Pay It Forward: What Is Your Legacy? - Innolect, Inc.

Pay It Forward: What Is Your Legacy?

Start 2022 thinking about your legacy. It’s not the last stage or end of your career, but a story being written each day of your working life. Ask yourself, “What will I do to ‘Better the World’ and Pay It Forward this year?”

At Innolect, an important part of our mission is to serve others by giving back. Each month, we recognize and give “Shout Outs” to those organizations and individuals who strive to better the lives of others. And, each year we donate a percentage of Innolect’s revenue to nonprofits that make a difference.

Consider Robert F. Smith. In 2019, Smith, a billionaire philanthropist, gave the commencement address at Morehouse College, an historically Black institution. On the days prior to his speech, Smith toured the campus and talked with students, listening to their stories, hopes and concerns. During his speech, to the surprise of everyone, he and his family spontaneously pledged to pay off $34 million in student loan debt accumulated by the graduates.

Behind the scenes, Smith continues to promote financial literacy and wealth creation. He has donated 15,000 tech stocks to students in Eagle Academy and launched One Stock. One Future. It’s powered by Goalsetter, an organization committed to strengthening financial education for students in Kindergarten through 12th grade with a mission to get every family in America to “Buy, save, and put away.” Other companies such as Delta Airlines, Twitter, Lyft and Comcast NBC Universal have been inspired to contribute stocks as well (

You might wonder, how did Smith develop his vision of giving back? “He first learned that everyone had a role to play in creating a better world from watching his parents, who donated their limited resources to charities on an ongoing basis, no matter what was happening in their personal lives.” While you might not remember his name, Robert Smith’s legacy lives on in the thousands of lives changed through his generosity.

You, too, can model a spirit of big-heartedness. Consider what you do as a leader and/or a parent to inspire others to give back. It’s not just about money. Nonprofits also need the time and talent of you and your organization. Leaders model generosity and build lasting legacies by coaching youth sports, leading boy or girl scout troops, serving on nonprofit boards, scheduling volunteer days for their teams, guest lecturing at a high school or college class, serving food at a soup kitchen, picking up trash along the highway, etc. All of these efforts better our world.

We want to feature organizations whose efforts support nonprofits. To learn more about Innolect’s Sustainable Legacies℠ program and submission guidelines, contact Becky Ripley or visit the Pay it Forward section of our website.

Becky Ripley
Sustainable Legacies℠ and
Excursion Learning℠ Practice Leader

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