Over 30 young professionals and community leaders attended a YP Roundtable with Patrick Atkinson on Wednesday, September 19th. The event was held at the BSC National Energy Center of Excellence Auditorium. Thanks to BSC for hosting the event!
While working for a crisis line in college Patrick was exposed to the “underbelly of the beast” and the needs of a hurting world. After college graduation in 1981, he turned down numerous lucrative corporate job offers to work with runaways, prostitutes, and gang members in New York City. His work brought him to many countries within Central America. Founded in 1991, the GOD’S CHILD Project helped three children on day one. Within its third year, they were helping 400 children. Today they provide essential care for over 5,000 children and 8,700 widows and single mothers in Guatemala, El Salvador, India, Malawi and the United States. For many years the GOD’S CHILD Project was funded through Mr. Atkinson’s books, articles, modeling, productions and inventions (www.atkinsoncenter.org).
6 Take Aways from Patrick
- Be an entrepreneur for social good. Know yourself. Know what you know and know what you don’t know.
- Don’t be afraid to say “yes”, give it a try and give it your best.
- Running a charity is running a business. You have to first pay payroll, second taxes and third insurance. Having a legal structure is very important.
- Having a “charitable heart” is not the same as running a charity corporation.
- You have to take care of yourself to avoid burnout. You are a valuable asset.
- It is important to build the machine and build the background of your company. Make sure you hit the “reset” button once you reach the point in your business where you realize “this is bigger than me”.
Mr. Atkinson current serves as CEO and is the founder of The GOD’S CHILD Project (www.GodsChild.org), an international network of charities, which includes the Institute for Trafficked, Exploited & Missing Persons (www.ITEMP.org). He serves on for-profit and non-profit boards of directors, and is the author / co-author of six books, including the international selling Message for My Child and The Powerful You.
Thank you, Patrick, for speaking to the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network!