Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Marshall McKenna & Mana Deschisa Romania 2000 - 2010

Pioneering a dynamic Christian outreach to homeless young adults of Romania: 2000 - 2010

For the past ten years Marshall, his wife Larisa and the Mana Deschisa Romania staff and associates have been spearheading a global partnership with Christian missions and international businesses as they continue expanding their outreach to rescue and empower the homeless young adults of Romania.

Marshall is a leading Christian "social entrepreneur" in Romania, successfully combining the spheres of business, missions, philanthropy, and social welfare. This is an evolving global phenomenon and can simply be understood as any person or organization that utilizes earned income strategies to pursue social objectives, simultaneously seeking both sustainable revenues along side strategic social returns on investments. There is even an emphasis on a "triple bottom line" that includes:

1. a favorable and sustainable return on business investments
2. that produce a strategic individual transformation / community impact
3. while stimulating a more favorable environmental quality of life

This includes not-for-profit sector people and organizations (like Mana Deschisa Romania) with a strong problem solving and results orientation doing the following:
  • diversifying income revenues using business market means to generate surpluses that can be applied to ministry operating budgets while addressing long term sustainability and consistently producing collateral benefits like employment opportunities, vocational training, etc.
  • linking the felt needs of disadvantaged communities with strategic for-profit economic development initiatives
  • creatively fulfilling the mission and vision of the ministry while utilizing non-traditional avenues that sensibly balance risks / rewards
  • selectively borrowing and implementing strategic ideas and tools from the for-profit global marketplace
  • establishing problem solving networks via supportive multi-national partnerships with private sector individuals and corporations
This includes members of the for-profit business sector that are thoughtfully examining how business fulfills social and community responsibilities, and who are doing the following:
  • imagining how to responsibly integrate social and environmental values into business and investment practices in ways that complement the marketplace and produce measurable returns
  • incorporating philanthropic and community development practices into their business strategies
  • creating profitable partnerships with not-for-profit organizations through cause related marketing, social marketing, joint venture projects, etc.
  • complementing their disciplined "market labor" with meaningful volunteer "gift labor" benefiting the disadvantaged and underprivileged citizens and children of the world
This is closely related to the concept of "venture philanthropy" or "philanthro-capitalism"as examined in several publications including The Economist and the book The Power of Unreasonable People - How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change The World.

The ultimate purpose of these combined efforts between the not-for-profit and for-profit worlds is to generate sustainable smart growth while transforming and impacting the lives of everyone involved.

Due to persistent and ongoing financial challenges and responsibilities of operating a growing, dynamic ministry, Marshall and the Romanian leadership of Mana Deschisa wear many hats; one as the directors of the outreach to the homeless young adults and another as business and commercial investment managers for social entrepreneur's seeking profits in Romania through foreign direct investments of venture capital.

Marshall and his indigenous staff speak the language, understand the culture and needs of the local Romanian communities, know the value of property and commercial buildings and have successfully built and negotiated many profitable commercial real estate projects in the past decade. In turn they have secured properties and land for their outreach to the homeless while developing the necessary expertise and professional connections with local banks, lawyers, agents, public administrators and governmental authorities. They have an impressive track record of making profitable investments for a growing list of international investors who see great development opportunities in Romania.

In return for Marshall and his colleagues successful management efforts in these joint ventures (selecting land for purchase, negotiating, executing and securing local construction management, etc.) a percentage of the profits are designated for the Mana Deschisa ministry. This revenue stream in combination with donations and gifts are exactly what is needed for sustainable growth and financial long-term stability.

Ultimately local jobs are created, along with vocational training for the former street folks as they earn a living wage in anticipation of becoming mature and responsible adult citizens. Mana Deschisa currently employees some of their "students' in the commercial real estate and construction opportunities launched in cooperation with various capitalists.

Contact Marshall today at: for information on how you can get involved.

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