When he graduated from Washington and Lee in 1988, Jim Morgan had a pretty clear plan. An economics major, he went from W&L to Wall Street, joining Merrill Lynch. From there he detoured to a job with a Georgia congressman, got an M.B.A. at the University of Chicago and then started consulting with Ernst and Young.
A dozen years ago he began a major detour — what he told the Tampa Tribune amounted to a "crisis of conscience."
"I turned 30 years old and had done all the things I was supposed to do, but it's not satisfying," he said in a major feature story on Jim and Meet the Need, the organization he has established.
According to its website, Meet the Need is "a not-for-profit charity whose mission is to dramatically increase the impact churches and ministries have in their communities by mobilizing more people to love acts of service."
Working primarily with and through churches, ministries and missionary organizations, Meet the Need uses software to connect these organizations with volunteer opportunities. To explain how Jim has harnessed the power of the Internet, the organization's website offers several case studies. For instance, Meet the Need used its search engine, reports and reminders to coordinate more than 20,000 church volunteers from 23 churches in the Feed the Bay effort during Thanksgiving 2008.
"Our model is different because each church and ministry can use Meet The Need to manage all of its local missions activities and easily communicate needs internally or externally, taking a tremendous amount of work off staff,” Jim says. “We make all the software look just like each organization’s website and give them each complete control over the information posted and who can access it. Then we give all of this away. Because no one says ‘no,’ local churches and ministries in a city wind up on the same platform, connected seamlessly to serve those in need."