Why I paid it forward

PATHFINDER’s Shivani Singh recently spoke about her experience at Social Venture Institute at Hollyhock, and the importance of paying it forward.

Here’s what Hollyhock shared:

We’ve spoken often about how generous and collaborative the social enterprise community is. And indeed, we are a community. We help each other. – Shivani Singh, PATHFINDER

An incredible thing about Hollyhock is the community of people that are brought together by this place. It’s this community which has been the driving force in bringing even more social change leaders to our shore through financial support.

Shivani Singh is one of those people. A social entrepreneur and co-founder of PATHFINDER, she received financial assistance to attend our Social Venture Institute last year. Since then, she has been an active advocate, working to raise money for our Dana Bass Solomon Scholarship Fund in support of other extraordinary change makers, like herself.Shivani BW.jpg

“When PATHFINDER was just beginning, the pro-bono services and resources of others who had been there before us, helped us get off the ground. We learned so much, we built fast, and we grew tremendously.  And we did it all on minimum expense because of the generosity of perfect strangers, people who were connected to us only by a shared passion to help build a better world.

The opportunity to attend SVI at Hollyhock came about when we had no money.

Our earliest champion and new friend, Joel Solomon, really wanted us to attend, so he paid our way. While at SVI, we tried to pay him back, but of course, Joel was not interested in the money. He wanted us to meet him and other incredible people in that powerful setting. In this discussion, where we refused to just take this sizeable gift and Joel refused to have it back, we came up with an idea: Why not pass it on – the entire gift – so that others may have access to the amazing opportunities we did? Those before us were kind and generous, and we were enabled by their spirit. Why not participate in this most wonderful and powerful cycle of generosity, so that future social entrepreneurs may have a better shot at success too?

And so, here we are. Our first order of business, as soon as we had made some money, was to contribute our entire SVI Hollyhock gift amount to the Dana Bass Solomon Scholarship Fund. We made ourselves proud, sure; but more than that, we hope to have started something amazing.

We hope to have started a chain of good people doing more good for others like them. We hope to have inspired the SVI community to join us. We hope many more social entrepreneurs can now attend the fantastic Social Venture Institute.”


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