In 1987 I was living in Bolivia and witnessed countless young children who didn’t go to school because they either couldn’t afford it, the school was too far to walk to, or they had to stay home and help take care of their families. It broke my heart to see the cycle of poverty passed down to the next generation. I promised myself that someday I would build schools for underprivileged kids in foreign countries so they could have a chance to get an education and escape the cycle of poverty.

I remember drawing a picture of a school I wanted to build in the future. When I got home to the U.S., I posted that drawing in my kitchen. Every time I looked at it, I said to myself, “Some day... ” I said that for twenty years. One day, I finally decided, “Enough procrastinating, why not make some day today?”

Amazingly, a few days later a friend called me to let me know he and a few others had started a charity called World Teacher Aid, which focused on building schools on Kenyan refugee camps. When he invited me to sit on the board, I agreed. Today we’ve built multiple large schools in Africa and we continue to build more through social entrepreneurship.

Here are five lessons I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Start now. Too many entrepreneurs know and feel they want to support worthy causes, but they wait until they “have the money.” Don’t wait. If you have a hard time donating right now, you’ll have a hard time when you have more money. Start now, even if it’s just a small amount.
  2. Integrate it into your business. Decide to give a certain percentage of your income on a monthly basis. Or give a certain amount for each business transaction. Make it a part of your business process.
  3. Choose the right charity. Choose a cause that resonates deeply, one that you can get emotionally connected to. This will help you to continue to give, even when you feel you might be “tapped out.” Let your charity be your “why that makes you cry.”
  4. Get others involved. Don’t stop at donating just your money; help others experience the feeling of being a social entrepreneur. This past year I was able to help thirty-three of my friends (mostly network marketers) raise money to help Kenyan refugee children get an education using my “$3.33 a Day” program.
  5. Experience the results. Writing a check is one thing; it’s an entirely different thing to get involved physically. From the start, we have taken our big donors to Kenya to work on their schools so they could see firsthand the results of their contribution. These donors are now invested for life.

DAVID FREY is an online marketer and top earner in his network marketing company. Support his charity at www.mlmcoachtv.com/make-a-difference.