Fellow Spotlight: David Rapoport

David Rapoport is currently the Business Operations Manager for Clearhead, a digital studio which was acquired by Accenture Interactive in 2017. He’s worked in roles across finance, accounting, and sales operations in his career.

David was born and raised in Las Vegas and attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for his Bachelor’s degree. He graduated in May 2018 from the McCombs School of Business with his MBA from the Evening MBA program where he also served as President of the Graduate Business Council.

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In his spare time, David is a BBQ connoisseur and makes it a point to cross off the locations from Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ List. He has visited 6 out of the Top 10….and counting.

What specific issues are close to your heart and why?

While it may not be the most exciting topic for everyone, financial literacy is one issue that is close to my heart. I grew up in a household of modest income and was able to learn the value of a dollar early on as I needed to save my allowance for any new toys or electronics, such as a new video game system or boombox. As I moved into my adult life, I have had to take it upon myself to seek out educational resources on how credit cards work, how to create a budget, how to understand taxes, and how to take the necessary steps to create my own financial independence.  

I know that not everyone has the same interest or ability to learn independently. Because of the lack of formal education available, I feel passionately that financial literacy should be a part of the basic education curriculum as part of a goal to create real-world ready adults.

What do you think local businesses can do to support nonprofit organizations?

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In my opinion, the standard ask from nonprofits to local businesses is for event sponsorships rather than for strategic help. While donations and sponsorships are important to fund an organization’s mission, these local businesses have knowledge or experience that can help nonprofits solve some of their larger problems. So the next time a nonprofit comes to a business and asks for a check, I challenge the businesses to ask “What else can we help you with to achieve your goals?”

I think the other side of this equation can hold true as well where nonprofits can play a role in helping for-profit companies. There is much we can learn from nonprofits and their leadership teams that we can benefit from beyond just being an opportunity for a team volunteering day. We as business leaders need to work to create that two way dialogue with nonprofit leaders to better foster these relationships and view them as strategic partners.

What for-profit companies (local or national) are currently doing an exemplary job of being socially responsible, in your opinion? How?

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Certified B Corps are companies that I believe are the leaders in social responsibility. These companies are ones that balance their purpose with that of being profitable. Companies like Klean Kanteen, Kickstarter, Allbirds, and Patagonia all have committed to their respective missions while still being socially responsible.

On a more local level, HEB comes to mind for all of their work in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, but their social responsibility goes far beyond that. They are focused on forming community partnerships, empowering small businesses, and being conscious of their environmental impact. You can see their impact from the smallest nonprofits in Austin to the largest communities across the state.

How can we make it easier for everyone to have a social impact?

One of the main opportunities that drew me to the Notley Fellowship was the ability to gain a starting point and a connection to the local Austin community. I feel like one of the biggest areas we can improve on is highlighting the opportunities where people can have an impact on their community. I genuinely feel that people are interested in helping, but are just looking to find the place that needs their help the most and that aligns with their personal passions. I think that educating the community on the many ways that they can become involved in something bigger than themselves will create larger network of individuals giving back to their communities.