“A different kind of nonprofit”
Two longtime supporters and business partners share why they invest in Thousand Currents
Friends since they met as students at University of California San Diego, Max Garcia and Dave Beck have supported Thousand Currents since 2009.
Following college, they moved to Argentina to grow their business, Rotunda Software, a software design company that helps organizations and churches manage and mobilize volunteers. It was in the years that they lived in Argentina that Max and Dave decided to engage in international philanthropy.
“It planted a seed that we really wanted to give back,” Max recounts. “We were looking for organizations that were doing good work. There were tons of charitable organizations… [but] we weren’t looking for just a charity for charity’s sake.”
Dave adds, “Being a small company, we really wanted to make sure that we would be able to make impact in the best way possible.”
Max and Dave eventually found Thousand Currents (formerly IDEX) through Charity Navigator and have given to Thousand Currents every year since. Energized by their experiences in Latin America, Max and Dave wanted to support a nonprofit that worked respectfully with communities.
“Looking at the way Thousand Currents was doing grantmaking and the way it does capacity building, as well as grants, we saw the change that we believed in that would make a difference in the long term,” Max explains.
A lot of people may have textbook solutions to local problems, but then there’s all kinds of context you’re missing out on… If I were to pinpoint one thing Thousand Currents does best, it would be partnering with people that have a deep understanding of what’s happening on the ground.
Dave adds, “At first we didn’t recognize what a cool organization Thousand Currents really is. Over the years, we’ve seen the unique model that Thousand Currents has. It has provided us with more inspiration and we’ve gotten more excited about the model [of] supporting local organizations supporting their local communities. It’s a novel take. It makes a lot of sense.”
When asked what people new to Thousand Currents should do to find out more about the organization, Max advised, “I’d say go to one of their events, go to their website, see what they’re doing… When people think about nonprofits in general they might think, ‘Oh, bleeding hearts, inefficient’. But when you talk to anyone at the organization, you get the sense that it’s a different kind of nonprofit… It’s not just about charity. It’s about solutions that are coming from the grassroots and that’s exciting.”
Thousand Currents is grateful for our longstanding friendship and partnership with Max, Dave, and Rotunda Software. It is supporters like them that inspire and motivate us to continue amplifying our partners’ work in the Global South to a wider audience.