This great profile on Jerry Sorkin, vice chairman of LUNGevity’s board of directors recently ran in the Washington Post Capital Business.
An executive director responsible for philanthropy and service at the Corporate Executive Board.
Charitable giving highlights: Gives financially and corporately to LUNGevity, a nonprofit that funds lung cancer research; serves on the board of directors at LUNGevity.
Personal: Lives in Bethesda with his wife and two daughters.
How did your relationship with LUNGevity begin?
I had just been diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer in August 2007. Within a couple of weeks I participated in a small walk downtown to raise money for lung cancer research. It gave me a very positive feeling as I started treatment that September. The following year, I saw that there was no walk, no gala, no black-tie event and yet I wanted to do something to celebrate, so I started looking for organizations where I could do something to raise money and awareness for lung cancer research. That’s when I got the call from LUNGevity and we organized a walk called Breathe Deep DC, raising a quarter of a million dollars.
Why did LUNGevity appeal to you?
I am a caring and charitable individual but when someone told me that I only had 12 months to live, I wasn’t focused on doing much other than trying to survive and spending time with my family. After 12 months, when I was still around and thrilled to be here, I was stunned at how far behind the lung cancer world was.
LUNGevity appealed the most for a variety of reasons. I had a number of personal connections to the organization. It was founded by survivors. It was growing very rapidly. It was agnostic, in terms of finding a cure whether or not someone smoked, didn’t smoke or had stopped smoking. LUNGevity was unbiased. I also saw it had a business mindset. The executive team is MBA and business folks as opposed to folks who’ve spent their whole time in the nonprofit sector.
What is the smartest way you’ve seen LUNGevity raise funds?
The smartest way we raised funds was by merging two organizations. LUNGevity grew as a grass-roots, franchise approach to running events around the country. The other organization, Protect Your Lungs, was a private family foundation which focused on creating a great scientific advisory board. As a result, it’s put LUNGevity in the lead of lung cancer grass-roots organizations because you now have the benefit of this great fundraising organization paired with a world-class scientific advisory, all directed by business professionals. You now have all of the pieces you need to put together a world-class nonprofit organization.
— Interview with Vanessa Mizell
View the original article here.