No Profit, No Worries

YLDP Houston students with Brian Greene, CEO and President of the Houston Food Bank

YLDP Houston students with Brian Greene, CEO and President of the Houston Food Bank

By Sruthi Srivathson

HOUSTON: On November 18, 2017, the students of the prestigious Houston’s Youth Leadership Development Program had the absolute privilege of hearing Brian Greene’s presentation regarding Non-profit Organizations, as well as taking a tour of the astounding Houston Food Bank.

Brian Greene is the current President and CEO of Houston Food Bank, a Non-profit Organization located in the Greater Houston Area that fights hunger by seeking donations and distributing meals. The Organization dispenses an impressive 83 million meals to 800,000 people annually. Greene has an MA in Economics from The University of Tennessee and a BA in Economics from Humboldt State University.

Greene began his presentation by exploring the foundations of a successful non-profit organization. It starts with a committed board of directors, usually a group of volunteers wanting to make an impact on society. They set the basic and most vital foundations: a clear set of objectives, how will it be run, what moral direction will it take, how will it get the needed resources.  He then went on to explain a few career tracks that are available. Management in different sections of the organization, and subject matter experts, or people who are skilled in certain logistic, and of course, fundraising. Having a balanced number of employees, volunteers, and donors, is crucial in staying active and bring charitable causes to those in need. One key point about non- profits is that their purpose isn’t to make money, but rather to maximize the output with the available resources.


Greene then went on to explain the importance of Leadership in a non- profit organization. He highlighted how leadership is nurtured and not as much a natural trait, which resonated well with the young audience. He also dismissed the idea that good leaders need to have many skills, such as finance, public speaking, etc. Leadership is about understanding oneself, and creating a strong team that is complementary to each other. This instilled a sense of reassurance in the students, and a feeling of confidence. He advocated the need for leaders to have a strong moral compass – one that must be nurtured over time. With a strong moral compass, leaders can initiate meaningful initiatives and solve societal challenges.  

Ultimately, the importance of non- profit organizations is tremendous, because they can have a positive impact on areas of society where the government and for-profit businesses tend to fail. And, involving youth leaders in this essential function is key to ensuring the future of non-profit work.