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Unlocking Growth for Organizations and Idealists Like You

You Fulfilled Your Mission, Now What?

I started fighting for LGBTQ equality long before I came out to myself, my friends, or my family. The first campaign I worked on was the fight to repeal "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" in the US military, to which I devoted the entirety of my last high school summer vacation to. And if you ask many who’ve been working in this space for more than the last few years, they’ll likely agree that at that time, national marriage equality felt light years away.

Topics: Inspiration Strategy

What Is Your Love Language?

We communicate the way we want to be communicated to.

This is our natural tendency and it can be a perfectly fine approach to cultivate connection in our relationships. However, it doesn’t work all of the time. The person on the other end of our outreach and communication may not hear us the way we want them to. They may not get what we are attempting to express. Sometimes sentiments just don’t land the way we intend them to. Has this ever happened to you? 

It turns out that knowing our own language and the language of those we are communicating with – whether at home or at work is critical to making meaningful connections.

Topics: Wellbeing

The Building Blocks Of Growth

The holidays seem extra-special around our house this year. My kids are as eager as ever about Christmas; several times a day I’m reminded of how many days we have left until Santa arrives.

But this year my kids are waiting on a second Christmas as well: Yes, of course, I’m talking about the premiere of the new Star Wars movie today, December 18th. My youngest son, Danny, is almost ready to pop, and he’s not sure if he’s more excited about Santa and his reindeer or Han Solo and his Resistance Army.

Topics: Strategy

From Darkness To Light

As we head into the festive holiday season and wind down 2015, we have a unique opportunity to reflect on the learnings and growth the year has gifted us. With the Winter Solstice fast approaching we have the perfect opportunity to review and renew. Known as a pivotal day of transition, the Winter Solstice has been celebrated by thousands of cultures and communities across the globe since the beginning of time. The shortest day and longest night marks this magical day and invites humanity to move out of darkness and into the light.

Topics: Inspiration

Hey Fundraiser - Raising Money Isn't Your Job

I love to run in the woods. A few mornings each week, I head out on a trail with my dog by my side. The rhythm of the run is my meditation and the surroundings calm my mind. This is where I do my best thinking, put things back in perspective and get energized to start my day. The trails are more than a place to run – they are an integral part of my health and wellbeing, and one of the reasons why I love where I live.

Unfortunately, the trails near my home are threatened by growth and development. Because I care deeply about the open space in our community, I am a loyal supporter of groups that protect and maintain this natural resource. One small way I show my support is to run in a race every year that raises money to protect our local resources. The race is in January, so it’s always a little cold and sometimes icy, but nothing warms you up like a good run and the coffee at the finish.

Topics: Inspiration Strategy

Unlocking Multimillion Dollar Growth

Like most of you, as the end of the year approaches our conversations are turning to recapping the successes and challenges of the year, as well as looking ahead and making plans for 2016. A big part of our reflection and planning includes talking with our clients, friends, and mentors about how we’ve done and what we can do better.

In pursuit of those lessons, I spent last week visiting with one of Plenty’s key clients. We walked through the year in review, and as we did we were able to take a rare opportunity to sit back and marvel at the results. Over the last eighteen months, we’ve helped completely revitalize one of their major peer-to-peer programs. Before we came on board, the program was in significant distress. The number of participants was declining annually, costs were increasing, the return to charity was getting hard to justify, and the culture of the team of staff and vendors was glum and self-defeating.

Topics: Strategy

6 Ways To Achieve Work-Life Balance

Our most precious resource isn’t money, or gold, or oil – it’s time. Time is unlike most things in that it cannot be created, reused, or saved. We go through a limited supply on a daily basis, usually, wishing there was more of it. 

This always feels especially true around the holidays. After years of cramming holiday shopping, home decorating, card writing, and cookie eating (that’s the fun part) into an already packed schedule, becoming burnt-out doesn't just feel easy to do, it feels inevitable.

Topics: Leadership

Set Intentions, Not Goals, For 2016

For centuries, executives, managers, and, elite athletes have all used goal setting as a means to an end – a tool to achieve desired outcomes. Goal setting and budget planning are woven into business culture and are top of mind for many of us this time of year.And although goals are important, they have their limitations too.

If you consider the idea that we “become what we believe,” then your beliefs and perceptions about a goal have a significant influence on their ability to manifest. The claims about goal setting can be confusing. Some people aim to make them achievable, or S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound), while others strive to make them huge, or B.H.A.G. (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals). At Plenty, we think that goals are an essential part of planning and visioning, but not the only part. Setting your intentions is the key.

Topics: Leadership

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative: Two Facts No One Is Talking About

By now you’ve probably read about Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s December 1 (and #GivingTuesday) letter to their newborn daughter, Max. The message, which was posted on Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page, is heartwarming and tender – dripping with the enthusiasm and warmth of new parenthood – but it’s also so much more than that.

Topics: Strategy

Your Guide To Being An Entry-Level Change Maker

I love talking about millennials and I love talking with millennials. Born in the very early 90’s, I’m part of the generation myself and I have to say, I’m proud of it. Go ahead, categorize me, chances are you’ll be spot on. Do I panic if I leave my apartment without my cell phone? Absolutely. Did I study what many would call a ‘useless’ field in college? Yep, and I’ll be forever proud of that Sociology degree (and it’s turned out to be not so useless after all, Dad).

These characterstics aside, I also fit the less-recognized specs of a millennial: I stick to my values above all else; I believe in collaboration at the expense of competition; and I work for more meaning than a paycheck. I’m a change maker and an idealist, and like many others in my generation, I’ve learned that being an entry-level change maker can be really challenging.

I won’t tell you that I’m an expert, because I’m certainly not. But, I’ll let you in on some of the lessons I’ve learned.

Topics: Strategy