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by Rachel Hutchisson, Business Doing Good & Blackbaud, Inc.

Looking to change the world?  I have a book for you.  Call it summer reading.

I know, it’s not quite summer yet, but if you’re like me, it feels like summer should be here tomorrow.  And that means getting your reading list ready.  Let’s agree that it should begin with a book that’s aimed at helping you think about work, career and life…without losing heart.

Seriously.  The book is called Compassionate Careers: Making a Living by Making a Difference by Jeffrey W. Pryor and Alexandra Mitchell.  I ran across it — and met the authors — at a conference last month.  And I’m glad I did.

The book, with its forward by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, is — at heart — about service.  It is meant for people who seek to do good in the world.  “You and I are created for goodness,” writes Tutu.  “I invite you to dedicate your life to this goodness — to have an impact on the world.”  The focus is on working for and with cause-centered organizations.  And although some might think that means nonprofits, I take a much broader view.  Cause can and does lie at the heart of many organizations — nonprofit, for-profit, government, community.  The choice is up to you.

And choice is what this book is really all about, choosing a career direction that pays mind to what you have in both your heart and your head.  In addition to sharing some great examples of people who are thriving in cause-focused organizations, this book also serves as a guide, a compass helping you to take steps in the right direction — for you.  It points out the kinds of opportunities and roles that align well with service and provides a very practical section that you can use to make your own decisions.

So take a look.  Get the book.  And think about how service ties into your small business vision.  The two can and should co-exist.  I encourage you to read about it.

Rachel Hutchisson (@RachelHutchssn) is VP, Corporate Citizenship & Philanthropy at Blackbaud, Inc., a 2,700-person technology company that works exclusively with nonprofit organizations. She built the company’s “give back” function from the ground up, relying on expertise she gained in over two decades of working at the intersection of the business world and the nonprofit sector. Rachel is a member of the #GivingTuesday core advisory team, leads her company’s involvement in the Billion+Change pro-bono initiative, and serves on the boards of the Association of Fundraising Professionals International, The Giving Institute, and the Coastal Community Foundation. She is also a member of the core team that launched TEDxCharleston in 2013. She is a graduate of Dickinson College and received a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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