Pay It Forward

In the March 16th Sunday Edition of the New York Times, they ran an interesting article about “The Science of Paying it Forward,” highlighting the connection between witnessing generosity, being the recipient of generosity, and being generous.

Have you ever been at a toll booth or in a drive-thru line and your toll or order was paid for by the car ahead of you, then you in-turn paid for the next person? That’s the concept around the study reported on in this article. The study included more than 600 participants from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourcing internet marketplace where users …read more

Housing for the Homeless

Homelessness is extremely prevalent in most cities and very costly to everyone in society. For individuals who are homeless, the cost of being homeless is their life. The homeless face a variety of health issues ranging from the lack of nutrition to fighting the elements of nature.

Those of us who are not homeless, pay the cost of homelessness through an increase of public services such as police, hospitalization and correctional systems.

In Baltimore City, the average cost of one emergency room visit is $1,354. Per the state of Maryland, the approximate daily cost to house an inmate is …read more

Education for All

Why is higher education so costly? Is the point of higher education to exclude those who cannot afford to pay or to empower people with ideas which would boost innovation? According to US New and World Report, Columbia University’s tuition is $50,000 a year as compared to Berea College’s tuition of $1,070 a year. What has led to this price gap?

It is debated that students receive more value from an expensive college verse a lower cost college. If the concept for higher learning is to be educated or to learn a technical skill, the cost of education should not …read more

The War on Poverty

“There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we now have the resources to get rid of it. The time has come for an all-out world war against poverty … The well off and the secure have too often become indifferent and oblivious to the poverty and deprivation in their midst. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for ‘the least of these.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1967, Dr. King wrote Where Do We Go …read more

How to Create a Brand Promise

Earlier we introduced the concept of Brand Promise in the post, The Brand Promise: What does it mean for the Nonprofit and Public Sectors? In this post, we’ll go more in depth on how to craft it.

Consider the following brand promises:

Scott Russell, who is a motivational consultant and co-founder of Russell & Russell Consulting, promises “Open and honest leadership delivered with humor and a smile.” The NFL: “To be the premier sports and entertainment brand that brings people together, connecting them socially and emotionally like no other.” Virgin Worldwide: “To be genuine, fun, contemporary, and …read more

The Brand Promise: What does it mean for the Nonprofit and Public Sectors?

When you think of a brand, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe it’s the catchy tagline (“Be all that you can be,” “Don’t leave home without it,” “I’m lovin it”) or a recognizable logo (Red Cross’ red cross, Nike’s swoosh, McDonald’s golden arches). While these words and images are an important part of reflecting the brand, they are not the total brand. The heart of a brand is its promise. Consider this quote from the whitepaper, Nonprofit Brands in the Age of Supporter Shift, by Marc Chardon, former President and CEO of Blackbaud:

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7 Deadly Habits of the Holidays

Can I hang a 'Closed for the Holidays' sign around my neck? Too obvious?

It’s that time of year again, when budget and reporting deadlines are down to the wire and holiday party invitations are flying at you faster than you can whip up a batch of eggnog.

Now is the time to remember that your most important resource is YOU!

So take a deep breath, silence your phone and you may just keep your sanity for 2014.

Accommodation. It’s time to make peace with saying ‘No’. Friends and co-workers will understand if you can’t participate in every project or activity. Bowing out of some things sets reasonable expectations for everyone. Saying you won’t …read more

Building a Stronger & Better Community?

 

In times of significant neighborhood change, outreach and community building are going to be extremely important in ensuring that new neighbors are included in already established communities and that these communities capitalizes on the new human resource.

From my own experience, gentrification is not creating inclusiveness. In many cases gentrification moves lower-income residents to other neighborhoods which allows higher-income residence to move into new gentrified spaces which reinforces class lines.

Lower-income established neighborhoods may lack financial resources but oftentimes they have relationships with their neighbors. The Community Toolbox is an excellent resource for residents who want community change …read more

Surviving the Government Shut Down

 

With the government shutdown leaving many Americans feeling powerless and angry, community is more important than ever. America is built on the collective action of individuals working together to solve community problems and get things done. The shutdown fiasco offers the perfect opportunity for us to revive our legacy and come together, build relationships and bridge the service gaps that have emerged from this mayhem.

Per the Federal Government, below are some of the services that are affected:

Veterans’ compensation, pension, education, and other benefits could be cut off in the case of an extended shutdown. New applications …read more

Will you be ready if a disaster hits your neighborhood?

September is National Preparedness Month; will you be ready in a time of disaster? 2012 had a variety of disasters, including Hurricane Sandy and the California Wildfires. How would you have dealt with these events? Federal and local government can only do so much to prepare us; they are the most proactive after the event has occurred. As a community it is important that we take collective action when disaster strikes.

Below are some steps to being ready:

1) Get the training you need for disaster. Disaster Ready.Org provides online training in being prepared. Their training is geared towards …read more