Life is often a journey about finding your raison d'être, your reason to be. When you follow the achievements of nonprofit crusader, businessman, visionary and motivational speaker Lotay Yang, his reasons to be becomes abundantly clear: to be limitless, networking and sharing without self-imposed borders; to be happy, knowing you have every right to feel extraordinary and to build on that; and to be the good you want to see all over the planet.
He speaks it, and he lives it.
When Lotay was only 21, his father was tragically killed in a car accident in China. After struggling with the agonizing anger, fear and confusion of "why?" he decided to change a horrible negative into positive motivation to continue his father's legacy of kindness and love. He has done this globally by founding the Black Card Circle Foundation (BCCF).
A completely volunteer-run organization, BCCF provides free events, fundraising, PR and marketing, including social media marketing, for numerous charities and causes in the U.S. and China. BCCF has done projects with Bill Clinton, Raymond Usher and Kobe Bryant, to name but a few. The events range from low-key local school cleanup days, to a Japan telethon in China and the U.S., to black-tie galas and corporate responsibility events. Indeed, Lotay has created a strategic vision that focuses on genuine giving, leveraging both his financial and personal influence to make a strong and lasting impact.
In between preparing for an upcoming BCCF event in Shanghai, China for environmental sustainability, Lotay talked with us, giving, among other things, his vision of philanthropy.
What inspired you to launch BCCF?
There were three primary drivers for starting Black Card Circle Foundation: wishing to spread my father's love, warmth and compassion for people; my personal witness of the power of people working together to help others; and my faith that like-hearted people who are rich in resources or in influence can make a difference when working together.
You've forged a number of partnerships that have taken your foundation global. How have you achieved such amazing growth in a relatively short period of time?
The biggest challenge for nonprofits and charities is overcoming peoples' cynicism and selfishness. Some people only wish to see the worst in others, despite evidence to the contrary. Also, some people are selfish by nature, and inspiring these folks to donate even of their time and/or heart can prove to be very challenging.
What are some of the challenges to nonprofits and charities going into the next decade?
Partnerships have come from pre-existing relationships and/or from people who have attended Black Card Circle and Black Card Circle Foundation events. Having been entrusted with a Centurion Card, a.k.a. "Black Card," by American Express reflects a certain degree of credit worthiness and financial responsibility. Some previous relationships also know that I was responsible for and entrusted with the management of over $800 million in liquid funds when I was a vice president with Fidelity Investments in Century City, California.
What's next for BCCF?
Black Card Circle Foundation shall continue to spread the message of hope, peace and love in an effort to unite people of all backgrounds, religions and beliefs to love each other by serving within each person's respective community. Black Card Circle Foundation's mission of raising awareness for other nonprofit organizations who promote self-reliance and sustainability remains constant and unwavering.
This post was co-authored by Amy Neumann.