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Unlocking Growth for Organizations and Idealists Like You

The #1 Career Move You Actually Control

For the first twenty or so years in one’s life, learning is a priority. High school gives way to undergraduate studies. Some continue on to Master level programs. The ambitious few tackle Doctorate degrees. After that? The pursuit of knowledge for the mere sake of knowledge often takes a back seat as new priorities arise. Juggling work and relationships can be arduous, and the addition of continual learning on top of that seems nearly impossible.

But let’s face the facts: With today’s complex and fast-paced business environment, if your company is not continuously developing new skills and learning from your customers, the market, and your own team, you will fall behind.

Topics: Strategy

Web of Impact: The Network Effect and Nonprofits

The ultimate goal of a nonprofit, and the individuals working in them, is noble. To devote one’s life, time, and energy to a cause bettering the lives of a local or global community is to be admired. The trouble is that making an impact requires access to resources, with the most important, and often hardest to come by, being money. And when you factor in the lean staffing most nonprofits operate off of, fulfilling one’s mission can become quite daunting. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be. 

Topics: Funding

Emotional Wellbeing Tools for Change Makers

As we begin the third installment of our "Wellbeing Tools for Change Makers" series, it’s probably a good idea to actually look at the definition of “emotion” before we explore the variety of ways you can optimize and utilize a positive emotional wellbeing.

E-mo-tion (n.): a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.

I once heard someone reference emotion as “energy in motion.” It made complete sense to me. Emotion is energy and the good news is, you can choose what energy you would like to create and focus on. When you're in a positive emotional state, it feeds your overall wellbeing with positive outcomes. Mental, physical, and spiritual states become harmonious when you're “feeling” good. Flip it, and you will recognize that your emotional state will rise when you are taking care of your physical, mental, and spiritual aspects as well. They are all interconnected and equally important.

Topics: Wellbeing

What is Your Constitution?

As I walk this journey of life, I am continually learning about myself – who I am, what I want, and what makes me tick. More and more, I am becoming aware of my strengths and weaknesses, my natural learnings and tendencies, my personality, my body-mind-spirit connection, my intuition, my passion and purpose. The more I step into my full, authentic self, the more I become capable of. Layers of protection melt away and underneath it all lies something more tender, powerful, and real than I've ever know. Each day, I see myself more clearly. Each step I take, I gain deeper comfort and contentment in my beliefs, releasing the need to conform to the societal status quo. I become more connected to my unique constitution — my natural condition — and what I need to thrive.

Topics: Wellbeing

Your Ticket to Winning Over the Millennial Donor

When I started working in the development space, I was surprised and intrigued by the volume of conversations in fundraising circles – both on and offline – that touched on demystifying the millennial donor. We millennials are not such a fickle breed, I thought, but years later, there is still no consensus on millennial engagement strategies – in large part because ambiguity remains as to what millennials “are.” While some notions are consistent (e.g., millennials are more likely to job-hop, seek out diversity, and are less likely to trust authority), new claims pop up daily. Just today I read an article claiming that millennials have weaker handshakes than the previous generation.

The sheer volume of millennial literature necessitates a careful curation of sources of information on millennial engagement and preferences. One source I’ve come to trust is the Millennial Impact Project, whose annual survey this year focused on millennial philanthropic activities through the lens of an election year.

Although the full survey won’t be released for a few months, their initial findings have implications that will impact your fundraising strategy as your team starts to think about peak event season, end of year campaigns, and #GivingTuesday:

Topics: Funding

Take Rest, Be Thankful

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” – Ovid

I must have been eight years old when I first felt it – a yearning to heal the world. I would escape the clutches of my familial reality only to confront the tribulations of a world in pain. I could feel the urgency in my bones. I ached when the world ached; I cried when the world cried. This connection to humanity was fervent, instinctual.

With it came another, even stronger sentiment: hope, an authentic belief that a brighter world was possible. Beauty was abundant, and I saw it everywhere. In the leaves as they swayed from their branches, in the innocent laughter of youth, and the daily interactions of kin. I often wondered if others saw what I saw – if they were so overwhelmed with the brilliance in our collective potential that they too struggled to sleep. Growing up, most called this hopeful perspective naivety, but the feeling never left me.

By the time I entered college, my passion for people had only ripened. Service was no longer a hobby; it was a duty. I quickly pushed against the boundaries of my leadership, engaging actively with equitable and philanthropic causes. "Social entrepreneur" was a term I rapidly embraced. I submitted entirely to these causes because I felt the world deserved nothing less. 

Topics: Inspiration Wellbeing

From Donor to Fundraiser: Why Hope Matters

Think for a minute about how many organizations you donated to last year. Be sure to count the Girl Scout cookies you bought and the donation you made to a friend for their marathon. Can you count them all on one hand or even two? Or did you lose count? Now think about how many organizations you fundraised for last year. Maybe it was one or two, or maybe it has been a few years since you’ve fundraised at all. Regardless, chances are you gave to many more organizations than you fundraised for. Why is that?

Truth is, fundraising is inherently harder than making a donation because you're asking and relying on others to help. You are reaching out to your network — the true definition of peer-to-peer — and asking others to support a cause on your behalf. And while we often don't think twice about writing a check to a group that we know in our heads — and even our hearts — is doing great work, we'll typically only make the kind of commitment that fundraising requires for organizations and causes that we're deeply passionate about. 

Topics: Funding