Ambassadors of Care – Interview with Paul D’Souza

Recently, my friend Paul talked passionately about his fundraising efforts for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). Not only was it a meaningful cause, the approach he took for fundraising was interesting. In this quick Q&A, Paul talks about his innovative fundraising approach for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society called Ambassador of Care.

Here we go…

RS: Paul, Thanks for taking the time to chat with me about you project in assisting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. When we talked earlier I was fascinated by the back story around your campaign and not just the fact that you are working to help a good cause. I want to ask you a few questions about “your” journey upto the point you launched your specific Ambassadors of Care campaign, which I love, by the way.

Paul: Sure, thanks for interviewing me on this project, it is very dear to me and my heart, I have enjoyed your work through the years and am happy to share with you what I went through.

RS: So, how did you get involved with the LLS

Paul: I was nominated by a friend of mine Alex Fischer – who is a survivor himself. He is a dear friend, and I got very involved with his healing process last year; Cancer is a family disease, because – it effects, just not the person, but the entire circle of friends and family. It is hard on everyone.

When he asked me, it was simple really, it was the “right thing to do” — so I said yes. One of my other friends also lost his mother to Leukemia about the same time I got asked to do this campaign. So that was the “sign”, in case I missed the first calling. But my friend loosing his mother, made this journey all the more personal.

RS: What happened then?

Paul: Well – this campaign is done over a very specific time period March 30th – June 8th. So I started on the 9th of March and got a few friends together. These were my committee members. People who would help me put a plan together. We met a few times and started making plans to do a lot of the usual events that most fundraising campaigns do … things like Auctions, Parties, Music Events, etc.

RS: So how many of these such events were you planning on doing?

Paul: Well, this is where it gets interesting. While going through this process, we had many great ideas, we started with planning for 3 events, then when we noticed all that went into planning for one, it was a lot of work, so we scaled it back to 2 and drilled down deeper. This process then took a different turn, as we started rolling up our sleeves and making budgets and lists of things to do; I realized I was losing power, losing my sense of passion and it all seemed daunting … in my world, … no harmony!

So I went back to my roots ….As you know I look at the world and everything I do – through the filter of the 5 Principles of my Wha-Dho Philosophy; and that is when we started noticing gaps and opportunities;

The Principle of Purpose
To raise awareness about how we should all be looking at Cancer. People are surviving at much higher rates now. Diseases that were Death Sentences just 30 years ago, now have significantly higher survival rates. Improvements in Scientific Research, Medical Practice and Community Support are simply SAVING LIVES.

The Principle of Prosperity
Yes, we are committed to raising $200,000 or more this could go into the millions, seriously.

The Principle of Process
Leveraging my strengths and avoiding my weaknesses – I decided to start a movement — Where we enroll 200 people or more – I am calling these people “Ambassadors of Care” and have them donate $50 or more and then get 20 of their friends to donate $50 or more to the LLS.

We decided to use this medium of the web and not the traditional auctions and other fundraising events, because our purpose is to raise both “Awareness” and “Money”. The online / social approach is the most effective “process” to achieve this goal.

The Principle of People
Enroll 200 or more Ambassadors of Care

The Principle of Practical Leadership
Suggests we support the people that are in our circle of care to fulfill on their needs, their sense of purpose and help them live a more meaningful life — this campaign is a way to do just that. I have made so many new friends, I feel so passionate about what I am doing and it is helping me increase my sense of Confidence, that I can use and leverage in other areas of my life – at work with my clients, my wife and with my friends – this campaign is a way to do just that.

I am getting feedback from so many people that are getting involved – They tell me how they have suffered with cancer in some way, where a loved one might have died – and this campaign, truly lets them give back, helps them be Ambassadors of Care.  This is what I wanted to do.  I have made so many new friends, I feel so passionate about what we are doing AND it is helping me increase my sense of Confidence and Wellbeing, that I can use and leverage in other areas of my life – at work with my clients, my wife and with my friends.

RS: That’s fascinating, Paul. Thanks for that — So in other words, you might say, you took one step back (from the traditional fundraising efforts) but anchored in your strengths; then designed a process and a campaign that is designed to produce the outcomes you seek.

Paul: Yes, I call this my power play. It seems, I do this often, I am always looking for ways to enhance power in my work, in my life and in everything I do. Find and stick to your core strengths is something I teach all my clients — its the surest way to stay confident, which is itself the Force Multiplier.

To me “Confidence” is the “X” Factor that multiplies our efforts and improves results. The choices in life that we make, have a direct impact on our confidence levels, the Wha-Dho Philosophy is all about helping you make better life choices to stay in your power, be confident and live a significant life; one that makes sense to you and brings you meaning.

RS: Thank you for sharing this. How should people get involved?

Paul: You are most welcome. Please help me in my campaign to raise awareness and money to fight cancer by supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They can read all about the Ambassador of Care program here. They can get involved by simply donating $50 to the cause and spread the message. My hope is that they will go an extra mile and get twenty of their friends to donate $50 as well. Together, we can put an end to this dreaded disease.