A native Arizonan, Michael McDonald shares the ASU Lodestar Center’s commitment to building the capacity and effectiveness and innovation of our nonprofit community, and has served in leadership roles in both environmental and human-service nonprofits for the past two decades. As a graduate of both the University of Arizona and the Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Management, Michael currently serves as the CEO of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, the region’s largest hunger-relief and food justice organization. In addition to his professional work, Michael is also an active community volunteer, currently serving on the boards and advisory councils of several nonprofits, academic institutions and government commissions.
Tell us about an experience that got you interested in the sector.
Michael got involved in the social-impact sector because he asserts that good intentions require sound business practices. He’d like to pretend, though, that he migrated to nonprofit land because he was a super conscientious Boy Scout. Or because he spent several years in a high school seminary program to become a priest, before he realized what celibacy really entailed! But it’s really because he simply needed a paying gig after his family’s business went belly-up.
What advice would you give to a leader trying to make a difference in their community?
It’s not about you. Ditch your ego.