As president and CEO of Save the Children, the international nonprofit organization serving 70 million children in 120 countries worldwide, Carolyn Miles '83, P'14 (animal behavior) is intimately familiar with promoting the common good.
By Rhonda K. Miller
Q: You were a successful business executive in the private sector for many years. What prompted your move to a highly public, nonprofit job?
The defining aha moment for me was when I was living in Asia. We traveled a lot at that time with our two children and realized that poor children had virtually no opportunities, versus our own kids. It really hit home for me and that’s when I decided maybe I could figure out a way to change that.
Q: What does giving mean to you?
Giving is an expression of your passion in an active way, and people give to organizations they are passionate about. If you have passion about a cause, what better way to express that passion than to give back to the effort?
Q: What are the challenges to giving?
The biggest challenge is that people don’t think their gift matters. That’s not true! Donors must be aware that every gift helps. We have people giving us anywhere between $10 and $10 million — each gift is significant in its own way.
Q: You emphasize the need to use social media to engage your donors. How has this helped your cause?
Social media allow us to bring the issues directly to our donors. Save The Children is a worldwide organization, and we cannot bring our donors to all areas where we need their donations. With social media, we can demonstrate in real-time the crises we face with children, even if they are thousands of miles away.
Q: What was your Bucknell experience like?
Like lots of kids in college, I probably didn’t appreciate what Bucknell was preparing me for. Bucknell showed me a bigger world and gave me the confidence to think maybe I could be out there in it. It’s what led me to work overseas and eventually to my work at Save the Children.