Kevin L. Nichols
4 min readDec 14, 2018


Whether you are living paycheck to paycheck or a high net-worth individual, here’s what you should do before 2018 ends!

By: Kevin L. Nichols

Copyright J. Cole

December 14, 2018 [OAKLAND]. Sitting in a lukewarm room on a cloudy day, switching back and forth from MSNBC and CNN as filler noise in the background, and listening to J. Cole’s BRACKET on my headphones, I reflect as one of the greatest years of my life comes to a close. This year, I received two major community service awards, married the love of my life, and successfully converted my benefit corporation, The Social Engineering Project, Inc. (“TSEP”),into an official 501(c)(3) charitable organization, among other achievements and accomplishments.

As I continue to listen to the song’s lyrics, I am amazed at how J uses a soothing beat to discuss his frustration with being in a high tax “bracket” and how he felt making his first million dollars and half of it went to the government. Being that we are in 2018, Cole hints that by now we should be able to use technology or an “app” to allocate where some, if not all, of our tax money should go.

I pondered this as a valid point, however, I thought practically of how unlikely this phenomenon would change, especially given our current political climate. Nonetheless, I had to go deeper because this did not sit well with me and I knew that as citizens, we were not powerless. Then, I thought about my organization, along with every other nonprofit organizations, and how important it is to support causes that you are passionate about, especially before the calendar year expires.

Regardless of your political affiliation, you have little to no control over whether your hard earned taxes are going towards polarizing political issues such as a border wall, “safety nets” for citizens, eliminating ICE, or providing all citizens with affordable health care; as opposed to issues where most of us can agree on, such as everyone being able to afford a roof over their head, provide for their families, and have adequate access to education. But with your tax-deductible donation, you have the ability to support causes and organizations that are in line with your values and your passion, while reducing your taxable income.

For example, The Social Engineering Project, Inc. is a social impact venture with Stanford University designed to address the lack of diversity in the tech industry through pipeline programs for underrepresented students of color. Presently, we have four programs:

  1. Science in the City — A weeklong day camp at Stanford University that teaches 50, 5th and 6th grade, underrepresented students of color, math, chemistry, physics, and engineering;

2. TSEP Overnight Camping Conference — a weekend long outdoor camp that teaches 120 underrepresented high school students of color from all over Northern California about the engineering behind various tech companies’ products and services; and

3. Family Science Nights — Evening programs hosted by tech companies that introduce underrepresented students of color and their siblings to the technology they create and their parents to supportive tools to further their children’s pursuit of STEM education.

4. Global Hackathons — Partnering the United Nation’s Global Hackathon for Justice, we assemble the United States’ Team to compete against teams from South Africa, Bolivia, Indonesia, etc. each year in Silicon Valley and throughout the world.

There are tons of worthy causes out there designed to help others in need. They require time, talent, and treasure. Whether you are living paycheck to paycheck, or are a high net-worth individual, take control of how you want your money to be spent and make sure that it goes towards causes that you believe in.

Here’s to a wonderful close of 2018 and to my challenge to you, find an organization out there doing great work serving others and make a donation by New Year’s Eve!

Kevin L. Nichols is an entrepreneur, a legal technology, diversity, social media, and political consultant who resides in the Bay Area. He is a passionate community organizer and activist. Kevin is affectionately known as The Social Politician™ and The Social Engineer™ who is engineering a better life for the next generation, socially. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/KLNport



Kevin L. Nichols

The Social Engineer ™ — Litigation, Diversity, Tech, and Professional/Business Development/Social Media Consultant. Entrepreneur and nonprofit advisor.