GAME CHANGERS – Carlo Garcia

Posted on March 20, 2011

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Note: Yesterday’s post was a twofer that called on you to follow a few steps if you were intrigued and wanted the details. If you didn’t see the post and you’re interested in a paying Arts and Culture position in Montreal, the game has been extended. Check out the Daily Job Finder interview with Carlo Garcia of Living Philanthropic when you’re done.

The Daily Job Finder blog is featuring a new series profiling young movers and shakers entitled Game Changers.

Carlo Garcia is proof that even those living on modest means can give back to meaningful causes. Less than a year ago, Garcia started Living Philanthropic, a unique project where every day he features a different charity on his blog and donates a small sum. The idea for the project originated when Garcia realized that by forgoing the latte each day, he could instead donate that money.

Garcia is the kind of  young leader that’s getting things done. Days after the Japanese tsunami, he was able to raise the funds to purchase a Shelter Box by leveraging his following. Garcia spoke with Daily Job Finder of the benefits of giving to a charity close to his heart, the tangible rewards of raising funds through Crowdwise, and being invited to a two day think-tank focused on solutions for non-profits working within their communities.

What was the motivation behind starting the blog/project when you did?(i.e. the specific time in your life and the 23rd of April.)

The idea came to me in April of 2010. Honestly there is no significance to the date, other than I wanted to start right away.

What’s your day job and what’s your background in?

I am the lead client services rep for TicketWeb in North America. I really love my job, I get to work with the best concert promoters and venue owners across the US. I’ve been working with TicketWeb over 4 years. My background is in theatre with training as an actor but I’ve dabbled in everything from graphic/web design, concert promotion, production, among other things.

Your nearing the final philanthropic day. What’s the transition going to be like? Do you intend to continue the blog or do you have other projects that you want to get off the ground?

It’s been an unbelievable journey thus far, I am working out a plan for year two. I am going to choose one charity a month for the next 12 months and give my daily donations to that one charity in one lump sum. Also, I am planning to open my blog up to guest bloggers who donate to the featured charity to expand the conversation and provide a forum for people to talk about why they decided to give as well.

Let us know your about two of your favourite organizations that you’ve covered.

I have a couple favorite organizations, one of them is LiveSTRONG, I lost 3 people to cancer in 2010 and being able to raise over $2,100 for LiveStrong has been a high point of my journey. I am a big fan of Foundation Escalera, having volunteered with them in December building a school in Chiapas, only deepened my belief in their mission. I had an incredible experience in Mexico and plan to do more to help them raise awareness for their cause.

Looking at your Twitter and Facebook pages, you’re the leader of a sizable tribe. How did you build your audience? Did you know anything about web marketing prior to launching Living Philanthropic?

Like everything in this journey, the social media side has been a learning experience for me. Previously, I had worked on creating social media posts for TicketWeb as well as managing those of my theatre company, Mary-Arrchie Theatre. I created the social media accounts for Living Philanthropic as a way to help spread the word, I did not have a plan for building an audience as it really was not a goal of mine. As the support began to build, the following grew as well. For a long time, I refrained from doing press interviews and turned down many requests from the press, because I did not want that exposure to distract from the message. But, a friend of mine said to me “How are you going to spread the message if you don’t do interviews?” My friend was right, so it was then that I started responding to the requests, I’m glad I did because the interviews and articles have helped immensely in spreading the word and doubling the amount of “inspired by donations” which is truly amazing to me.

You posted on your Facebook page that you recently won an iPhone from Crowdrise. What other good things have come your way from the blog?

I won a few things on Crowdrise, the iPhone was a big one. I have had the same old slider phone for 4 years, because it was not important to me to spend money a new phone when my old phone worked just fine, so winning the iPhone was a nice surprise. I also got a couple t-shirts, a hoodie, and DVD of Pineapple Express signed by Rosie Perez on Crowdrise. Being able to go to Mexico and build a school with Foundation Escalera was a wonderful product of my blog, if I had never started Living Philanthropic, I would have never heard of Foundation Escalera and I would have missed out a such an amazing experience.

Has the blog resulted in any interesting networking opportunities?

A few weeks back I was invited to be a spark at UX4GOOD, a two day think-tank where designers and industry leaders come together in hopes to create solutions for non-profit organizations working to better their communities. I have never been in an atmosphere like that before and was really intrigued by all the work being done. I received requests for partnerships and invitations to benefits and other events. I was even invited back to my alma mater recently to talk with current students about my Living Philanthropic project and being a working actor in Chicago.

You can follow Garcia’s project on Twitter and Facebook.

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Posted in: Game Changers