An Invitation

“Who cares? I’m dead!”

I poured three circles of olive oil into the heated pan, placed the bottle back onto the kitchen counter, and looked over at my husband who stood cleaver-in-hand chopping vegetables.

It was one of those aha moments. We often have them when cooking Sunday night dinner together.

For months, Bob and I had been talking about updating our estate plans. We probably talk about legacy planning more than most couples. It’s not that we’re in poor health or overly focused on death. But we are thoughtful about our hard-earned money, and increasingly focused on living our values and the lessons we wish to pass on.

As shared in The Education Lottery, girls’ education is my life-long value. Nothing would make me happier than seeing millions of deserving girls in school all across the world. For years, Room to Read has been my major philanthropic partner and beneficiary in my legacy plans. I trust we’ll always share the same vision for world change that starts with educated children.

In recent years, I’ve immersed myself in new communities that have challenged my thinking. I admire groups like Women Moving Millions, which pushes its 250+ members to commit to giving $1 million or more towards the advancement of women and girls, and to be bold philanthropic leaders and impactful investors. Through convenings like SOCAP, I linked to entrepreneurs fully committed to socially and financially impactful missions, and investors who strive for 100% impact across their entire investment portfolio.

This inspiration, and the desperation caused by a rapidly changing political environment, led me to ask myself some tough questions. In my support of girls’ education and empowerment:

  • Was I putting my time, talent and treasure to the greatest use?
  • Was I being bold enough in my investing and giving?

In Doubling Down, I shared my decision to deepen my financial commitment to girls’ education and empowerment, and the mechanics for doing so.

As we cooked dinner that evening, Bob and I spoke about what our commitments had given to others, but also the incredible life experiences our commitments had given to us.

And that’s when I had the aha moment. Why would I wait until I was dead to make strategic gifts that could have so much more power and meaning when I’m fully alive?

Our conversation continued. Over dinner, I verbalized a plan to push my later-in-life legacy forward with Room to Read, the organization I credit for opening my eyes about the importance of girls’ education. I would make a 10-year commitment to financially sponsor 1,000 girls in a year of school. The scope of this commitment pushed me out of my comfort zone; I reminded myself that’s what it means to be bold.

But beyond financial, I had to employ my social capital. My voice and advocacy are equally bold. I wanted to link my passions for global experiences, community building and personal growth with my passions for girls’ education and global investing.

I had to bring others into the fold. I wanted them to be inspired by girl leaders, and to experience Room to Read’s work. I wanted them to see the social, economic and cultural gifts of countries we don’t fully understand.

Just as I like to be pushed, I like nudging others out of their comfort zone; I find global experiences change our perspectives.

By the time we finished dinner, I had verbally sketched out my idea– as part of the 10-year plan, I would lead annual global leadership trips, the cornerstone of which would be a Room to Read site visit.

“You know, most people don’t put as much thought into having a child as you have done in birthing this initiative,” Bob concluded.

Over the upcoming weeks, I wrote up a proposal and hashed out details with Room to Read. In the meantime, I received a special invitation– to join the Room to Read executive team, board of directors and selected investors on a trip to Dehradun, India. During the trip, we’d celebrate a huge milestone: 50,000 girls benefitting from Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program.

I re-read the invitation. I knew immediately I would accept. The Education Lottery is about that once-in-a-lifetime experience.

That I even received the invitation proved my thesis. By doubling-down, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, and making a big, bold decision to push a strategic gift forward to the present, I received one of my most incredible life experiences.

Think of how many times you push out a goal–“I’ll wait until I have or make a certain amount of money. I’ll wait until I retire.”

If I waited until I was dead, I would have cheated myself of this and future amazing life experiences.

Get a little uncomfortable. Push yourself to be bold. Don’t do it alone. Involve a friend; do it as part of a community.

And if you are ready, I have an invitation for you.

Join me in Venture Travel

The goal of Venture Travel is to gain insights to a country beyond standard tourism, and to have that experience as part of a small community.

Venture Travel is deepened through an understanding of a country’s educational landscape through partners like Room to Read. Founded in 2000, Room to Read has impacted the lives of millions of children through their Literacy and Girls’ Education programs. Each Venture will include school site visits, including discussions with teachers, mentors, and students, as well as Room to Read’s in-country staff.

Venture Travel also connects us to the economic and cultural beat of a place. We meet entrepreneurs whose visions will illustrate their country’s economic trajectory. Specialized culinary experiences and explorations will help us better understand culture and history. Active participation from each traveler is key. I curate desired learnings across our group and weave them into our experience.

Are you ready?  Let’s venture!

Venture Travel is about traveling as a partner, not a tourist. Click to see upcoming Ventures. Subscribe to to receive earliest updates.

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Jodi Morris Written by:

Venture Guide to High-Achieving Seekers. Success Coach. Venture Travel Curator. Impact Investor. Traveler. Writer. Global Connector. When we connect to others' stories it changes our own. Let's Venture!