As a busy executive, much of Thomas Kane’s time is spent tending to his clients and running a successful financial business. In addition to his career responsibilities, Kane puts an emphasis on making time for outside endeavors – whether that’s golf, art, and wine or serving the homeless a warm meal at the local shelter – to keep him grounded.
For Thomas Kane serving the community both within and outside of Chicago and giving back is right where he wants to be. We spoke with him to learn more about his philanthropic background, how he got started, and what lessons he’s learned along the way.
Tell us about your background in philanthropy. What inspired you to get involved?
Tom Kane: Seeing my parents who were of simple means still find a way to give to our local Salvation Army and write a check every year to the Jewish United Fund was incredibly inspiring. It showed me that large or small, giving back is something everyone can do. Currently, I am the President of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), which is a non-political, non-military organization that provides for the well-being of the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), veterans, and their family members. From there, I was inspired to branch out and became involved in a number of Chicago community organizations.
I think having the passion and ability to bring people together and build relationships is a complete inspiration and inspires me to give back.
What causes are you most passionate about?
Tom Kane: In addition to FIDF, I am also a supporter of the 100 Club of Chicago which provides financial assistance to the families of first responders who are killed in the line of duty. I also recently began supporting the Hippocratic Cancer Research Foundation whose mission is to discover, develop and implement effective new treatments for patients with cancer by advancing groundbreaking research. I am also involved in the Jewish Federation of Chicago as a financial supporter and also the Co-leader of a mission called “Rosh Gadol” where we focus on bringing philanthropic minded young business leaders from Chicago to Israel every few years to spend time with local leaders. Lastly, the Evans Scholars Foundation which provides scholarships to caddies who show great promise and have a financial need.
How has participating in these kinds of causes helped you find balance in your career?
Tom Kane: While giving back has its obvious benefits for the people on the receiving end, I think this work also improves the well-being of those giving back. Working for a cause that you believe in is liberating and I am definitely happier because of it.
What is your best advice for entrepreneurs just starting their business who have the desire to support their community?
Tom Kane: Determine what drives you, then search for an organization that reflects those passions and values. Look at the available opportunities that will give you the greatest potential to make a difference. Think about how you can combine your passion for entrepreneurship with ways to help the community. It will add value to every aspect of your business.