Social Business: The Heart of the Matter
S1E4 – Interview with Bruce Binkley
Tony: [00:00:00] Social Business: The Heart of the Matter. Season number one episode four. An interview with Bruce Binkley, social entrepreneur.
Gail: [00:00:13] This is Social Business: The Heart of the Matter. Where we expose the genius and the goodness of social business. You will discover how this cutting edge business paradigm taps the power of the marketplace to address global problems in significant ways. Sponsored by HopeQuestGlobal.com, using a for-profit team building model. Where building a business feels more like building a legacy. And here’s your host, Tony McWilliams.
Tony: [00:00:44] This is Tony McWilliams and I’m here again with my co-host, my beautiful wife Gail McWilliams. Glad you’re on board Gail.
Gail: [00:00:51] This is going to be exciting today. I said the maiden voyage continues and now we’re way out in the open seas. Wow, what a journey!
Tony: [00:00:59] Here we go again with another podcast episode and we got more of the same or at least from a different angle and from different perspectives and even a different interview.
Gail: [00:01:08] I’m really looking forward to this interview today. But all your interviews are awesome.
Tony: [00:01:12] You know Gail, you and I have run a nonprofit organization for years. We’ve looked at the financials, we’ve looked at the statistics both inside our organization and then the statistics there are nationally and we’ve compared it and we might just share some of that information with our listening audience.
Gail: [00:01:30] Well first of all, because of the years, actually multiple decades, that we’ve run a nonprofit there’s one part about a nonprofit I really hate. Know what that is? What is it non on in other words a nonprofit is. So maybe we could talk about that. What is the percentage of donor base that we have in terms of our donor base.
Tony: What is it?
Gail: Non. In other words a nonprofit. So maybe we could talk about that. What is the percentage of donor base that we have?
Tony: [00:01:52] In terms of our donor base, they take care of about 15 percent of our total budget.
Gail: Which would be pretty much on the low side.
Tony: A little bit on the low side but not far off in terms of national statistics.
Gail: What do those say?
Tony: Well the National Statistics say that 20 to 30 percent of funds coming to nonprofits in the country are generated by donors. And the other 70 to 80 percent comes from the sale of goods and services.
Gail: [00:02:16] Let’s talk about that percentage of donors because that’s where it becomes sort of loose ended. You don’t really know if a donor is going to stay with you for a couple of months or for a lifetime. You don’t know their particular income; if they’re going to have increase or decrease.
Tony: [00:02:32] Well the donor dollar is unpredictable. It’s usually based on what’s leftover at the end of the month, it’s based on discretionary giving. It’s highly susceptible to what’s going on economically either for that donor or what’s going on economically in the nation all around. So yes unpredictability exists there.
Gail: [00:02:50] But you know I know even for us recently this past year we’ve had a couple of donors who wanted to move their finances and their focus for outreach overseas. So, we lost out there. One of our donors passed away, which we were very sad about that dear friend. So there are just as you said variables that happen. But how do you still keep it constant because the work continues on.
Tony: You don’t keep it constant with donors necessarily if all of your eggs are in that basket. You might be disappointed as you have just clearly pointed out.
Gail: Beyond our own nonprofit; this is across the board, is it not.
Tony: [00:03:33] If you have 20 to 30 percent of nonprofit funds coming from donors then that says something. And that’s why we can say to nonprofits. And you know nonprofit leadership they’re very smart. They know where the money is and if you think about it the real dollars are in the market and that’s why 70 80 percent of the income that’s coming to nonprofits is coming through the market.
Gail: [00:03:56] So we’ve tapped into that as well. I’ve written several books that have been published as a source of revenue to our nonprofit. I also speak around the nation to all different kinds of groups; both nonprofit as well as profit from everything from faith based to corporations. And I’m grateful for that. That income comes into our nonprofit and that has to cover a lot of things; people, our staff, even the production of products.
Tony: [00:04:27] And it does. We’re so glad that there is a market out there for selling books and products and resources but also to give you opportunities to give presentations in many venues. With that being the case that’s how we are able to meet our budget.
Gail: [00:04:42] If I can say this: Is that when nonprofits have to spend most of their creative energies figuring out how they’re going to raise funds. Wow. After a while that is definitely a drain to creativity. It’s a drain to the energy and really takes you off focus. And I see that happen to so many different groups. I’ve spoken in 37 plus states over 100 events that were purely for fundraisers; not raising funds for our own nonprofit but raising funds for other nonprofits. I love that.
Tony: [00:05:16] Yes, but also what those leaders need to do in the non-profits is use their creativity to go into the market because that’s where the big money is instead of the donor dollar being the only source of what they need to move forward. They can tap the market where there is much more money.
Gail: [00:05:34] So it is true that they do need to tap the marketplace. And this is what’s beautiful. There’s so many creative ways to do that. One way to do that is the very program that you have established with HopeQuestGlobal.com and people should take a moment to check that out. Let’s get ready for our guests today Bruce and Camella Binkley are good friends of ours. And you had opportunity not long ago to meet up with Bruce, actually at their home, which was so much fun and the two of you went off to do this interview. Bruce has one passion and one focus. Do you know what it is?
Tony: [00:06:10] He wants to help the poor, the widows and the orphans.
Gail: [00:06:16] Here is Tony McWilliams interviewing Bruce Binkley. Enjoy.
Tony: [00:06:21] I’m here today with Bruce Binkley who is a good fit into our social business category today; social enterprise and social entrepreneur. First of all, Bruce why don’t you tell us about your business, what it is, what it does.
Bruce Binkley: [00:06:35] Well our for profit business is a franchise business called Express Employment Professionals. We’ve owned that business that franchise for 20 years. Basically, what we do is we find jobs for people and find people for jobs. So, we’re in the matchmaking business of employment.
Tony: [00:06:54] Very good. Now you didn’t get into the business just to be an entrepreneur or make money. You had some purpose behind it all.
Bruce Binkley: [00:07:03] We got into the business as a part of a dream that started over 30 years ago to have a business that would fund ministry opportunities that we felt like God had put her in our heart to do. And those primarily came around the areas of the poor, the widows, the orphans; people who had no money and couldn’t afford to pay for help that were desperately in need of help. So we were looking for a way to fund that outside the traditional ways of funding ministries at that time. There was a scene like the main way that those were done through donors, donor based. At the time all these dreams were coming to pass, Camella and I we were working in a ministry and that was a donor base ministry and had opportunities to see the stress that sometimes creates when you’re trying to plan out what do what God’s called you to do and that your funds for doing that are dependent on somebody else keeping their promises and therefore their word to you. And so it was very difficult to do that. And so, we didn’t want to be a part of that. I didn’t want to have to deal with the stress of that I didn’t want to have to manage a donor base. I wanted to help people. And so that was my quandary. So we as we sought that out we came on the pattern that we feel like God gave us the tent making ministry, a tent making business like the Apostle Paul had he.
Bruce Binkley: [00:08:37] There’s a couple of times referenced in the New Testament where it mentions the fact that he had a family business that he was a part of that made tents. And so that’s why we came up with the terminology of the tent making business and began to look for opportunities to do that. We got into the Express business through a series of events. We were like as I was looking for a business to get into it. I owned a business before I ever went into the ministry and two or three of them and some who did better than others. And but I knew that I had that in me to be an entrepreneur. I was just trying to find the mix between entrepreneur and ministry and how did you make that work to fulfill the call of God on your life to help the poor, the widows and the orphans. I was looking for a business to do that. And I kept coming across franchise opportunities and I had never really looked into franchising and at that time, so a friend of mine who is a was an accountant and CEO or CFO of a company and did taxes for people was telling me that he was helping some people to put together some opportunities with the Express business. And so it looked like a very good opportunity and so he introduced us to the Express people and long story short we ended up getting into the business.
Tony: [00:09:58] Very cool so nothing more social than ministry; reaching out to people and making a difference in that regard but you mentioned the word stress at least twice already. Why don’t we go back a little bit and talk about your relationship and some of the stresses that you had in some of the nonprofit organizations you worked for even before you started your business.
Bruce Binkley: [00:10:20] Well the stress was come from the fact like I said that it is hard to plan your activities long term or even months in advance based on income that was coming in through just donors. He had no control over that income. So you’re just trusting that they will be able to keep their commitments. And unfortunately that’s not always the case. For instance, we would as I was as director of events for the ministry of Dr. Cole. And we would get together in December and January and plan out the next year’s calendar for his speaking events and things of that nature. And as he traveled more and more he got less enamored with the travel and wanted to do less travel and write more books. And so we would schedule his time accordingly and we felt like you know that donors would help make up the difference for payroll or whatever the obligations of the ministry were and so he for instance say I want to do one event a month and I don’t want to do this or do that. And so I set those things up and would start off on that pattern in about two or three months into it. You know the funds would be coming in to support the payroll or the ministry, wouldn’t be able to print the books we needed to print, and different things and so he would call me up and say book me up get me out to places where I can speak so I can get offerings to keep the ministry going.
Tony: So the cash flow was not there.
Bruce Binkley: [00:11:50] It was not there and so it created the crunch of get the cash you know and to make the payroll. And so the stress came as an employee of a ministry, a nonprofit, that’s donor based. The stress comes when sometimes your checks aren’t delivered on time and working with vendors and trying to get them paid and keep your commitments as a ministry business. Keep your commitments to and to try to make your word good. It’s just difficult sometimes when you’re being able to make your word good depends on someone else keeping their word.
Tony: [00:12:25] Let’s acknowledge that not every nonprofit probably is in that category but I would venture to say a lot are; many are. And they have that stress as well.
Bruce Binkley: [00:12:34] I believe that I believe that you see that you know in most people most ministries that have are funded primarily through donor base, run through seasons and you’ll they’ll have where they have more appeals than what they would like to have and they have to talk about their need for money to instead if they need to minister. And so it creates a stress and it’s a management thing. I mean you got to take care of your donors.
Bruce Binkley: [00:13:00] You’ve got to maintain accurate records and you know I just was in a position I didn’t want a large organization I just wanted to help people and I didn’t want to be encumbered with the job of managing a donor base.
Tony: [00:13:13] Both you and your wife Camella have been connected with non-profits through the years and you have experienced this like several times.
Bruce Binkley: [00:13:23] Yeah we’ve both been connected with them. I was only connected with one nonprofit.
Bruce Binkley: [00:13:27] My wife was connected with more than one and it’s not a constant thing it’s just you just don’t know when it’s going to come.
Bruce Binkley: [00:13:34] And that creates a stress in itself. I believe in business you need to be able to plan need to plan what’s your have your long term short term plans. And those vary in length depending on what type of business you’re in. When you make a plan it’s got to be…you need to fund it. If your business is depending on someone else funding it other than you’re funding it through the work of your hands; I believe that God bless the work of your hands. And I’ve seen God do that. And I was just in a position, had the dream I just had the desire that I just would rather trust God to bless the work of my hands than have to believe God to help other people keep their financial commitments and I’m not saying they all don’t do that and I don’t know. I’m not judging them for why they don’t. There’s various reasons why people aren’t able to do things that they would like to do.
Tony: [00:14:27] So there’s levels of unpredictability there.
Bruce Binkley: Right.
Tony: And that doesn’t necessarily help you plan with any confidence.
Bruce Binkley: [00:14:35] Well it’s very difficult.
Bruce Binkley: [00:14:37] You can call it faith but you could also call it foolishness.
Tony: Perhaps and too you the issue was you wanted to fund some social outreach, some mission outreach. You had it in your heart. You knew exactly what you wanted to do and you knew it was going to take money. So you start this business this Express employment business and it’s done well in 20 years. I mean have you had the same kind of struggle or has it just been trouble free.
Bruce Binkley: [00:15:08] Well nothing in life is trouble free. I mean and adversity is the companion of success. Nothing that’s worthwhile is going to be easy and trouble free. I think where we were and where we are is that we’ve developed the pattern we believe God gave us the pattern of funding our nonprofit ministry opportunities funding them through a for profit business that when they Express Employment Professionals we’ve seen that work. We got into the business with that purpose of having a business that would fund ministry. I didn’t get into the business to have a job. I had a job. I didn’t get in the business to have a business that would make money. We got in the business to have a business that made money to fund a ministry. So, it was a purpose beyond having the business. The purpose of the business wasn’t just to meet our financial commitments in our own family needs and things of that nature it was to fund a ministry that would be whatever it was God led us to do in the helping of the poor, the widows and orphans.
Tony: [00:16:18] This might be a good time to talk about your book which basically is the message that you’re giving me now.
Bruce Binkley: Right.
Tony: [00:16:26] What’s the name of the book.
Bruce Binkley: It’s called The Business Call: Extending God’s Heart of Compassion through Tent Making Business.
Tony: [00:16:32] Just to repeat the tip making thing that you mentioned a minute ago where the apostle Paul was known as a businessman not just as a minister.
Bruce Binkley: Right.
Tony: He did indeed do something that was much needed in that economic culture and it was tents. So, he just got involved in that and that’s how he made a living or perhaps supplemented what he was doing in ministry.
Bruce Binkley: [00:16:55] It believe it funded his ministry. There’s one time I don’t exactly the scripture reference on it’s in the Corinthians where he has basically told the people who we’re going to take an offering on the need to give offerings but the offerings aren’t for me. Basically, I don’t need your money is as you need to be able to give your money. And this is the people that are here with me. We’re not here for the offering. It’s not for us it’s for somebody else. But if he’s trying to get people to quit looking at their money and the way you look and give it away. But the way he could say that is because he had a business that funded it. And if you look at the disciples the 12 guys that Jesus picked they were all businesspeople and they none of them were in the ministry. They were business guys everyone. Jesus was a business man and he was a carpenter. He made cabinets. His family were business people. There wasn’t anybody that was a rabbi or anybody that was the chief priest or anything like this that started the Church of Jesus Christ. You know they were all business people and they funded their ministry through their business. I just feel strongly that that’s where we need to get back to. And in many instances, we need to look back and say God what can I can do that will make enough money to feed my family but also to fund the call of God on my life.
Bruce Binkley: [00:18:15] You and your wife encouraged me to write a book for several years before it was written. So it’s. It didn’t come easy for me and because I really just didn’t feel like it what I was doing was all that extraordinary. It was just this is what I do. And it’s you know it’s not that I don’t feel like it’s makes me anybody special. And I think that’s why I wanted to write the book that if I can do this anybody can do this. You don’t have to have a master’s degree. You don’t have a doctorate you don’t have to go to seminary.
Bruce Binkley: [00:18:45] You just have to answer and embrace the call of God on your life. And then look for a way to fund it through tentmaking instead of the traditional ways that we’ve gotten involved in funding ministries today.
Gail: [00:18:59] Wow. Don’t you love the heart of Bruce. Thank you Tony for this incredible interview and guess what. We’re not finished. There’s more to come.
Tony: [00:19:08] There are two things in life that almost everyone one holds dear. Defined by two words. Purpose and profit. And it’s our opinion that the genius of social business turns purpose and profit into synergistic ingredients. When you mix the two they work together for each other’s success. However, nothing really happens until you’ve got a social entrepreneur in the mix. You know someone, anyone who initiates an idea where purpose and profit can make their highest impact. For our community at HopeQuestGlobal it’s the results of measurable life changing solutions to childhood malnutrition where those who are a part of our community of social entrepreneurs are compensated for any results they help produce. I’ve come to the conclusion that we live in a world where purpose and profit often struggle to actually meet. Our social business mobilizes to deliver a solution. And provide for our community free resources to move purpose and profit into all of the life changing possibilities and our design and hope is that the very first life to enjoy such purpose and profit. Is yours. So, let’s continue this conversation at pulp Quest global com slash Social.
Gail: [00:20:34] Let’s go back to the interview between Tony McWilliams and Bruce Binkley.
Bruce Binkley: [00:20:40] You just have to answer and embrace the call of God on your life and then look for a way to fund it through tent making, instead of the traditional ways that we’ve gotten involved in funding ministries today.
Tony: [00:20:54] So you use the word extraordinary Let’s talk about some of the extraordinary things you’ve done on the social level, on the minister level, on the outreach level. You’ve gone into other countries taking some help to some very needy people. What countries have you been in?
Bruce Binkley: [00:21:08] Well we’ve been in several We actually started off down in Central America and in Nicaragua and then about the same time we were going over to Zimbabwe and then on the continent of Africa. Got involved with some people that we knew over there. The first trip I took in 98 I met a little girl 4 year old girl named Naima in Tanzania. We started helping her in her family. She was an orphan basically an orphan she was living with her mom and three siblings but their father had kicked him out of the house when they got saved. Being of Muslim faith it was a disgrace. And so he’s separated himself from them her family was Muslim so they wouldn’t take Aransas anywhere to go but live in a little 8 by 8 room in a church that was under construction. And so we began to fund them and help them and to get a house and do things like that. And so that’s how it all began for us. We still helped her today. She’s now 20 some odd years old and is going to journalism school. So that’s how it began it just began to help helping kids. I don’t see the things that God led us to do as being extraordinary. I just see them as being ordinary things that happen when you just answer the call of God on your life.
Bruce Binkley: [00:22:21] I tell people when we go places and we are pretty heavily involved in Cambodia and in helping some friends in Vietnam and I never went to any of these places knowing what I was going to do. I never went to Zimbabwe knowing what I was going to get involved in. When I go on a trip I just feel we’re going on a shopping trip for Jesus. And what we see is what he wants us to do. And if we see a need he wants us to meet the need. I believe you know and I tell our people I’ve told people in business tell our staff that if God shows you a problem it’s usually because you’re the solution.
Tony: [00:22:59] So you took the initiative when you saw the need. You didn’t go back and start raising funds. I mean you started right then and there. I mean you already had a business in place that specifically set apart for the purpose of those needs. And so when you saw them you went after it.
Bruce Binkley: [00:23:15] When we saw the need we commit to the need. I don’t count the cost of what that means. You can’t serve God and serve Mammon. And the thing that the enemy always wants to do is get your eyes focused on the amount of money that will take to fund the need the ministry need that God’s showing you. If you do that you’ll talk yourself out of it. I’ve done that before. I said well there’s just no way I can come up with $50000 or whatever it might be to do what this would probably take. So, you just don’t do it. You think that’s too big. But if you just see what the problem and say we’re going to take care of that and then you just let God take care of it through his way of doing it in his way of doing it and in our life is through the tent making business. The only reason our company and our franchise is one of the top franchises in the organization is because of the fact that we’re using it to fund the ministry.
Tony: [00:24:12] Your employees know this.
Bruce Binkley: Absolutely.
Tony: And they’re I assume excited to be a part of that kind of a mission.
Bruce Binkley: [00:24:19] They’re extremely excited because that’s something they’re able to do. They don’t see that they would have ever had the opportunity to do something like this. You know we’ve got people working with us that been with us for over 18 years that they’re not because it’s a stress free job. I mean they’re there because they’re helped. They like helping people. When we hire them we tell them you know our story; people know our store they know what we do as a company that it’s not just about getting someone a job through our local office or helping a local company. That’s important and that helps the local community and that helps the family that makes them feel productive that meets a lot needs when you can give someone a paycheck. But it goes beyond that when that company pays the invoice to us. The profit from that goes into helping other people around the world to do things.
Tony: [00:25:10] So that’s a social outreach in itself in the very county you’re working.
Bruce Binkley: [00:25:14] Right. You know we do a lot of good in the area where we work. I feel like when you’re helping someone get a job you’re doing a good thing.
Tony: For sure.
Tony: [00:25:24] Well let’s talk about some of the things you’ve done in some of those countries could you name some of the specific needs you’ve met in those various countries you’ve mentioned.
Bruce Binkley: [00:25:32] Zimbabwe is a very poor country. I don’t know if it’s the poorest country in the world now but it was for a long time and it’s in the it’s in the bottom five I’m sure. Over 90 percent unemployment at one point there were some close to 40 percent HIV. There were over a million AIDS orphans in the country and the population was down to a little over 10 million. And so a tenth of the population was HIV orphans. So it was a very desperate place, very economically depressed place. And at one time had been the breadbasket of Africa. So, we got involved over there basically working with an organization, a church over there with American pastors. We helped them with their orphanages. We helped them with their resettlement programs where they take people off the street and try to give them opportunity to resettle in a plot of land and teach them how to farm and teach him how to do different things. We dug water wells and put pumps on them. We built Blair latrines for outdoor toilets for communities for churches and did what we could to give them a quality of life to give them fresh water. Help them have a sanitary living conditions. So we did that. Then we got involved through our work at the orphanage one year one. One winter over there I got involved and some blanket distributions. It got real cold over there in July. The other time of the season than it is in the States.
Bruce Binkley: [00:27:02] And I just I woke up one morning about two o’clock in the warm my feet were just really cold and I was in a bed and living, living but staying with some friends in the city and a nice warm bed that my feet were cold and I finally got up and put some socks on as I crawled back in the bed. I just couldn’t get my mind off the 30 some odd orphans that I’d visited that day that didn’t have blankets. They had pajamas and they had sheets but they had no blankets and I knew that they had to be cold. If I was cold in my situation so I didn’t sleep much that night I got up the next morning and told my friend Sandy that we need to find some blankets for these kids. Well trying to find blankets in Zimbabwe was fun, because they had no economy and they didn’t have groceries on the shelves. But we were able to scrounge around and find 30 some odd blankets and get them out to the kids and paid a pretty hefty price for them. But the kids were excited to get them they beautiful blankets and they felt like Christmas had come in July. So, it’s now thought that was the end of it. But before the day was over I was getting calls from other orphanages. You know what if I had a more blankets. Yeah. So that started well. You know what became known as Operation Cover Up over the next five years. We distributed over 20,000 blankets primarily to HIV orphans and mostly all orphans and then some prisoners and things but the majority of them went to orphans.
Tony: [00:28:33] Incredible; in terms of Vietnam what did you do there.
Bruce Binkley: [00:28:37] In Vietnam again we got involved with helping a friend who had a nonprofit called Giving It Back to Kids. We start supporting him through our business because that’s what he was doing is helping the poor and the widows and orphans and so we were helping him and then took a trip over there and my wife just fell in love with the country. And I really had no desire to ever go back to Vietnam. I was off the coast of Vietnam during the conflict over there. The Vietnam War and it wasn’t a place that had good memories and warm feelings for me. But I went and it was a real healing time. We partner with them and our nonprofit partners with theirs and I think the pattern that we’ve had is we’re not trying to do everything; we’re trying to find people that we know that are doing things and help them do more good things.
Tony: [00:29:27] One thing I remember you saying didn’t you do some wheelchair work going to bring some wheelchairs over there.
Bruce Binkley: [00:29:32] Well we didn’t but Giving It Back to Kids does and Giving It Back to Kids partners with another nonprofit called Free Wheelchair Mission and this is a man who is an engineer for a company years ago and he got an idea to design a wheelchair that could get around in rugged terrain in these third world countries and so he designed one; started making him in his garage. Long story short I mean he just now they manufacture wheelchairs in different countries and provide them for free. And in Vietnam we’ve distributed over 100, 000 wheelchairs.
Tony: [00:30:08] Fantastic. Well let’s skip right on over to Cambodia near there you’re doing some work there. What’s going on there?
Bruce Binkley: [00:30:13] Again I went to Cambodia and you know I would never on my bucket list of places to go. We were visiting some of the poor areas on the border of Thailand and in Cambodia and discovered came face to face with human trafficking. Mean you know when you go shopping for Jesus you really don’t know what you’re going to find. But I knew that there was something that I can’t just act like I don’t see this and I can’t just act like there’s nothing to do about this because there’s if God shows you the problem. He wants you to find help find a solution to it. And so we came face to face with human trafficking and sex trafficking of young girls along the border. It’s a cultural problem that since all stem by systemic poverty. It’s if you can break poverty you people won’t have to be so desperate to do desperate things but that you don’t do that overnight. You don’t do it just be given money. You just it takes changing a mindset and a culture and that’s a process. But you’ve got to have a safe place to put them. So, we began to we partnered again with another nonprofit in Cambodia to help us to find some houses or a house that we could house some of these girls in and get their families to give permission for them to come stay in the house with a house mother, go to school, get an education, get medical, and take care of them. And that’s how that started.
Tony: [00:31:41] So you got actually a house over there that is dedicated to helping.
Bruce Binkley: [00:31:45] We have two homes then the Botanbom, Cambodia. One of them is called Marlene’s home named after my wife’s mom, who helped us get into our business. That also was a you know worked in our business and she died in an accident 14 years ago. And then the other one is we started that home with Marlene’s home in July of 2012; 14 girls that came from rural areas that their parents recognize the opportunity to break the spirit of poverty in their family by letting their children come and do this and not put them to work in the streets or take that chance of them disappearing into who knows where. I guess it was the next year I went back over just to make a visit to the home there and when we got there there were several girls and their families stand on the porch waiting for us to get there who wanted to come into the home. We didn’t have any more room but there just so happened to be a house next door that was for rent. We rented that house brought in another 14 girls. And so then we named that house after my mom Vera who had just passed away from cancer. And so we have two homes named after our moms that are part of our legacy and we’re part of theirs. And it’s a place where these girls are able to get an education they’re able to learn English. They all come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. If they didn’t have one are ready.
Tony: [00:33:13] OK so here you are with going out there shopping for Jesus as you say and just looking for something he wants you to do some problem or need that he wants you to solve. It all is going to take some money. In some cases a lot of money and you’ve got this business back in the states that’s generating money.
Bruce Binkley: Right.
Tony: Now, you’re not making all the money in the world but what would have happened if you didn’t have that business?
Bruce Binkley: [00:33:37] Well if we didn’t have the business I don’t know what would happen. You know I mean I know I wouldn’t have the business if I wasn’t doing what I was doing with the money.
Tony: [00:33:48] OK so you saw the business from the get go as a means to an end.
Bruce Binkley: [00:33:52] Right. It wasn’t the I didn’t have a desire just to have a business to have a business. I had the desire to have a business that would fund the ministry call of God on my life. You know I knew I had this call I knew I had this desire to help people that had no way of helping their self and had no way to pay people to help them. You know they couldn’t buy a dollar’s worth of food. They had no money had no homes. They had HIV, whatever, you know. And I had a desire to help those people but I didn’t want to have to keep asking you for money to help me to help those people. That becomes a job in itself.
Tony: [00:34:28] It becomes a job in itself. Plus for the most part donors and donor bases are made up of people, ordinary people, who don’t have a million dollars sitting in the bank.
Bruce Binkley: Right.
Tony: And so to build an entire outreach social outreach on the unpredictability of so many other people’s lives. That’s was just something…there’s nothing wrong with that.
Bruce Binkley: Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with it at all.
Tony: But you decided I need to make sure that my mission can be funded.
Bruce Binkley: [00:34:56] I just didn’t want to use my time taking care of donors and educate donors on what I do and trying to get donors to have the same heart and the same compassion the same drive that I had the same call I had because we all have different calls from God and some people are called to be donors to ministries that’s their job. That’s what God has chosen them for and some ministries function very well on donors. And I’m not I’m not against that. For me it didn’t fit for what I wanted to do. Way I wanted to spend my time. I didn’t want to have a large organization with a big payroll that I had to take care of because I’d have to pay somebody to take care of those donors or else I’d have to take care of if I had to take care of them I can’t take care of the poor and the widows and the orphans I can’t go. So, I just didn’t want to get involved in that. I wanted to keep it lean and mean I wanted to be able to be a stealth bomber. I didn’t want to depend on somebody else funding what God told me to go and do. And if I saw something a need I didn’t want to be in a position where I had to see if I could raise the money to meet the need and want to use my faith that God to bless the work of my hands. If I met them if I was committed to the need he would do his part.
Tony: [00:36:14] What is the name of your nonprofit you do have a nonprofit even though it’s mostly funded by your business but you have a nonprofit.
Bruce Binkley: [00:36:20] We named it a New Name Society. Web site is NewNameSociety.org. I think or dot com. You know I don’t know. I’m probably the world’s worst marketer. I don’t do; I’m just not really good at it. I just I’ve always like flying under the radar and not attracting any attention. And I’ve been able to get a lot of things done that way because I don’t have to get permission. I just go in and get the money to the people. If you do things that are not flamboyant you’re not trying to attract attention or not trying to get credit for something you can do a lot of good things if you just go in and do a mercenary type thing go and drop off some blankets and leave.
Tony: [00:37:03] It sounds like you’re being careful to maintain good works to meet urgent needs.
Bruce Binkley: [00:37:07] Well I like that. I think that we’re into good works I think it’s a good thing to help somebody.
Gail: [00:37:14] Tony this interview really touched my heart. And the thing that you and I both know about Bruce and Camella this isn’t just about an outreach. This is their livestyle.
Tony: [00:37:24] Yes it is. Bruce one thing I pointed out to kind of said it real fast in the middle of the interview and may not have caught it. He’s involved in ministry, a faith based outreach. And I told him you know there’s nothing more social than ministry. And so, what an incredible thing that he is using his own business and the profits of that business to go into several countries and make a difference there.
Gail: You know we were having dinner with them recently and I loved it when they were telling us the story of how they bought the house that they’re living in currently. It’s a beautiful Italian villa on the lake. But before they had that house they don’t a few other houses on the lake. And one of them happened to belong to a widow. And guess what. Bruce wanted to make sure that the deal was equitable for her because there was no way that he ever wanted to do anything unjust to a widow. I love that when that cause is about more than just making me feel good. But the cause is really about a lifestyle.
Tony: [00:38:25] It really is the cause wasn’t just inside some faraway country but it literally was virtually next door and he decided that he had to do right by her.
Gail: [00:38:35] You know you think about any kind of nonprofit What are they based around? People. Business is about people. Ministry is about people. Families Marriages. It’s all about people and when each of us find something worthwhile that is beyond ourselves to do for people that’s a good thing.
Tony: [00:38:54] Well we learned a great deal today through Bruce Binkley and his focus that he’s had for now 20 years and more. And it’s an incredible dream that he’s had from the beginning. But what took his dream from just being a dream to being something that actually, measurably touched the lives was when he started a business and dedicated that business to that purpose.
Gail: [00:39:18] Gail McWilliams, the co-host of Social Business: The Heart of the Matter. Thank you so much for being part of this episode. By the way take a moment to check out. HopeQuestGlobal.com/social and don’t forget to check out some of the multiple blogs that Tony McWilliams has written for your benefit so that your vision can expand.
Tony: [00:39:40] And we hope that you will always be careful to maintain good works to meet urgent needs and become heroes to your generation. This is Tony McWilliams. Honoring the greatness in you.