It’s not every day you meet young couples like Adam and Chloe. On top of bringing up their two young boys and building a sustainable food restaurant concept, they’ve become significant contributors to imagine1day on countless levels.
Adam and Chloe recently welcomed us into their cozy Kitsilano abode, where we chatted with them about life, legacy and making a difference.
i1d: What was your inspiration to start to give?
Chloe: My Grandmother Gow always gave back to communities. For me, ultimately as I got older that became more and more important. I saw that it was part of what my family did. We were looking for our way to do it.
i1d: Why imagine1day?
Adam: For me when it came time to think about how I was going to give, I started looking at what I could give to and really looked at the other side of it. I had friends working for Save the Children, and they said: don’t ever found your own charity because there’s already work being done by organizations. That caused me to look at what organizations were doing. I got a bit cynical and wanted to ask how I could give my money to where it would give the greatest impact. Was there anywhere where I could give and 100% would go to exactly what I was wanting to give it to. That’s where imagine1day showed up for me.
Chloe: For me, I knew about imagine1day for a long time and I got really engaged when Creatribution was created. I love (and I’ve said this a million times) that we’re supporting development in Ethiopia, but also development in people, and something awesome that gets to happen in a local community. It’s development everywhere. People get to experience giving in Ethiopia, and also the expansion of their personal leadership. It’s such a progressive way of having people engaged because everyone wins. Everyone gets to develop. It’s so aligned with the work we do in self-development, communication and leadership, and our beliefs and philosophies.
i1d: You two are quite young in the spectrum of philanthropy. What motivated you to start contributing at such a young age?
Adam: We have it to give – that was opportunity number one. We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to do this now. Opportunity number two was us wanting to consolidate our desire to give into an impact that we wanted to make. We decided we wanted to make an impact globally, locally and in some other area that we care about. We’re still trying out how that works. We’re experimenting to see how much more impactful we can be through giving.
i1d: What legacy are you hoping to create for your boys through your gifts?
Chloe: You know, it’s an interesting question. The youth of today are disconnected – they’re in front of screens and they have relationships through machines. We’ve been talking a lot about deepening their connection to communities around the world. I’d like for our boys to seek connection with people that aren’t just at their work or in their local communities, but also with communities across the world – whether its donating their time to an event or donating $10 from their allowance – just to have them recognize their connection to the whole system of the planet, to paint it that big, so that they can understand their impact.
Adam: I would totally echo that. We want to create a sense of responsibility. The legacy that I’m interested in creating is having the boys recognize that there’s impact in everything we do, whether we take responsibility or not. I want them to get clear on the impact that they want to make and then take the actions they need to contribute to that impact. Responsibility isn’t always about taking the fall or the blame – though I’m sure they’ll learn a lot about that too – but the kind of responsibility where you create an action that you can feel really good about, and also feel good about the impact that it had.
i1d: What’s your hope for others in supporting charity?
Chloe: That they find one that resonates with them that they really care about – not a person wearing a vest who catches you on a good day – but they find organizations that they resonate with so they can contribute in a way that feels real to them, rather than just a throw away thing. There’s needs to be true engagement. That’s what’s so rewarding for me with imagine1day. I got to go and see exactly where my money went and getting connected allowed me to be able to talk about it more meaningfully.
Adam: Susanne Conrad often says that people live better on 90% of their income than 100%. Contributing that 10% creates a better world – a world where that emotion of greed, or whatever you want to call it, evaporates. I would say that there’s a connection between giving and the overall improvement of the world that someone finds themselves in. That comes through in finding something that resonates and that you’re personally connected with. The real value of giving comes out of that personal connection.
i1d: Have you always been philanthropic?
Chloe: There was a time when I didn’t know who to trust. What imagine1day has taught me is what are the questions to ask. It was so clear with imagine1day – 100% goes to the work. Although I was philanthropically inclined, imagine1day has taught me how to ask the right questions and how to dig in, and that allows me to give more because I know what to ask and I can trust that what I’m giving is being used well.
i1d: Any closing thoughts?
Adam: For me, imagine1day beyond anything else has become such a fantastic platform for conversation. It hasn’t ever been solely about financial targets, but rather a question of how do we leverage this platform that people want to gather around and talk about. If imagine1day was all about their work in Ethiopia, strictly telling people that they should be giving more to education, I wouldn’t be nearly as interested. But by setting up a foundation that we can trust and then having all these conversations on top, and then connecting that to the great work that’s occurring in the context of a major goal being achieved and checked off a list – a seriously audacious goal – now that’s really really interesting.