How to Make a Difference in Your Hometown

imageThis is it, everybody. Time to make a difference. We’re done clicking like buttons, we’re done saying “you know, what they should do is…”, we’re done sitting on the sidelines watching our towns go down the toilet. It’s time to do… what?

What do you do with all of that pent up energy that is dying to make a difference?You have to act, and you have to act quickly, or else that shouting will become a whisper lost in all of the rest of the noise. You almost wish that there was a blueprint that read, “Every city, in order to reach its highest potential must complete these steps in this order. Number 1…”

But there’s not. Bubble burst. However, I do think that there are 3 steps that you, personally, can do to prepare yourself to make the biggest impact whenever the opportunity strikes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is it CRAZY to Expect to Get Reasonable Pay at a Nonprofit?

imageI’m excited about this post; I’ve been thinking about coming home and writing this all day. In a lot of ways, this post will be a follow-up to yesterday’s post about some of the major hurdles for international fundraising, but it approaches the topic from the opposite direction.

In Nonprofitlandia, one of the things that is fascinating to me is the expectation for “every dollar” or “97 cents on the dollar” to go to “the program”. A donor wants to know that the donation they make is doing the most good, and they want to hear “Yes Mr Donor, we work very hard to keep our overhead costs low so that 95 cents on the dollar of your donation goes to support such-and-such.” I’m about to ask what will probably be a controversial question, so hear me out before you start casting stones. Does keeping overhead costs low translate into “doing the most good?”

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Major Hurdles with International Fundraising (and how to avoid them)

imageSo, your heart beats for activism, but your not entirely sure what you want to do with that passion inside of you. The sexiest approach would be to hop on a plane and go visit some developing communities in Africa or Asia or South America and come back with a video of a story that paints you as a humble activisty savior who happens upon an inspiring situation who can now motivate the nation to help bring water/peace/freedom/expression/etc to a tribe/village/city/nation/continent. Although I’m a big fan of local activism, I’m not here to discourage anyone from pursuing their dream. However, there are definitely some huge difficulties in starting an international campaign like this, and you should be aware of a few things before proceeding. Let’s look at some of them.

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Slacktivities In Jacksonville

imageMy first memories as a child were growing up on a street called Gina Circle in a town called Jacksonville, Arkansas. I was too young to realize it at the time, but it was the kind of neighborhood where you make sure to lock your doors and to not leave anything outside that you don’t want stolen. As I grew up, I had a vague understanding that my high school wasn’t as cool as the next town over, Cabot, or any of the schools in Little Rock, about 20 minutes away. From what I could tell, my school didn’t have PTA meetings, we didn’t have ACT/SAT study groups, we didn’t have local companies come in to sponsor events, we didn’t have teachers who really even seemed like they wanted to be there. Read the rest of this entry »


Good to Great Review

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I just finished a library book by Jim Collins called Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… And Others Don’t. I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into when I started, because most self-help/leadership books that I’ve read have all kind of said the same thing. “Hey, everybody, you need to treat everyone nice. Lead by example. Be a servant leader. Manage your time well, only check your email twice a day.” There’s probably some truth to all of that, but I was looking for something different in this book. I’ve been struggling with the fact that I have some good employees that have the potential to be excellent. And I’ve been asking myself how I can help push them over the fence toward CONSISTENT LEGENDARY CUSTOMER SERVICE.

On a secondary level, I had been looking for more productivity in my community service – how to surround myself with hard workers, identify a need, and succeed in meeting it. This book tackles both of these questions head on. Read the rest of this entry »


The Local Library: Not Just For Kiddos

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About a month ago, I re-discovered something truly amazing that I hadn’t even thought about for probably a decade.

I was making my normal rounds through Barnes & Noble, wishing that I had some extra pocket money for some books that I’d like to read. Because, honestly, I missed reading. Books had been such a huge piece of my life as a kid; I remember spending summer days sprawled out on the couch with the latest Goosebumps or Animorphs or sports novel and wouldn’t stand up until the book was done. It really catapulted my comprehension levels as a kid and there’s really nothing quite like curling up with a great book. Read the rest of this entry »


New Hobby: Biking

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So the fiancé and I have taken up a new hobby. We’d been talking about it for about 2 years and we finally decided to bite the bullet and buy a couple of bikes. I can honestly say that this was probably one of the best decisions that we’ve ever made. I’ll be at work watching the clock, counting down the minutes until I can go home, grab my bike off the ceiling (where it so niftily hangs, thank you Container Store) and hit the trail.

We happen to be lucky enough to live right off the River Trail in downtown Little Rock. Literally a 2 minute ride and we’re on the trail. I’d been looking for a way to workout that doesn’t SUCK and, everybody, I think I’ve finally found it. Read the rest of this entry »