<img src="https://d5nxst8fruw4z.cloudfront.net/atrk.gif?account=2wiVj1acFH00w0" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="">

Unlocking Growth for Organizations and Idealists Like You

The Secret Behind Every Great Mission Statement

It's Thursday, which means it's the perfect time for a "Throwback Thursday" (#TBT) blog post. The post below is not only one of my favorites because it provides advice every organization can benefit from, but also because it supports the idea of simple messaging, which every marketer can benefit from. As you read this post consider how this lesson can be applied to all of your communications from your mission statement, to your fundraising campaigns, to your advocacy materials. Happy reading!

Can you recite your organization’s mission word for word?

Chances are you and others at your organization find this task difficult. In fact, many nonprofit employees struggle with this despite the painstaking effort that went into crafting it. From choosing just the right words to refining it down to the key points, the process is often long and meticulous. But if you and your staff can’t properly articulate your mission, it isn’t likely that your constituents will be able to either, and almost certain the general public won’t be able to at all.

Topics: Strategy

The Most Common Major Donor Fail

In my experience, major donors have a reputation for being untouchable. Communication with this group is often a delicate dance in which few risks are taken due to the high-dollar annual contributions that are at stake. 

Not suprisingly, there are a few issues with this ultra-sensitive approach to managing your major donor relationships. The first is that we live in a networked world, and while many nonprofits are taking advantage of this social model by incorporating peer-to-peer fundraising strategies into their development programs, few are also weaving these strategies into their major donor programs. Outside of annual galas, we rarely turn to our major donors with fundraising, as opposed to giving, asks.
Topics: Funding

The Power of Presence

“Show up to what shows up. Respond to what shows up. Embrace uncertainty. Trust you are ok.” These are the words spoken by my dear friend and colleague, Scott Kelly, a mindfulness and well-being coach. These words, and my experience behind them, have changed my life dramatically.

Seven months ago, I remember waking up for a large event I was hosting and speaking at and immediately feeling a sense of anxiety and worry. Now, I had done this a hundred times before and knew the process inside and out – ideate, create, design, plan, host, and deliver an experience for people to learn, connect, and become healthier and happier. So why then, was I such a mess inside?

Topics: Inspiration Wellbeing

The #1 Strategy For Achieving Yearly Goals

We are almost one month into 2016 already, wow! But you know what they say, time flies when you're having fun (and by fun I mean planning an entire years worth of new campaigns and events.) The long to-do list aside, most of us welcome the chance for a fresh start, a clean slate, and new budgets. In an ideal world, the budget process brings leaders and implementers together to discuss and determine reasonable growth targets for a business plan, as well as the additional resources needed to help you hit your target.

Does that sound like your situation? Didn’t think so.

Topics: Strategy

The Problem With Being Busy

I hear you, idealists - you’ve got so much to do, and so little time.

There’s something to be said for being busy. For some folks, having a long to-do list and jam-packed schedule is stress-inducing and paralyzing. For others, like myself, it’s the setting that I am most organized, productive, and inspired. Regardless, as a society we seem to put those ultra-busy over-achiever friends of ours on some sort of pedestal, as if busyness is a major indicator of success.

Topics: Wellbeing

On Reclaiming Idealism

This is my last Plenty blog post. 

I’ve spent days wondering how to write a farewell post that gracefully and subtly weaves that fact into a storyline. The obvious choice would have been a metaphor about the serendipity of career transitions during the New Year – but who needs another piece about new beginnings, resolutions, or following your heart? As a reader, nothing sounds more boring; as a writer, nothing feels more stale. And the last thing I want to do in this blog version of a swan song is to leave an impression that’s inauthentic. 

Topics: Inspiration

5 Ways To Reach Your Personal Goals In 2016

It’s that time of year again - time to reflect on the past year and plan for the next. If you’re anything like me, you might sit down for an hour or two and start listing all of the things you could possibly improve on in the New Year. It’s a great feeling to get all of the year’s unfinished business onto a piece of paper with the hope of fully realizing all of the listed goals, thoughts, and sentiments over the next 365 days.

While I fully intend to make this long list of goals this again this year, I also plan to be more strategic in how I define and pursue my professional development goals. From identifying the most impactful areas for growth to intentionally deciding how evenings get spent, here are five ways you can invest in your professional goals in 2016 and stay committed throughout the entire year.

Topics: Wellbeing

How To Approach 2016 Mindfully

From the era of bottom-line thinking, the tireless quest to maximize human capital, and a fascination with the pace of technological advancement, a nostalgic reaction has emerged. We are no longer surprised when Apple rolls out the next iteration iThing, or excited by the prospect of asking Siri to “call mom.” We roll our eyes when we see late-night emails pop up on our work phones, and we can’t stand it when pedestrians text and walk (or worse, text and drive). We’d love to read a book – an actual paper book – before bed, but we can’t remember the last time we did.

We long for real relationships, authenticity, spontaneity, and the natural world, but we don’t know how or where to start.

Topics: Wellbeing