One of our esteemed mentors is Charlie Harary, an American investor, strategic adviser and professor who has gained fame as a motivational speaker, radio show host, and television personality.

We sat down with Charlie to learn what inspired him to come on board the NextDor Accelerator Program.

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How did you hear about NextDor?

I personally know Chanan Kaufman, the founder of NextDor. When he shared the concept with me, I thought it was a great idea. We need more training opportunities for social entrepreneurs. We have an incredible community of people who want to do good. They have a lot of idealism and creativity, but would benefit tremendously from learning the same practical tools and strategies that entrepreneurs use to succeed in business.

What inspired you to get on board the team of NextDor mentors?

Any group of people interested in changing the world is a group I want to be involved with. I respect people who are so hungry to make a positive impact that they invest in their own personal development and education. That’s inspiring to me and I’m happy to be a part of it.

Did you glean wisdom from any particular mentors growing up?

Sure, there are a number of mentors who made a difference at different stages in my life and career. Every person’s education should include seeking out mentorship. When you find a mentor you respect, the benefits can be immeasurable.

Why do you think it’s important that aspiring Jewish leaders learn to run their non-profits or initiatives like sustainable businesses?

We’re a community that cares for one another. We’re built with an understanding that each person’s needs are our collective burden. Because we feel collectively responsible for meeting the many diverse needs in our community, self-sustainable organizations are critical. We can’t afford to face fundraising hurdles every time a need arises. When organizations are developed with sustainable business models, we can redirect scarce funds to other pressing community issues.

What three qualities are most integral to success as a social entrepreneur?

  1. Determination. You need to have the drive and the focus necessary to achieve your goals. You can learn the best tools and strategies of social entrepreneurship, but only you can bring the ambition and determination to take an initiative from conception to implementation and beyond.
    2. Resilience – Building an organization or launching an organization comes with challenges and obstacles. You need to be able to handle adversity, learn from your mistakes and push forward.
    3. Faith – If you think you’re on the journey alone, you’ll probably fail. Recognizing that you have G-d, a community and a team around you is uplifting during difficult times. It also helps you stay humble when your organization achieves great accomplishments.

What do you think the greatest challenge is that Jewish non-profits are currently facing?

One of the greatest challenges is the lack of sustainable business models. The Jewish non-profit world is always strapped to cash. Because they lack the necessary funding, organizations often experience high turnover and lose their most qualified  team member. Also, when social entrepreneurs are forced to spend most of their time fundraising, they don’t have the time or capacity to create meaningful solutions or service the people who need them most. When an organization is self-sustaining, it doesn’t have to devote its top leaders and most precious resources to driving the next fundraising campaign.