Anticipation over who will win the Bucket of Good Will is part of the magic at the Good Leadership Breakfast Series. Here Julie McDonough holds the Bucket as Marc Miller draws a name with Mark Bergman watching.

What would you do with $204,395 to change a little piece of the world? That’s what the Good Leadership Breakfast tribe is doing with the help of HANDy Paint Pail inventor Mark Bergman. We call it living generously.

Six years ago, Mark Bergman was our speaker at the Good Leadership Breakfast. He shared how he invented one of the most successful products in the painting industry and how it changed his life. It was an all-in Seven Fs story of faith, family, finances, fitness, friends, fun and future.

All big things start small

The generosity of Good Leadership Breakfast guests has created a living generously movement.

The best thing about that day was the experiment he and I tried. “How about if we put the red HANDy Paint Pails in the middle of the tables and ask people to contribute cash to a charity…we can call it the Bucket of Goodwill,” I suggested. So, I reminded our guests living generously is one of the Cornerstones of Goodness. Then I asked “Would you please reach into your pocket to grab some cash and your business card?” The incentive – one person who donates will be selected to donate all of the money to their favorite charity.

It worked!

That day, we collected $173. Mark was so moved by the experience he said: “I’ll match what was collected.” With that gesture we started a movement.

We proudly announce the donation totals on the wall in the Good Leadership Enterprises suite in Minneapolis.

“One of my favorite things about growing a successful business that makes money, is giving money away” Mark explained. At the most recent Good Leadership Breakfast on Friday, March 17, the event collected $4326 through the Bucket of Good Will. And our total giving surpassed $200,000. We have given exactly $204,395 – which has helped more than 20 children’s charities, refugee resettlement, happiness research and outreach, cancer research, mentoring programs and even a charity that takes puppies into prisons to improve mental well-being behind bars. A total of 47 charities have been touched.

The concept has been expanded to Southern California, and repeated at several leadership development workshops. It’s growing because generosity is contagious.

Momentum is building

Dr. Amanda Haeg and Dr. Aleshka Santina , from Cadence Chiropractic were the winners of the Bucket of Good Will donations in March. Their gift to The Gunnar Project commemorated our total giving of more than $200,000.

It took more than 5 years to raise $100,000 together. And only 27 months to eclipse the $200,000 mark. “What I’d really like to see happen is more successful business owners matching the Bucket of Good Will along with me,” Mark challenged. “J Allen from Master’s Alliance did that once, why not others?”

Good leaders attract the best talent and the best customers because they live generously. And they enjoy sharing the fruits of their success because it’s contagious.

Please share with me: How are you living generously?