an impact simply just isn’t true.

Since working at a small nonprofit, I can promise you that your $25 donation truly does have a significant impact. For example, at UnBound $25 will get a set of business cards for a new business owner. This may not seem like too much at first, but those business cards can lead to a job prospect, which can result in a business relationship, which can lead to an ongoing contract, which can eventually mean hiring additional people to expand your business (and so on and so forth). That $25 donation is just the start to a bigger impact in an entrepreneurial journey.

Now imagine you and nine of your closest friends each make a one time donation of $25. At UnBound, that $250 will go towards the incorporation and business license fees that are needed to get a business up and running. Or, another example, if you made a monthly $25 donation for a year, it would total up to be $300(!). For UnBound, this $300 can provide a new business with financial, and tax support for a year. You see where I’m going with this?

Similar to the article written by Melissa Scott Sinclair in Richmond Magazine (found here: “A Beautiful Problem”), the main point is that you don’t have to be extremely wealthy to be a philanthropist, and that each and every donation is significant and will indeed have an impact no matter the size donation. We are lucky to live in a city with so many passionate people who want to make Richmond a city where everyone is seen as an equal, and where everybody has the same opportunity to make the world a better place for themselves, their families, and their community. As we go into 2017, I’m sure we all have goals to improve ourselves. While we are at it, let’s also add having more of a positive impact in our community, because it truly is a lot more doable than you think.


Ps. Feeling inspired and want to make a donation to UnBoundRVA? We are currently fundraising for Class Three! We <3 our donors!

Pps. We also L-O-V-E our volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering your time, expertise, wisdom or just want to hang out volunteer, please email Tim at