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The CEO of Crisis Text Line is Here to Help

These questions originally appeared on Quora: the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answers by Nancy Lublin, founder & CEO of Crisis Text Line, on Quora:

Q: How can you change yourself to be a better person?

A: The best thing I have learned is that someone else doesn't have to lose for me to win. I'm excited when I see other people raise money. It's awesome when other things launch that rival us. I like seeing other people succeed. Why? Because it doesn't make me worse off. You can choose this mindset. I wasn't raised to be this positive and kind. (I spent a lot of my life as a pretty judge-y person.) But then I had a co-worker who embodied positivity and kindness. And I saw that it made her more productive and truly a more happy person. She confronted me, and she was right. In life, you can only control two things: your own words and your own actions. Now, I choose to make those words and actions be kind.

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Q: What are some ways people can participate in volunteer activities from home?

A: Crisis Text Line is growing super fast (over 24 million messages exchanged!) and along with it so is the need for more Crisis Counselors. We train volunteers (like you!) to support people in crisis. The coolest part? You can do it from home, in your jammies! You'll get fully trained via our 34 hour online program, have support by trainers and supervision staff throughout the process and gain access to a community of 2,000+ compassionate people just like you. Apply to be a Crisis Counselor now: Crisis Text Line.

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Q: How can the tech industry do more for social good?

A: Here are some ideas on what the tech industry do more for social good:

  1. EIRs. Nobody gets rich at a not for profit. In fact, it's hard for many to retire or even change jobs. We all have to go from one paycheck to the next. Want to get fresh new ideas at the top of the not for profit sector? Offer EIRs to leaders. Give them a way to breathe for six months and dream, reflect, learn.
  2. Sabbaticals. We don't want your team for an hour or a day of service. (Would you take my devs for a day? No.) But we'd love them for two months. Little known fact: DonorsChoose.org was built by a handful of devs on sabbatical from Yahoo. We need more of that. Want to come spend a few months building geolocation with us so we can locate people who need an active rescue? Want to come help us build the next version of CrisisTrends.org? These are things on our plate right now, that need devs full time for a few sprints.
  3. Money. Forget cash. Don't bother buying tables at chicken dinners. Instead, give us equity. Pick one organization and give them some points. Put us right there in your cap table. That's unrestricted funding for us and a real partnership for you.
  4. Stop starting new things and plopping money into foundations. Instead, back existing winners. Don't complain and compete. Instead, bring your mindset, your experience, and your skills to something that needs and upgrade.
  5. Call me, maybe. I'm a bridge between these two worlds. This is (one of) the bees in my bonnet. I'm trying to pull the best of both worlds into one amazing Reese's peanut butter cup. (Get it? Peanut butter and chocolate?! That was a nutty idea...and delicious.)

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