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Davis, California

Monday, October 18, 2021

A conversation with a serial non-profit creator

There is no better clout than generosity

Second-year Chris Ryan is known as “The Non-Profit Guy” around campus and this is a title that he wears with pride. He has created 11 different non-profits since he was a senior in high school. Beaming, Ryan tells me his love of founding non-profits began when his sister’s non-profit earned her admission into an Ivy League school.

“That was like … wow,” Ryan said. “It made me realize the enormous impact giving back to others has for yourself. Sure I volunteer, but creating my first non-profit really signalled to others how charitable I am.”

To prove his point, Ryan proudly pulls out a laminated news clipping about his first non-profit from a local newspaper. In the photo, Ryan stands with a thumbs up among confused middle schoolers.

“This was my non-profit to encourage young kids to code,” Ryan explains with a fond smile.

“Wait,” I interject. “Aren’t you a communication major?” 

 “Yeah, that’s why the kids look so confused,” Ryan says nodding solemnly. “I watched a how-to-code video on YouTube as I was driving over, but it wasn’t very helpful. That’s why my first non-profit didn’t last long. Getting kids into STEM was the really trendy thing, but then mental health advocacy became more popular so I had to switch gears.”

With his experience in non-profits, I had to ask Ryan—what is the best part about creating a non-profit? Is it the smile on the faces of people he has helped? Is it the connections he made with those he met? 

“Definitely the great impact it has had on my resume,” Ryan said. “It is such a boost. Without these non-profits, how else can I convey to potential internships and employers how compassionate and savvy I am?”

Next, I ask Ryan about his newest venture, a non-profit dedicated towards raising money for the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Yeah the movement could not have reignited at a better time,” Ryan said. “I was stuck after my last non-profit became oversaturated. Like, suddenly everyone cares about this after so much time? Like yes, all lives should matter, but Black Lives should have mattered the whole time––you only care now because it gets you clout.”

So far, Ryan’s new non-profit is dedicated to reposting important infographics and resources on their Instagram. He pays his younger brother to find and repost information daily.

“We are generating such great momentum,” Ryan remarks.

“Have you raised any money for the movement yet?” I ask.

“Thank you for your question. It is so important to ask questions in these unprecedented times. But really, how can you measure generosity? You can’t,” Ryan said. “For now, the monetary impact of our organization is top secret. And we will take no further questions on that.”

Written By: Renee Wang –– reswang@ucdavis.edu 

(This article is humor and/or satire, and its content is purely fictional. The story and the names of “sources” are fictionalized.)

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