October 17, 1995
In the tradition of Marian Wright Edelman’s bestselling The Measure of Our Success, Bill Shore’s Revolution of the Heart is right on time: a work of critical importance that will redefine and revitalize our notion of civic responsibility as it inspires us toward a better vision of the future. Alarmed by the spread of poverty and its closest ally, hunger, Americans eager for solutions have found themselves with few ideas and little hope. Shore provides not only inspiration but also lucid directions for the journey from traditional politics to a more direct and powerful way of connecting to our communities and, through them, to the people in our lives and to ourselves.
Through his experience in politics, Shore has achieved a unique grasp of what it is possible for government to do, and what it will never be able to do. Through his experience in the nonprofit world, he has seen what we must do for ourselves. His is a two-part strategy: first, he calls on the nonprofit sector to become self-sustaining by creating new wealth with the same aggressive financial acumen essential to any business. Second, he calls on us as citizens to assume responsibility for the next generation becoming personally involved with those in need – not through the donation of our own “leftover wealth,” but through the contribution of skills, talent, and time.
A former aide to Senator’s Gary Hart and Bob Kerrey, Shore left politics determined to design a new model for addressing the most urgent problems of our time. In Share Our Strength he has created a revolutionary organization which has grown in one decade to a $30 million grant-giving operation that takes none of its funding from the government, and in so doing he has reinvented the traditional notion of a nonprofit that survives on foundation grants and private donations. Instead, Share Our Strength generates new wealth through entrepreneurial ventures – corporate marketing partnerships and the sale of goods and services – that exploit the forces and demands of the marketplace for greater good. Share our Strength and a number of other innovative organizations are at the forefront of a new breed: the nonprofit run for profit. Money made is reinvested in community-based projects and programs that directly serve those in need.
Woven throughout the book is Shore’s own story and that of his family, a story that colorfully depicts the evolution of his ideology and illustrates the changes in how we have been governed over the course of the century. Shore’s journey from the upper strata of the political sector to the grass-roots efforts of working change is a moving and eloquent counterpart to his urgent philosophy. His prescription is more than timely in that it is both urgently needed and calls upon our collective fascination with the search for meaning and connectedness. His approach is not only new, it will change our perception of the possible.
From 1978 to 1987, Bill Shore worked on the Senate and presidential campaign staffs of Senator Gary Hart in a variety of capacities, including legislative director and political director. From 1990 to 1992, he served as Chief of Staff for Senator Robert Kerrey. Currently the executive director of Share Our Strength, which he founded in 1984, Shore lives outside Washington, D.C., with his wife Bonnie and their children, Zach and Mollie.