Sometimes we just have to brag a little and this is one of those days. Through the past three months we have been coaching a team of students who have big plans for making an impact on employment and waste management in Ethiopia. Their team leader, Bini, has been a part of our lives for the past two school years and we were happy to share our strategic planning expertise with his team.
Their journey included many hours of working out the business numbers and preparing for incremental presentations. Along the way, they created a professional level two minute infomercial video and made a mock “Shark Tank” pitch. Three of the team are devoted members of the track team. Did I mention that they are also full time students and none of them business majors? One is also a freshman.
On Saturday, we attended the final competition. Four other teams had great ideas in various stages of implementation. All competitors were passionate about their ideas for saving the world. We just about held our breath for the entire 20 minutes of our team’s presentation.
Please join us in congratulating the Quralew Co-op team on their win. They worked hard for it!
We are pleased to announce that we submitted the manuscript of our book, The Art and Science of Donor Bliss, to our publisher. It has been a 20-month journey of meeting many wonderful people and hearing their giving stories, many of which are featured in the book. Our thanks to everyone who has supported us, helped us and told their stories about the Joy of Giving.
Please celebrate this major step with us. We anticipate a release date sometime this summer and will let everyone know when the book is available.
A few months ago, a hand full of nonprofit leaders in
our town started a nonprofit book club. We meet once a month to discuss a book
that is either about nonprofits or has lessons that can be applied to
nonprofits. I agreed to lead the discussions and drafted an initial list of
suggested books for the year. It has been a very rewarding and fun experience.
Any given month we have between 5 and 15 participants.
We meet in the Sherlock Holmes room in Two Sisters Bookstore. Someone brings
snacks and wine.
The conversations are as much about sharing common
concerns as they are about the book we are reading. We have a wide variety of
organizations – environmental,
arts, schools, a couple funders and a couple consultants. I know I come away
encouraged from seeing our work with new perspectives.
My goal for this new year is to share the conversation
and books we discuss. Over the next several weeks, we will catch up on the
first three books:
Great for the Social Sector, Jim Collins
Spirituality of Fundraising, Henri Nouwen
Start With Why, Simon Sinek (this link for the book summary and meeting discussion)
Next month we are reading Give and Take by Adam Grant.
We hope those who read this blog will also gain
something from our conversations as well.
Donors who desire to make an impact with their resources are on a life-long journey that typically includes numerous interactions with nonprofit institutions. While describing this journey, Eric addresses the challenges institutions experience in engaging donors.
At each step of the journey, Eric offers tips to institutions to encourage them to create positive experiences for their donors.
Want to learn more about Millennials and nonprofit board service? Contact us to receive a copy of Eric’s recent paper: Millennials and Nonprofit Boards.
Donor Bliss Consulting is partnering with the Sewing Machine Project. A portion of each book sale will be passed on to this wonderful example of Donor Bliss! If you are passionate about textile arts or are looking for a cause worthy of your support, please visit the Sewing Machine Project website for more information.
We have recently completed training to become licensed affiliates with One Page Business Plan. We now use this Cloud-Based Planning and Performance Management methodology system to Focus an organization on achieving its Objectives. Along the way, the organization establishes a clear system of Accountability, develops its Leadership and gets Results from its Strategies.
One Page Plans are clear and concise for everyone in the organization to understand and implement. Through assessments, templates and interactive prompts, leaders and managers, team leaders and board members are able to focus on execution and results.
Before our wedding, we talked about the importance of being generous. At that time, our discussion was about tithing, although it extended into organizations and causes that were important to each of us. We agreed that we had a desire to impact the lives of others through our generosity. We believe blessings come from thoughtful giving and from developing a lifestyle of giving.
Both of us were taught how to give by our parents. Through the years, we have come to experience the joy that results from giving. For example, after 9/11 we were thrilled to be able to do something substantial (for us) that would help to address the very pressing reality and needs of people in the aftermath of tragedy with a gift to the Red Cross. Whether it has been buying a goat for a family in a third world country, sponsoring a child’s education in Africa, or supporting higher education, we have indeed experienced Donor Bliss as a result of our giving.
Dr. Jason W Ketter is a seasoned development professional, now providing consulting services in Australia (Helping Organizations Help Themselves). I recently spoke with him on his podcast series Streams of Thought for Non-profits.
Listen to the podcast to learn more about becoming a development professional and some of the current trends in fundraising.