Despite being a successful businessman, attorney, and financial advisor, Doug MacGray’s favorite work to do is the charitable kind.
“There’s so much to be gained by developing the joy that comes from helping others,” MacGray said.
MacGray has done service work of many kinds, but his favorite is the work he does with Edify, a company that helps provide funding and services to underfunded schools in third-world/underdeveloped countries.
“Edify works with indigenously created schools, Christian schools, that are very low-fee private schools in some of the most difficult areas in the world… [Edify] comes alongside them, they don’t take them over, they don’t control them, they don’t do anything like that. They help them to become more sustainable, more effective, at what they do.”
“So, it’s an incredibly effective, not just good-hearted but effective charity which I’ve fallen in love with,” MacGray said.
While he is a huge supporter of Edify, MacGray also recently started his own financial advisory company, Stonecrop, which specializes in helping nonprofit organizations.
MacGray said that he left his previous firm so that he could focus his professional career on more charitable-based work, or to “do good” as is Stonecrop’s motto.
“I really feel like if you’re providing a professional service for somebody, no matter what it is, you are serving them,” MacGray said. “Ultimately, the most fun you have when you’re in professional services is when you’re serving people that you actually like. And who are the people we like the most? The people who are trying to use their wealth to do good for others. So we’re doing good for them so we’re just multiplying the good that’s being done.”
Above all, MacGray says that doing work with Edify is the most rewarding because he gets to be inspired by the underprivileged, local people who work in the Edify schools of the Dominican Republic.
“After going down there several times I remember getting on the plane to leave at one point and the thought occurred to me ‘I want more of what they have’ and that’s when I kind of came to the realization that what they have, they have this joy,” said MacGray. “They have surrendered their financial wealth for service. And, you know, they’re not as worried about their retirement account and all that stuff, but the amount of joy they have is something that I don’t.”
MacGray has taken multiple service trips with Edify to the Dominican Republic and uses his platform to encourage others to get involved as well. MacGray says that you don’t need to give away everything you have to do some good in the world.
“Don’t become a monk and give it all away, but little by little, if you are giving away your time and your treasure, your money, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor,” he said.
MacGray runs the Delaware Valley branch of Edify which frequently gets together to help raise money for the Edify teacher training programs in the Dominican Republic, specifically.
“We decided we wanted to have a very specific, narrow focus,” MacGray said. “So instead of saying ‘we’re gonna try to raise money for Edify,’ we say ‘we’re gonna try to raise money for the Dominican Republic Edify,’ so we can actually tangibly see what we’re doing. And the specific thing we’ve been raising money for is for teachers and the proprietors, the owners of the schools,”
And the results of his group’s funding are certainly rewarding.
While MacGray was in the Dominican Republic with Edify, a woman who runs one of the schools told him that if it weren’t for the teacher training that his group funds, she would have been forced to shut down her school for lack of attendance and financial success.
“That also happened to be the one school in the Dominican Republic that has a focus on special needs kids. Which is a very rare thing,” MacGray said.
Overall, MacGray’s charity endeavors are admirable, to say the least.
He also emphasized how truly rewarding working with Edify has been for him and he recommends it to anyone who wants to get involved. For MacGray, having direct contact with the people of the Dominican Republic who sacrifice their every-day needs for others is truly incredible.