A few years ago Sharon Pearson established The Coaching Institute Foundation. It's primary purpose is to make a difference where needed where raising funds is challenging. So far the Foundation has donated generously to various causes around the world.
"I didn't start TCI to make money or for it to become 'big'. I started TCI because I am passionate about helping people achieve their own version of excellence. I wanted to build a place where passionate people could explore their own potential, and where there was fun, laughter, irreverence and playfulness. I think the 'corporate world' is way too serious, and I know I'm not suited to traditional business conversations. So I built TCI so I could express myself the way that suited me, without restraint and without lots of politics. And, I thought others might feel the same way, too, and want a place where they could express their passion for excellence whilst they had fun.
And I didn't want it to be all about the money. I wanted TCI to stand for more than just profits. I wanted it to be a place where our purpose... Live Your Dream... mattered the most, and where the pursuit of excellence, and having fun whilst we did that, meant as much as any money we made.
It seems there's lots of people who feel the same way.
As we grew, and we made a difference to 1,000's of people's lives, I realised there was still something missing. There were so many places where the opportunity to 'Live Your Dream' was simply unavailable. There were so many people who would never know that they could pursue their own version of their purpose.
So I started The Coaching Institute Foundation.
This is really important to me. It means I am getting beyond what I do in my company, and reaching groups and individuals who would, without this support, be experiencing unnecessary hardship.
All profits from our Moon Bear Cafe at our campus go to this Foundation, and the Foundation distributes the funds to causes we support.
We aim to provide actual resources, rather than money. So we'll buy blankets for one group, or provide a doctor for another group, depending on what resources are needed.
With the Stepping Stones Nigeria group, which supports children made orphans by being accused of being 'witches', we support educational drives to teach the villagers about weather patterns, so they realise their children are not the cause of bad crops.
With Animals Asia, we donate funds needed to rescue the bears, and sometimes medical treatment.
With the Maasai tribes in Kenya, we donate the actual reading materials, desks, pens and paper... stuff we take for granted, but which means so much to them.
The Coaching Institute Foundation is to me a way of being 'good business'. We are taking our success and sharing it in places where we can make an impact, and which often falls through the cracks because it's so ugly, unpopular or unseen by the people who could help.
We are proud of what we do, but we don't do it for praise. We do it because it's the right thing to do, and because we can."
Sacred Heart Mission
In St. Kilda the Sacred Heart Mission's Women's House is a wonderful source of support for many women in need in the area. Each Christmas we organise a Christmas party with all our members and ask them to bring a gift for a boy or a girl and we donate them (a truckload!) to the Women's House for the children of the women. We also call them each Christmas and ask what they need this year.
For more information visit: www.sacredheartmission.org/
The Coaching Institute has since received an astounding thankyou letter from this amazing foundation. The gratitude and happiness of those we helped truly warms the soul. Click here to view the gracious thankyou letter.
The bile farming industry in China is legal and it's horrific. Moon bears are trapped for life in coffin sized caged and milked for their bile. They live in agony. It's a confronting reality which makes fund raising difficult. Exactly the type of cause we want to help! Each time there are bears that can be rescued, we support making this happen. We have also funded flying in a specialist vet for surgery to save some bears. There are still 10,000 bears to rescue. Lots to be done!
For more information visit: www.animalsasia.org/
Stepping Stones Nigeria
In Nigeria children are accused of being witches and bringing bad luck to a village. They are ostracized from their family and friends and can never go back. We funded an educational film for villagers to watch explaining how they are not witches and the TCI Foundation, along with the students community, gathered funds to help buy a school bus so the orphaned children can get to school.
For more information visit: www.steppingstonesnigeria.org
Sharon Pearson taking notes on what's needed in the school building
Whilst touring Kenya in 2012, Sharon and John Pearson visited a Maasai village and met the Chief who showed them the 'school' - a corrugated iron shed with a few desks. Sharon is currently arranging with the tour group they traveled with, Wildlife Safari to deliver school materials to this village and others so the children can receive an education.
For more information visit: www.wildlifesafari.com.au/