I joined the J.Team because of the direct impact we can make as a group. We personally meet with organizations and create connections with the people running them directly, which gives a really clear and accurate sense of where our money is going and who it is helping.
I think that the current J.Team group is extremely diverse, with inevitably different views on philanthropy. Although our values and beliefs are so diverse, we can use this to our own advantage to open each other's eyes with new ideas.
Visiting nonprofits in small groups is a great way to see organizations that we hand pick ourselves. We get to see and hear things that the group as an entirety doesn't. This can be a challenge, but it is easy to convey a positive message to the whole group since we were all so enthusiastic about our own nonprofits.
I felt that each group did a great job presenting their nonprofits to the whole group. They each emphasized how enthusiastic each nonprofit was about the J.Team and strongly conveyed the necessity of our grant to their organization.
This past J.Team session has made me think about how important it is to have confidence while speaking to groups; because your thoughts will not be conveyed the way they rightfully should if you talk as if they aren't important. It has prepared me for the allocation session, because we all need to get out of our comfort zones and speak up for what we want.
If I could, I would spend months trying to decide which nonprofits to fund. But I think that by the next session I will be comfortable with the decision about funding because at the end of the day, we are helping someone much less fortunate than we are and that's what we came here to do.