Brandon Parkes: Improving the World with Meaningful Social Impact Consulting
Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Brandon Parkes, the founder and CEO of Parkes Philanthropy. Let’s learn what’s happening at Parkes Philanthropy and how Brandon is making a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: Hi Brandon, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge is Parkes Philanthropy addressing?
Brandon: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! Parkes Philanthropy is a social impact consulting firm dedicated to improving our world by helping our clients make meaningful and measurable change. We each have a role to play to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of a more prosperous, equitable, and sustainable world. Leveraging over 100+ years of collective experience, our team of top-tier expert consultants equips non-profits, corporations, and individuals with the ideas, resources, and support they need to deepen their impact.
Spiffy: What motivated you to do it?
Brandon: Being a first-generation, LGBTQ, Caribbean American, it has always been important to me to leverage the opportunities my parents created for me to develop an enduring family legacy, while perpetually catalyzing efforts toward a more equitable world. I believe that entrepreneurship is a pathway to creating generational wealth. I also believe that the future of entrepreneurship is an evolution where business and impact are completely intertwined rather than mutually exclusive. I am motivated by our portfolio of mission-driven clients while also excited about creating financial opportunities for my diverse roster of consultants and future generations.
Spiffy: That’s impressive. What is the impact of your work?
Brandon: Parkes Philanthropy impacts nonprofits in need of fundraising, strategy, and organizational support. We work with businesses looking to achieve business objectives while addressing vital social needs. And lastly, individuals looking to enhance their philanthropic journey. The backbone of Parkes Philanthropy is our talented consultants. It is a collective of dynamic individuals who have each demonstrated the commitment and ability to create change through lifelong social impact careers. We build customized, interdisciplinary teams, and provide oversight and management needed for flawless execution.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make?
Brandon: For Black History Month, Parkes Philanthropy and Hill Harper—award-winning actor, philanthropist, CEO and founder of The Black Wall Street App—teamed up for a social media campaign that honored Black history by investing in Black futures. We innovated a social impact campaign that facilitated hundreds of free premium subscriptions from an investment research platform to youth of color. It was through a partnership with a national financial literacy organization, Junior Achievement. We needed to ensure young people felt equipped with the financial tools and resources to feel confident as investors and build generational wealth.
Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Brandon: When I initially discuss careers in philanthropy, many people assume I’m talking about working for a nonprofit and often bring up the concept of a “salary ceiling.” This can be a misnomer because so many professions sit at the intersection of business and impact that fly under the typical career fair radar. There is a plethora of professional opportunities out there where you can make the change you want to see in the world, professionally. These opportunities range from corporate philanthropy and community affairs to leveraging your skillsets to work for a social enterprise or B-Corp.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Brandon—it’s been an honor!
Brandon Parkes is the founder and CEO of the social impact firm Parkes Philanthropy. He was humbled to be named one of CauseArtists’ “20 Inspiring African Americans Impacting the World Through Social Impact & Social Innovation,” named one of Startup Boost’s NYC 33 under 33, and has been featured in several publications such as Black Enterprise, Blacks in Technology, and Blavity. It’s Brandon’s passion to empower any constituent looking to make a positive social impact. (Nominated by the Ladderworks team. First published on the Ladderworks website on October 6th, 2022.)
© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jason “Jackson” Block. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.