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Dave Goodman, or Goody to his friends, is an outgoing 28 year-old whose work in the nonprofit sector has been markedly successful. In 2007, he founded Hoops for Israel, an annual two day basketball tournament raising money for at-risk youth and families living below the poverty line in Israel. To date it has raised over $350,000, and continues to grow every year. Goodman is back in school for the time being, studying Professional Development in Environmental and Carbon Finance at the University of Toronto, but his career in community involvement and philanthropy has not slowed down for a minute.
You’ve been to university, and to college. How did they differ for you?
My BA was important because it taught me to be an analytical thinker, an independent adult, and an ambitious person. College, however, helped me to narrow out my career path, and taught me the importance of networking.
How does networking play a role in your field of work?
Volunteer work and networking go hand in hand. Every person I have come into contact with has helped me and I have helped them in return. That’s the beauty of networking, and it’s applicable to all fields of work, not just mine.
Do you have any tips on where or how to network?
Be fearless. Introduce yourself to everyone. Mentorship is also a big element in networking. [Mentors] can show you the ropes, and they will help you develop a network that is beneficial to your future in many different capacities.
Hoops for Israel: where did you get the idea?
The idea was spawned from a project I initiated to raise money for the Canadian Diabetes Association. It only raised $900. In the following year (2006), I applied the same concept to a different charity, expanded my projections, and set higher goals. It went from $900 to $100,250, and has continued to increase every year.
What makes this tournament different from other fundraisers?
91 percent of total donations go straight to the cause. Most other fundraisers in Toronto consume 20-40 percent of everything raised in order to host the actual event.
What personal character trait enables you to be successful?
An ability to work very hard in combination with being passionate about what I do. Anyone is capable of running a huge charity event, spearheading a start-up company, but they have to be passionate in order to generate the working skills.
Tell me about your newest project.
Green Juice is a platform I’m building right now dedicated to environmental change. It is an advocacy and awareness campaign for resourceful lifestyles and practices aimed specifically at the younger 20-something generations.
Non-profit work can be tough┬à - why is it worth it?
It’s worth it because I have so many opportunities. I enjoy my work immensely because I’m working with great people, and because my work has purpose.
What about the monetary pay off?
I am not worried about money right now because I realize that what I’m doing is so important. One day my work will pay off, but for now, I’m thriving because I am helping others, and in this sense I am already a successful person.
What advice do you have for people entering the career world?
Your first goal should not be about money. Be patient, because career success requires long term investment.
If you could go back and change one thing what would it be and why?
I would have taken more business courses during my education. It could have given me a more refined understanding of the investment/return aspect of fundraising. [he pauses…] And also, I would have hit the gym more. I’m pretty scrawny. jp