ForMomentum had the pleasure to interview Dana Rosenberg, Director of The KIND Foundation. In 2004, KIND was founded with the following mission: do the KIND thing for your body, your taste buds and your world™. Dana’s position at The KIND Foundation is to help foster kinder and more empathetic communities. Before coming to the KIND Foundation, Dana was a Senior Product Manager at Amazon. Prior to that she served in the U.S. Department of State as a Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and then as a Senior Advisor in the Secretary’s Office for Global Partnerships.
Keep reading to learn what Dana thinks will be the biggest trend in corporate philanthropy in 2018, more about the KIND Foundation’s recent twenty-million-dollar investment with Empatico, and maybe even how to earn free KIND bars! Let’s Take 5 with Dana.
With 2018 just around the corner, what do you see being the biggest trend in corporate philanthropy? At The KIND Foundation, we are aiming to elevate and advance our values. I do not think we are alone in this commitment. Given the increased polarization we are seeing both here in the U.S. and around the world — coupled with a desire to support our team and our community — we are dedicated now more than ever to promoting kindness, respect and tolerance. For us, first and foremost, that means spreading kindness and building empathy.
What’s the most amazing thing people should know about you or your job? I get to work for a company that has been committed to kindness from day one. It’s part of our DNA. When we surveyed the KIND Team, more than 90 percent said they felt kindness is more top of mind for them since joining the company. We talk about kindness all the time.
For example, all KIND Team Members are “kind spotters.” When we see a kind act out in the real world, we go up to that person and thank them for what they did by giving them a “kindawesome card.” With this card, they can go online and redeem it for two KIND bars and, more importantly, they can get their own card to pay it forward. Anyone can join us by going to howkindofyou.com to celebrate a kind act in their life.
(There are also free KIND bars throughout our office. Definitely not a bad perk!)
Recently The KIND Foundation announced a twenty-million-dollar investment in a new project called Empatico that is designed to help students connect with others outside their bubble. Can you tell us more about this project and how the foundation decided on this specific cause? Empatico is a free online learning tool that connects classrooms worldwide. It helps students discover what life is like for their peers around the globe by exploring commonalities. Through such experiences, these future leaders learn skills like curiosity and kindness.
Since its inception, the Foundation has been committed to building kinder communities. Empatico is consistent with this mission and is a natural next step for us. Empatico is particularly special for the Foundation as it was inspired by the early experiences of Daniel Lubetzky, who is the Founder & CEO of KIND and President of The KIND Foundation. As the son of a Holocaust survivor, Daniel has dedicated his life to building bridges between people. He understands the importance of recognizing our shared humanity and appreciating our differences.
We are extremely excited about Empatico’s potential and hope it will become a widely adopted way for kids to connect with one another. Our ambition is to reach more than one million students by 2020.
What person has had the most influence on your cause career? Without diminishing the impact of my parents, former bosses, and everyone else who has helped me in incalculable ways, I’d have to say former President Bill Clinton. I had the privilege to work for, and learn from, an organization he created – the Clinton Global Initiative – which facilitated partnerships for social action between the public, private and nonprofit sectors. After his service in government, President Clinton wanted to teach others to appreciate the potential in each of us to address global challenges. Seeing this organization’s learning process unfold taught me that when dedicated individuals and organizations join forces, they can find solutions to even the most insurmountable issues.
This experience reminds me each and every day of the power we can all have when we come together to address a common challenge.
From your perspective, what is the biggest challenge facing companies today when activating a national cause campaign? I think the ability to be truly heard is the greatest challenge. There is so much information out there, and companies need to break through the noise in order to maintain meaningful and sustained engagement with their community. On top of this, they must find ways to attract those who might not have previously been familiar with their brand. We’re continually searching for new ways to connect with our community and beyond in an authentic and impactful way.
Five Fun Facts about Dana:
- Favorite App: Duolingo. I decided I wanted to learn Spanish.
- Hobby: As of late, Marie Kundo-ing my life. Can’t say I have been totally successful…
- Last Book Read: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. I like to read fiction every night before bed.
- Favorite Place to Unwind: My couch on the Upper West Side in Manhattan.
- Guilty Pleasure: Reading Page Six in the New York Post.