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StandOut 2.0 as an assessment tool for growth, team building and direction setting


standout bookAs I said in my last post titled “New year starts with a little assessment work,” I’m beginning the new year by gifting myself 12 weeks of assessment. By assessment, I am looking closely at both personal issues (e.g. strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, etc.) and business issues (e.g. productivity, profitability, travel habits, types of contracts that bring me joy/fulfillment, etc). All of this will lead to planning exercises including direction setting/visioning, goal setting, strategies and tactics.

In my last post, I confessed to experiencing difficulty with the personal assessment side of my journey until I ran across two books — StandOut 2.0 and Emotional Intelligence 2.0 — at an O’Hare airport bookstore. Today’s post will focus on the first book, StandOut 2.0 written by Marcus Buckingham, and what I’ve learned as well as how I think non-profit leaders might be able to apply this tool.

This tool is rooted in the the principles of positive psychology and appreciative inquiry, which are fields that have been growing like a weed over the last few decades. You may recognize this author and this approach because Marcus Buckingham introduced the StrengthsFinder assessment in his book titled Now, Discover Your Strengths.

The entire book is based on one simple premise. If you want to excel and get the most out of your team, then you have to focus on maximizing your strengths. Working on shoring up your weaknesses is nice, but it won’t put you in a sweet spot when it comes to productivity, quality, and fulfillment.

There are nine “strength roles” identified in this assessment approach:

  • Advisor
  • Connector
  • Creator
  • Equalizer
  • Influencer
  • Pioneer
  • Provider
  • Stimulator
  • Teacher

In the last week, I have read the book, taken an assessment, and set-up my online work space where I receive weekly tips and set personal goals. It hasn’t felt like a “heavy lift” or hard work.

After taking the assessment, you receive a personalized report ranking your strength roles. Your top two strengths become the focus of your work. The following are my top two strength roles and their descriptions:

  • Advisor: “You are a practical, concrete thinker who is at your most powerful when reacting to and solving other people’s problems.
  • Connector: “You are a catalyst. Your power lies in your craving to bring two people or ideas together to make something bigger and better than it is now.

It is this combination of strengths that makes me unique, and according to Buckingham I will benefit from:

  • honing these strengths
  • aligning my work and career path with these strengths
  • building my team around these strengths
  • learning how to leverage these strengths in the areas of client services and sales

Buckingham walks readers through “Three lessons for building your strengths” in chapter three of the book. I finished that chapter thinking his advice was wise and something worth investing my time.

I really like the online work space that comes with this toolbox, including the ability to link other members of your team into the site.

StandOut 2.0 was an exciting discovery for me. I didn’t waste time figuring out ways to incorporate it into my life. Within a few days, I asked one of my executive coaching clients to purchase the book and take the online assessment. We integrated the results into our next session and plan on using it to frame their job search process.

On a personal note, the assessment provided me tons of “food for thought” for my consulting practice. It validated my intuition that I need to work harder at cultivating the executive coaching side of my practice, and it will provide context and a frame for the visioning exercise I plan on undertaking in the next few weeks.

So, you are probably wondering how this assessment tool might benefit you. Here are a few thoughts:

  • If you find yourself wondering from time-to-time if you are in the right position at your non-profit organization (and who doesn’t periodically do this), then this tool might help you find clarity
  • If you find yourself spinning your wheels at work, then this tool might help you find traction
  • If you find yourself struggling with building a powerful, efficient team, then this tool might help you with hiring, project assignment, and how to best manage/coach your direct reports.

Have you used this tool or others like it? If so, please scroll down to the comment box and share your thoughts and experiences. We can all learn from each other.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

New year starts with a little assessment work


assessmentWelcome to a new year everyone, which for many people typically means making resolutions and goals. For me, I’ve been telling friends and family for the last few months that I plan on taking the first quarter of 2016 do a little soul searching. I anticipate a few personal and business decisions stemming from my assessment efforts.

When I started looking at how I wanted to go about doing some “assessment work,” I found that the business assessment ideas were the easiest.

  • Review revenue trends and sources of income
  • Look at types of contracts
  • Explore different business models
  • Talk with friends and colleagues about what seems to provide a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment

Easy-peasy! One week into 2016, and I feel really comfortable with the business assessment aspects of my soul searching journey.

But what I’ve found more challenging is the the personal assessment component of this exercise (e.g. what are my strengths, what jobs align with my personality type, etc).

In the final weeks of 2015, I struggled with (and procrastinated on) figuring out what I was going to do with regard to a personal assessment. I simply wanted this process to point me in the direction of greater work-life balance, mindfulness and health.

As most things in life, the answers came when I least expected.

While I was standing around at O’Hare airport waiting for my plane to arrive, I decided to browse around a book store near my gate. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular. I wasn’t even planning to make a purchase, but I ended up walking out with the following two purchases:

My first book purchase is aimed at helping me determine where I lack in emotional intelligence and what I can do to strengthen those areas of deficiency. My suspicion is that strengthening my emotional intelligence will help me become an even better non-profit consultant by becoming more empathetic and building stronger, more meaningful relationships.

As for the second book, I thought getting a better handle on my strengths might help me focus my consulting practice.

I’ve taken the online assessments associated with these books and started reading.

I will use my next two blog posts to share with you some of the results from these online assessments, what I’m learning, and what sense I’m making of it all.

This personal journey has me thinking about YOU and your non-profit organization.

  • What assessment tools have you used to assess your organization?
  • What tools have you used to assess YOU? Your personality? Your leadership style? Your strengths and skills?
  • Have you used these tools with your workplace team? If so, has it help you develop a better team?

When I was an executive director of a small non-profit organization many years ago, I engaged a consultant to help us bring Myers-Briggs (MBTI) personality testing into our workplace. After some employee turnover, this initiative lost steam and ultimately faded. However, I’ve subsequently read the book Type Talk at Work and now realize how valuable those efforts could’ve been for our little team if we had stayed the course.

Please scroll down to the comment box and share your thoughts and experiences with either organizational or personal assessment processes, workplace initiatives or tools. We can all learn from each other.

[Note: I’ve had a few close friends ask me if my first quarter assessment efforts are a sign of imminent changes. I’ve assured them that it does not mean that I’m closing my consulting practice or running off to join the circus. I simply believe assessment — both personal and business — is a natural part of life and something everyone should do from time-to-time.]

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

Words of wisdom from GE television commercial and our friends at Disney


ideas_general electricAs most of you know, I’ve been traveling A LOT lately and I haven’t had the opportunity to watch a lot of television. However, it seems like every time I have the TV turned on, I’m seeing a television commercial from General Electric (GE) that talks about “ideas”.

Have you ever experienced a commercial that grabs you in such a way that you can’t get it out of your head? If so, then you know what I’ve been experiencing for the last month. There is something about this commercial that just speaks truth to me.

If you receive this blog via an email subscription, then click this link to view the “Ideas Are Scary” commercial. If you are viewing this in your browser, then you can click the video image below:

I think this television commercial speaks to me because I routinely see this play out live and in-person as a non-profit consultant. The following are just a few examples:

  • Strategic planning discussions where ideas are shot down for any number of reasons ranging from lack of resources to lack of leadership
  • Annual campaign planning meetings where volunteers express resistance to sitting down with donors in-person to talk about making a pledge to the campaign (typically rooted in fear)
  • Boardroom discussions where investing in organizational capacity building efforts is met with resistance because it means getting outside of an organizational comfort zone

And if this is a common theme in my life, then I know it something with which many non-profit CEOs and fundraising professionals constantly are confronted.

So, today’s post begs the question . . .

What should non-profit leaders do differently to make ideas less scary and improve their ability to lead change?

There has been a fair amount of writing over the last five years on the DonorDreams blog platform by me and number of guest bloggers on the subject of leading change, and the following are a few of my favorites:

However, I am left with two questions:

  1. How can non-profit leaders build an organizational culture that embraces new ideas, creativity and innovation?
  2. How can non-profit leaders build shared vision among all stakeholders (e.g. staff, board, donors, etc)?

I know the answer to both of these questions includes parts and pieces of the following:

  • writing and refining a powerful “case for support” document
  • getting the right people sitting around the table
  • engaging everyone in the process, hearing their concerns and incorporating their thoughts until everyone has an ownership stake in the idea

imagineeringHowever, there is much, much more to leading change than the simple six step model that some organizational development consulting/training companies teach, and I suspect it has something to do with your organization’s culture. This is where I think all of us can learn from The Walt Disney Company, home of “Imagineering”. (Note: this term is trademarked by Disney)

I always thought Imagineering was a just an idea the folks at Disney embraced and knit into their corporate culture. However, after a little wiki research, I’ve learned this is a full-blown organizational development concept rooted in:

  • org structure
  • processes-procedures-systems
  • people
  • direction setting

If you are a frustrated non-profit leader (either paid staff or volunteer) and want to figure out how to make ideas less scary and more likely to be embraced, my suggestion is to research what works for General Electric (aka the people who “Bring Good Things to Life” and espouse “Imagination at Work”) and The Walt Disney Company (aka home of the imagineer).

You might be surprised by the number of best practices you find and how many you are able to implement at your non-profit organization.

In the meantime, please use the comment box below to share your thoughts and experiences on how you’ve tried to change organizational culture or build shared/common vision. We can all learn from each other.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

Building consensus is part of everyday hard work at non-profits


idearatingsheetsIt seems like one common theme in my work with non-profit organizations is that “building consensus” is difficult. Getting everyone on the same page can be like herding cats. It was this reality that had me all tied in knots a few months ago as I was sitting down for the first time with my Philanthropy Day planning committee. We had lots of things to decide (e.g. event location, registration fees, training sessions, discussion panels, etc), and there was very little time to do so.

I decided to reach into my magic bag of consulting tricks and pulled out a tool that I’d never used before . . .

Idea Rating Sheets

The tool is simple:

  • One idea is written at the top of each sheet
  • The sheets are passed around the group
  • Individuals rate the idea
  • Individuals provide some feed back on the idea’s strengths and challenges
  • Each person “signs off” on the sheet confirming that they weighed in with their feedback

At the end of the day, it is easy to see which ideas have traction and which ones don’t. Those ideas that have support rise to the top, and the group can focus its discussions and not waste time talking about ideas that are non-starters.

In my experience, I can see Idea Rating Sheets being used very effectively in various facilitated planning processes. This tool might also be very effective for standing committees of your board that are trying to make direction setting decisions.

Want to learn more? Simply visit their webpage by clicking here or their library of resources by clicking here.

Kudos to Jason Diceman and his team for creating a simple yet awesome consensus building tool!

How does your organization build consensus? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment box below. We can all learn from each other.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

So, your non-profit cannot make its payroll obligation?


Let me start with an apology to DonorDreams readers for my recent absence. My workload has increased exponentially lately, and the last few mornings when I’ve sat down to write the floodgates opened unexpectedly. I will try harder, but if things don’t get better, then I will have to seek out more guest bloggers and re-publish popular posts from the past. Please accept my apologies and my promise to work this problem.  ~Erik


This morning’s post is top of mind because I’ve recently had the privilege of working with a non-profit organization that is encountering a cash flow situation. First, let me say that this is something many non-profit leaders have had to deal with. Second, I’ve recently come to realize that many people freeze when confronted with these situations and very little is written about how to survive such a crisis. So, I’m going to provide a few tips from my experiences of working with clients facing a cash flow and payroll crisis.

Ask board members to contribute

boarddev1The people closest to your mission are board and staff members. So, when the organization is short on cash and cannot meet its payroll obligations, it is only natural to ask board members to dig a little deeper.

While this will bring in some money and help bridge the gap (at least partially), the bigger reason you need to start with the board is that no other donor will jump into the gap if they don’t see the board doing their fair share. Additionally, you won’t likely be able to get board members to jump in and help you engage other donors if it doesn’t feel like they have skin in the game.

Ask key donors to contribute

donor solicitorDon’t pass the basket and ask smaller, low capacity donors. Identify your larger, more capable donors and schedule an in-person meeting to explain what has occurred and ask for their support.

Be careful!

Don’t make your “case for support” sound like your organization is the S.S. Titantic. You might get a contribution from someone by telling them you’ll go out of business without their support, but making the ask that way makes getting future gifts significantly more difficult.

Why?

Because no one likes to through good money after bad money. Remember . . . only the captain goes down with the ship.

So, when talking to those key donors, make sure to explain what happened and why you’re in this situation. Clearly explain to them what the plan is for getting out of the hole. Make sure to keep your message mission-focused because donors are emotionally attached to your clients and programs. They are not inspired by your overhead and business challenges.

Contact your accounts receivable list

acct receivableAccounts receivable can be any number of the following individuals/entities:

  • individual donors with pledges that are due at a later date
  • foundations or government agencies who have given you a grant and your reimbursement paperwork is still pending
  • individuals or companies you invoiced for a service you provided and are still waiting for payment

Call these people and explain your situation. Ask them if they could work with you on paying their pledge early, speeding up the reimbursement paperwork, or paying their outstanding invoice sooner-rather-than-later.

Always keep in mind that you catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar. Being polite is a necessity because your crisis isn’t their problem. More importantly, you are in the relationship building business, and your words today can impact your relationships tomorrow.

Pay your bills carefully

phone billIf your organization finds itself in this mess, then the bank is probably not extending you additional credit. While managing your cash flow on the backs of your vendors is a bad thing to do, sometimes life presents you with a bunch of bad options.

Make sure to prioritize what little cash you have in the bank towards making payroll. The phone company can wait a few weeks. However, be transparent and ethical about this strategy. Pick-up the phone and call the vendors who will be impacted by this decision. Explain your situation and ask them for patience and assistance. You might be surprised at their response.

Don’t rest once the crisis passes

assessmentThis crisis came to your door for a reason, and you owe it to your clients, donors, volunteers and community to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The following is an incomplete checklist of things you should consider:

  • Revisit the budget and make necessary changes
  • Create a cash flow project tool and keep it updated
  • Invest in evaluating board composition, structure and governance practices and fill those gaps ASAP
  • Evaluate executive leadership and make changes if necessary
  • Conduct a resource development audit and use it as a springboard to create a written resource development plan

Has your organization ever experienced a cash flow crisis that resulted in a payroll panic? I know this can feel embarrassing, but please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment box below. We can all learn from each other, and our clients and communities can benefit from that collective wisdom.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

 

Nominating committee versus board development committee?


recruitmentI belong to a professional association and recently agreed to join their nominating committee to help the board of directors fill a few expiring board terms. This volunteer experience has made “board recruitment” top of mind for me over the last few weeks. I also can’t stop thinking about the various organizational structures and strategies/approaches to board recruitment. When this happens to me, I know there must be a blog post brewing.

Nominating committee approach

This method of undertaking board recruitment was what I was first exposed to as a young non-profit professional working for the Boy Scouts of America back in the 1990s.

A nominating committee is:

  • typically an ad hoc committee
  • pulled together a few months before existing board terms expire
  • composed of both board members and various other stakeholders
  • responsible for identifying board prospects
  • responsible for pulling together a slate of volunteers for a larger body of membership to consider

There are variations on this approach.

I’ve been involved in nominating committees responsible for:

  • identifying and evaluating prospects
  • ranking prospects
  • building a slate of prospects
  • presenting a slate of prospects to the membership (where the slate is exactly equal to the number of vacancies that need to be filled)
  • asking the at-large membership to approve the slate or send the nominating committee back to the drawing board to re-develop a different slate

I’ve also been involved in nominating committees responsible for:

  • sifting through nominations from the field
  • interviewing applicants (based on board gap assessment and what the board needs with regards to skill sets and experiences)
  • constructing a ballot of vetted prospects without regard for how many vacancies need to be filled
  • asking the at-large membership to vote for a smaller subset of what appears on their ballot

Board Development / Board Governance Committee

The alternative to an ad hoc Nominating Committee is a Board Development (or board governance) standing committee. In the last 15 years of my non-profit career, I’ve become more familiar with this approach to board recruitment.

A board development committee is:

  • standing committee that meets throughout the calendar year
  • composed of both board members and various other stakeholders
  • responsible for gap assessment
  • responsible for identifying and evaluating board prospects
  • responsible for recruiting board prospects
  • responsible for onboarding and orientation of new board volunteers
  • responsible for developing and implementing a board training calendar (e.g. external conferences as well as boardroom trainings)
  • responsible for annual review/evaluation of individual board volunteers
  • sometimes a resource to the board president on governance issues (e.g. assistance with committee structure, meeting design, annual board retreat, etc)

My two cents

I personally like the board development/board governance standing committee option over the old fashion Nominating Committee approach for the following reasons:

  • It feels more comprehensive in its approach to building/sustaining an organization
  • It feels more strategic with regards to aligning skills/experiences of volunteers with organizational talent gaps
  • It feels focused and more permanent (rather than “it’s that time of the year again” mentality)

In a perfect world, I believe your organization is best served when you can align your board development practices with approaches that are intentional, mindful and strategic.

While I recognize that membership-based organizations might struggle with this approach, I still think a board development committee can work in those environments and accommodate practices such as a “call for nominations” from the at-large membership.  In these situations, if there needs to be voting from the membership, then I obviously favor the practice of putting a slate of prospects in front of the membership for a thumbs up or thumbs down vote.

Your thoughts? What does your organization do to be intentional, mindful and strategic with its board recruitment, development and governance? Please scroll down and provide your thoughts and experiences in the comment box. After all, we can all learn from each other.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

May 2015 Nonprofit Blog Carnival — You Are the Future of Philanthropy


I am so honored and privileged to be hosting my third Nonprofit Blog Carnival. On May 4th, I published a “call for submissions” aimed at non-profit and fundraising bloggers that piggybacked on Katherine Fulton’s 2007 TED Talks presentation titled “You Are the future of philanthropy“. You are invited to click-through to view that presentation before checking out what this month’s bloggers submitted (this would be like going to the cotton candy stand before getting on the roller coaster at your local carnival. LOL).

Katherine Fulton

 

If you didn’t have time to watch Katherine Fulton’s video (and you’re trying to skip through to the “good stuff”), then just know that she covered lots and lots of ground with regard to the future of philanthropy including:

  • A new generation of citizen leaders
  • The democratization of philanthropy
  • Mass collaboration
  • Online Philanthropy Marketplaces
  • Aggregated Giving
  • Innovation Competitions
  • Social Investing
  • The Social Singularity

With such a diversity of topics to tackle, submissions to this month’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival covered lots of ground. The following 14 bloggers all paint an interesting vision of the future, and they put a resounding exclamation mark on Katherine Fulton’s point that we’re all the future of philanthropy albeit in a multitude of ways.

I hope you enjoy this month’s carnival!


NPBlogCarnivalBanner

Move over Baby Boomer, Gen X and Gen Y donors, here comes Gen Z.  Beth Kanter highlights this school-aged generation in Beth’s Blog and challenges some assumptions that this generation is decades away from being philanthropically engaged. I especially love some of the examples of “PhilanthroKids” and their crowdfunding projects.

Jay Love is the co-founder and CEO at Bloomerang as well as the chairman of the AFP Ethics Committee. He blogs about “5 Reasons Why Nonprofits Need Incubators Too,” which speaks to the of democratization of philanthropy and mass collaboration at an organizational level (Many thought-leaders approach this topic from a donor perspective, but Jay adds an interesting angle on this subject by coming at it from an organizational perspective. Very thought provoking!)

Ve Le is the blogger at Nonprofit With Balls and his post “Winter is coming, and the donor-centric fundraising model must evolve” will get people talking this month. He opines that the donor-centric model is great, but there is a danger in focusing too much on donors. We risk underestimating our donors, elevating them and our individual non-profits at the cost of focusing on the community as a whole. The non-profit sector must move from the donor-centric model to the community-centric model unless it wants to freeze and starve to death.

Ever since the #IceBucketChallenge, many donors and non-profits are now trying to integrate social media into their fundraising plans (need we even mention #RedNoseDay?!?). The CauseVox Blog‘s Kat Kuehl provides tips on developing the perfect hashtag for your crowdfunding campaign because you aren’t going viral without an awesome-catchy-unique hashtag. It only feels appropriate to end this summary by saying #AwesomeSauce.

Randy Hawthorne explains to us over at Nonprofit Hub that what’s new in the world of philanthropy is what was once considered old. It’s what we always should be doing for donors—building our tribes (A special thanks to Seth Godin for re-introducing many of us to a tribal way of thinking).

On the Wild Apricot Blog, Lori Halley tells us that philanthropy is changing and change can be hard. But she believes there is a willingness to change and is hopeful that “the new generation of citizen leaders” can optimize the “convergence of forces” to ensure a bright future for philanthropy.

Tony Martignetti, host of Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio, interviewed Maria Semple of The Prospect Finder on the growing popularity and value of giving circles and how to tap into them in your community.

Nonprofit Evolution‘s Dani Robbins writes that we are each the future of philanthropy and can all be philanthropists. New technology brings new opportunities, yet relationship building still rules the day.  Engage. Ask. Receive. Repeat.

In the digital age, with the pace of change accelerated, Claire Axelrad at Clairification tell us that leadership is about embracing creativity and partnering to solve problems that can’t be solved in silos. This means inspiring others to take a chance with you and, sometimes, transforming your modus operandi.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.” This quotation is what Ken Goldstein at The Nonprofit Consultant Blog wrestles with as he dissects Katherine Fulton’s TED Talks presentation. At the end of his post, Ken shares four interesting predictions about the future.

It’s tempting for nonprofit organizations to latch on to the latest craze. But sometimes we need to take a step back. Ann Green reports in Ann Green’s Nonprofit Blog that you can find success by giving your donors the personal touch and good old-fashioned relationship building. The future of philanthropy is already here and it is found in how you build your relationships.

American City Bureau (ACB) is one of the country’s oldest fundraising firms, and Daniel Mollsen’s interview with Bob Hotz  at “Take Five” reminds fundraising professionals the more that changes (e.g. smart phones, emails, voicemails, virtual meetings, etc) in our field of work, the more we need to work at striving for balance.

Arroyo Fundraising Fluency‘s Kathie Kramer Ryan shares her vision of the future which is focused on major donors and major gifts.

Per my promise to DonorDreams blog subscribers, I focused all of our posts in May on this carnival topic. We videotaped fundraising professionals and donors talking about Katherine Fulton’s vision of the future. Some participants even took part in the “empty picture frame exercise” at the end of Katherine’s presentation. If you have a few additional minutes, I encourage you to click-through and see/hear these touching “from the heart” testimonials:

I need to thank Marissa Garza for videotaping these individuals, and I especially appreciate those who took time out of their busy schedules to work with Marissa on this project. Thank you!!!

Lori Halley at Wild Apricot blog will be next month’s host of the next Nonprofit Blog Carnival. The theme will be “Motivation for the Nonprofit Nation“. She’ll be looking for any posts from bloggers with ideas, stories or tips for motivating non-profit donors, supporters, boards, volunteers, or staff. Click here for more details and how to submit your blog entry for consideration.

As I say at the end of all my blog posts . . .

Here’s to your health! (and try not to eat too much funnel cake at this month’s carnival)

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

Are You the Future of Philanthropy? Meet Dan Rich


NPBlogCarnivalBannerFor the third year in a row, DonorDreams is proud to be hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival in May. On May 4, 2015, we published a call for submissions from non-profit bloggers across the blogosphere on the topic of “You are the future of philanthropy,” which stems from a 2007 TED Talks video presentation by Katherine Fulton. I asked bloggers to pontificate on any number of topics including the democratization of philanthropy, aggregated giving, social investing, and much more. If you are a blogger looking for more details, click here to read the May 4th call for submissions.

We will publish the May 2015 Nonprofit Blog Carnival on May 28, 2015 right here on the DonorDreams blog platform.

In addition to whipping the blogosphere up into a frenzy, we are dedicating our Tuesday and Thursday DonorDreams posts throughout May to people involved in local philanthropy. We’re videotaping donors, volunteers and non-profit professionals and asking them to answer the following question posed by Katherine Fulton at the end of her TED Talks presentation:

“Imagine 100 years from now and your grandchildren are looking at an old picture of you. What is the story? What impact did you want to have on the community around you? What impact did you make?”

Meet Dan Rich

Dan helps people . . . period. And he is “philanthropic” in many ways including his career path, his volunteer choices, and his charitable giving.

As the City of Elgin’s Public Works Superintendent, Dan’s work is people-centered. His work and the work of his team represents an investment in community every single day. When it snows, they clear the roads so the rest of us can get to work and help other people. When a water main breaks, they fix it. When the streets crumble and decay, they patch it.

President John F. Kennedy cast public service in a philanthropic light when he said the following in his 1961 State of the Union speech:

“I have pledged myself and my colleagues in the cabinet to a continuous encouragement of initiative, responsibility and energy in serving the public interest. Let every public servant know, whether his post is high or low, that a man’s rank and reputation in this Administration will be determined by the size of the job he does, and not by the size of his staff, his office or his budget. Let it be clear that this Administration recognizes the value of dissent and daring — that we greet healthy controversy as the hallmark of healthy change. Let the public service be a proud and lively career. And let every man and woman who works in any area of our national government, in any branch, at any level, be able to say with pride and with honor in future years: ‘I served the United States Government in that hour of our nation’s need.'”

Of course, Dan is much more than a public servant, and his philanthropic work is varied, deep and wide. The following is a brief summary of some of his contributions to the community:

  • When Dan was on the front line of the public works department, he volunteered as an executive officer of the local SEIU union chapter.
  • When Dan was confronted with an unfairness in his daughters school district, he ran for school board, won a seat and served.
  • Dan once sat on his local United Way board of directors, and he is currently a board volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club. In addition to attending board meetings, he has volunteered his time to work with kids after-school
  • Dan has rolled up his sleeves and helped plan, organize and implement special event fundraisers. He recently chaired an annual campaign pledge drive.
  • Dan makes charitable contributions to local charities.

For all of these reasons, we  ask Dan to take a crack at answering the question that Katherine Fulton posed at the end of her TED Talks presentation.

Dan’s philanthropy story?

(Note: If you receive DonorDreams via email you may need to click here to view today’s video interview.) 

Stories from your community?

Katherine Fulton says in her TED Talks presentation:

“We have a problem. Our experience to date both individually and collectively hasn’t prepared us for what we’re going to need to do or who we’re going to need to be. We’re going to need a new generation of citizen leaders willing to commit ourselves to growing and changing and learning as rapidly as possible.”

Have you met someone in your community who you think embodies the future of philanthropy and is a member of a new generation of citizen leaders? If so, please scroll down and use the comment box to tell us about that person.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

Are You the Future of Philanthropy? Meet Marissa Garza


NPBlogCarnivalBannerFor the third year in a row, DonorDreams is proud to be hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival in May. On May 4, 2015, we published a call for submissions from non-profit bloggers across the blogosphere on the topic of “You are the future of philanthropy,” which stems from a 2007 TED Talks video presentation by Katherine Fulton. I asked bloggers to pontificate on any number of topics including the democratization of philanthropy, aggregated giving, social investing, and much more. If you are a blogger looking for more details, click here to read the May 4th call for submissions.

We will publish the May 2015 Nonprofit Blog Carnival on May 28, 2015 right here on the DonorDreams blog platform.

In addition to whipping the blogosphere up into a frenzy, we are dedicating our Tuesday and Thursday DonorDreams posts throughout May to people involved in local philanthropy. We’re videotaping donors, volunteers and non-profit professionals and asking them to answer the following question posed by Katherine Fulton at the end of her TED Talks presentation:

“Imagine 100 years from now and your grandchildren are looking at an old picture of you. What is the story? What impact did you want to have on the community around you? What impact did you make?”

Meet Marissa Garza

Marissa Garza works as and volunteers for:

Being a “child of philanthropy” (e.g. Marissa’s mom has worked for a local non-profit — Marklund), Marissa has enjoyed volunteering for everything from direct care to helping with special events. She has filled her life with volunteer opportunities and other little opportunities when and where she can.

For all of these reasons, we  ask Marissa to take a crack at answering the question that Katherine Fulton posed at the end of her TED Talks presentation.

Marissa’s philanthropy story?

(Note: If you receive DonorDreams via email you may need to click here to view today’s video interview.) 

Stories from your community?

Katherine Fulton says in her TED Talks presentation:

“We have a problem. Our experience to date both individually and collectively hasn’t prepared us for what we’re going to need to do or who we’re going to need to be. We’re going to need a new generation of citizen leaders willing to commit ourselves to growing and changing and learning as rapidly as possible.”

Have you met someone in your community who you think embodies the future of philanthropy and is a member of a new generation of citizen leaders? If so, please scroll down and use the comment box to tell us about that person.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

Are You the Future of Philanthropy? Meet Becky Hardekopf


NPBlogCarnivalBannerFor the third year in a row, DonorDreams is proud to be hosting the Nonprofit Blog Carnival in May. On May 4, 2015, we published a call for submissions from non-profit bloggers across the blogosphere on the topic of “You are the future of philanthropy,” which stems from a 2007 TED Talks video presentation by Katherine Fulton. I asked bloggers to pontificate on any number of topics including the democratization of philanthropy, aggregated giving, social investing, and much more. If you are a blogger looking for more details, click here to read the May 4th call for submissions.

We will publish the May 2015 Nonprofit Blog Carnival on May 28, 2015 right here on the DonorDreams blog platform.

In addition to whipping the blogosphere up into a frenzy, we are dedicating our Tuesday and Thursday DonorDreams posts throughout May to people involved in local philanthropy. We’re videotaping donors, volunteers and non-profit professionals and asking them to answer the following question posed by Katherine Fulton at the end of her TED Talks presentation:

“Imagine 100 years from now and your grandchildren are looking at an old picture of you. What is the story? What impact did you want to have on the community around you? What impact did you make?”

Meet Becky Hardekopf

Becky Hardekopf, Chief Relationship Officer for Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois and Founder and Past Chair of Elgin Young Professional Network, has worked in the non-profit field for over 10 years and spent another five in the for-profit sector. This helped shape her exceptional relationship building, presenting and training skills which she uses in the workplace to innovate, build teams and manage projects all in the interest of advancing philanthropy.

For all of these reasons, we thought we’d ask Becky to take a crack at answering the question that Katherine Fulton posed at the end of her TED Talks presentation.

Becky’s philanthropy story?

(Note: If you receive DonorDreams via email you may need to click here to view today’s video interview.) 

Stories from your community?

Katherine Fulton says in her TED Talks presentation:

“We have a problem. Our experience to date both individually and collectively hasn’t prepared us for what we’re going to need to do or who we’re going to need to be. We’re going to need a new generation of citizen leaders willing to commit ourselves to growing and changing and learning as rapidly as possible.”

Have you met someone in your community who you think embodies the future of philanthropy and is a member of a new generation of citizen leaders? If so, please scroll down and use the comment box to tell us about that person.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC
www.thehealthynonprofit.com 
erik@thehealthynonprofit.com
http://twitter.com/#!/eanderson847
http://www.facebook.com/eanderson847
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erikanderson847

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