Posted by: justinknabb | February 19, 2010

Reflecting on my participation in Villanova’s “Beyond Ideas” panel discussion

By Justin Knabb, Water for Waslala Treasurer

Hello everyone!  I am excited to report that I participated in a panel discussion on not-for-profit entrepreneurship at Villanova University last Tuesday, Feb. 9.  About 50-60 people attended in Villanova’s Connelly Center as two other non-profit directors (both under age 30) and I spoke about the experiences, trials and tribulations from our efforts to improve the world.   The panel was a part of the university’s annual Beyond Ideas conference that focuses on everything entrepreneurial.

This was my third straight year participating in the conference, and as always, I met other passionate idealists, made helpful contacts, and developed new ideas for both Water for Waslala and even my own family’s manufacturing business.  I highly recommend the conference to anyone attending or living near Villanova!

Dr. Jim Klingler moderated the event, and asked the panel what advice we had for future non-profit entrepreneurs.  My answer centered around a simple yet important goal: ” to keep fighting for the people you care about.”  As an example, I told the crowd a brief story that I love about the parishioners of Waslala, where many parishioners polled little more than $100 to donate to OUR charity shortly after the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005.  Coming from people who, on average, earn little more than $2 per day, their very generous donation in OUR time of need serves as a testament to their generosity and compassion.  It’s a story that I hold as an inspiration to keep fighting to bring a most basic human need–clean drinking water–to the people of Waslala.

Running a charity such as WfW is hard work.  It’s tough to compete for donor funds.  It’s tough to design sustainable water systems, and tough to mobilize the proper resources and people to bring change to the community.  But we keep fighting for change anyway.  And that’s what entrepreneurship–and especially entrepreneurship in the non-profit world–is all about.

Here is a snapshot of the event promotion from the Beyond Ideas website:

Beyond Ideas Logo Spring WorkshopDate: Tuesday, February 9, 2010Location:  Radnor/St. David’s Room, Connelly Center

Time: 5:30 PM

All graduate and undergraduate students are welcome to attend.
Reception and light refreshments to follow.
Advanced registration is required, as space is limited

Doing Well By Doing Good: The Nonprofit Entrepreneur Are you interested in more than just the bottom line? Doing Well By Doing Good: The Nonprofit Entrepreneur Panel will explore the area of social entrepreneurship. Learn how Villanova students and alumni have found success by combining the passion of a social mission with business-like discipline, innovation and determination. Featuring:


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