Forbes Nonprofit Council members come from a wide range of backgrounds. And with their wide range of experiences, they have a lot to share with fellow members of the community. To help them share with an even greater audience, we’re profiling Forbes Nonprofit Council members here on the blog. This week: Kevin Xu.
Kevin Xu is the CEO of National Rongxiang Xu Foundation and the CEO of Human Heritage Project. He is also an appointee of the California-China Trade and Investment Advisory Group, and the founder of the National Rongxiang Xu foundation. Xu received the Empact 100 recognition at United Nation Headquarter and is a member of Clinton Global Initiative. He earned his BA in neuroscience at USC.
How did your career as a nonprofit executive take off, and what do you attribute your success to most?
My father was my hero and role model. He dedicated his entire life to advancing science and providing medical treatment. He passed away last year, and I decide to establish a foundation as a version of his reflection and spirit. National Rongxiang Xu Foundation is the one I formed with my mother Li Li to continue the work and heart of my father in our way of living. In addition, I established my own foundation called Human Heritage Project after losing my father and grandfather — the two most important men in my life — within two years. I realize the importance of family value and human tradition in terms of how they could really impact others. I found Human Heritage Project to educate others on how to pass along the intangible bond between society and disadvantaged people.
How do you keep yourself passionate and driven regardless of how busy you are day to day?
I’m driven by the satisfaction of helping others. One lesson I learned after I communicating with leaders from around the world is that you feel much more satisfaction from empowering someone else to succeed than you do when helping yourself. It provides value to society in addition to the individual you helped.
What do you see as the future of nonprofits?
The future of nonprofits could be the actual front line of battling global issues because we can execute and plan an emergency response much faster.
What is your best nonprofit leadership or strategy tip for businesses?
Having a leadership position in the nonprofit world means you earn the key to open the hearts of others. Tap into their compassion by building the bridge of communication between people.