It is time for us to decide what we stand for.
... it's been a while. Great to see you again.
I've just completed my every-so-often retool of this blog. There are a couple of reasons I've not been here for a while.
One, we've been getting the Plenty blog up and running. That's taken time and energy. Not grumbling about that, by the way, because the process has been fulfilling and fun, but it has taken my time and attention. The Plenty site is now running like a top.
Two, I needed some time to figure out what I even wanted or needed this for. With Plenty's blog, which showcases so many interesting ideas about fundraising and analytics and social change, why do I need anything else?
I guess the basic reason is built into the idea of Plenty itself -- we are, all of us, more than just the sum of our work activities. As important as my work is to me, as much as is woven into the fabric of who I am, there are ideas and rambles and thoughts in my head that don't have much to do with Plenty. My kids, my family, my personal interests, or even, pictures about the weather.
So, welcome back.
Given my history as the founder of one of the country's largest event companies, I'm asked often about the mud-obstacle craze. And specifically, I'm asked if it makes good fundraising sense for nonprofits. The short answer is, you have to go where the people are. The longer answer is here, on this post I wrote yesterday for Plenty's blog. Answers await you there!
We have all heard the conventional wisdom on Millenials -- they are overly optimistic, flighty, and entitled. They don't want to work. They have been coddled by overprotective parents.
I spent Saturday with 50 or so members of Northwestern Student Holdings, a student group that owns and operates small businesses on campus. They had just concluded Impact Week, during which the young entrepreneurs partner with local charities to raise money.
I think about how I spent my undergraduate years ... and running a social enterprise wasn't it. These young college students raised several thousand dollars in just a week. They were focused and engaged and inspiring. Their energy was contagious.
If the only experience you have had with someone in their early 20's is through what you've heard from pundits, you owe it to yourself to spend an afternoon with a real live person. Will they look at their cell phone from time to time? Yes, but so will you. On the whole I bet the experience will leave you inspired and optimistic. I know it did for me.
Yesterday I posted to the Plenty blog one of the more powerful and personal pieces I've written in quite a while. It is about Nigeria and Central Africa -- and it is also about you, me, and our role in creating justice. I hope you will give it a few minutes of your time. The text of the article is here.