Inspirational Quote: “If you want to go fast…go alone. If you want to go far…go together.”

the buddies. [Photo by notsogoodphotography] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

“If you want to go fast…go alone. If you want to go far…go together.”

Hey All,

This quote really stands out for me at the moment. It reminds me that being a team player is everything if you want to get ahead in life and in business.

At the moment, I’m learning a whole lot more about teamwork in two major areas of life.

1. Teamwork in Life

A few years ago, I would work out on my own. I got results fast, but after a while, I plateaued and I lost momentum as other demands in life took over.

Lately, however, I’ve been working out on a consistent basis with a few of my mates in Sydney. I’ve been doing it for over a month now, and I am noticing some great results, particularly due to the positive affirmations from the other guys as well as the role models of the other guys who are way better than me. Being in a team, I’m forced to step up!

2. Teamwork in Business

I’ve also been trying out alot more collaboration and partnering in my business life and mission. There are some challenges at times, but I know that the ideas and actions that we’re accomplishing now are far more than what I could have achieved on my own.

Who could you partner with to synergize together in various aspects of your life and business?

3 Modern Fundraising Techniques

Leila and her Bald Ballons [Photo by jesssloss] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

We need to get with the times!

So that means constant innovation and improvement for both for-profit social enterprises and non-profits alike.

Fundraising Today

Fundraising for good causes is an old tradition that has been around for thousands of years, as human beings have the innate desire to help others and in social missions that they believe in.

In today’s information age, fundraising has transformed and there are new techniques for social enterprises to raise funds for programmes that can change the world.

Without these funds, many important social causes would not be able to function as they would lack the resources to do so.

Here are 3 trends in modern fundraising techniques!

1. Modern Fundraising Technique of Crowdsourcing

A modern fundraising concept is the idea of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is a lot like the popular reality show Shark Tank, in which small businesses and entrepreneurs use written pitches and videos to appeal to members within a site’s online network and set a target amount that they want to raise.

The idea is that by sheer virtue of the number of donors who are willing to give small amounts, startups are often able to meet their targets and get off the ground. The impact of these crowd-sourcing sites is still small, but it has the potential to grow quickly.

According to news reports, the SEC is considering letting investors purchase equity stakes in companies through these sites, which has been banned in the past. This is one way that the SEC is trying to make it easier for small business to access needed financing, without having to undergo the full disclosure and other legal requirements of securities laws for share issues.

2. Raising Funds from Individuals and Corporations

Nonprofit organization face some unique fundraising challenges, which many have found creative ways of addressing. Still, the sources of income for nonprofits remain largely the same over time.

Individuals are the largest source of funding nonprofit organizations. Total charitable giving in the US reached more than $303 billion in 2009, and of that amount a full 75% came from individuals. Corporations also contribute to nonprofits, but these companies most often give in order to get something in return. That something is positive publicity, community respect and market share.

Corporate funding tends to revolve around specific campaigns, events and projects. It can be a good source of support for special projects, and non-profits should look for opportunities to form partnerships with corporate sponsors that want to engage in cause-related marketing. Federal, state and local governments also provide funding for many nonprofits in the form of grants.

3. The Giving Pyramid & Professional Fundraising Techniques

Many books have been written on the topic of fundraising, such as the classic The Raising of Money
by James Gregory Lord. The key principles outlined in this book provide the foundation for many professional fundraising efforts today.

The book focused on the art and science of campaigning and face-to-face solicitation, which it presented in a highly readable style. These principles are applicable to a broad range of organizations that are interested in tapping into the private philanthropic community. During the current recession, fundraising has been especially challenging for many organizations.

Fundraising professionals commonly refer to a “Giving Pyramid”, which is a diagram of a comprehensive fund-raising program where different strategies are employed at each level of the pyramid to engage engage first time donors at entry levels and cultivate them to make successively larger gifts at the upper levels over time.

Soul Searching: 3 Ways to Help You Find Meaning in Your Life & Work

Soul Searching and Social Business
If you’ve watched or heard about the movie and book called “Eat, Pray, Love“, you would have recognized that the protagonist in the story goes on a worldwide adventure. I stumbled across the book while channel surfing on Indian TV, where Oprah was interviewing the author.

The “Pray” of the book’s title refers to the main characters trip to India where she goes to find herself and get in tune with her soul.

Soul Searching for Social Entrepreneurs: A Necessity?

Why should you care about having a soul, let alone, actually searching for your own? Should social entrepreneurs, business people and leaders of organizations even think about or talk about their own souls?

While there are a number of spiritual meanings to “having a soul”, in this article I want to focus more on your soul as the intangible foundations inside of you. Your soul could include your values, your integrity, your conscience, what you’re passionate about and your life mission and purpose.

Rediscovering Yourself and the Purpose of Your Work

Although social entrepreneurship and life and work in general, consist of alot of rational and logical activities, I would suggest that you should also engage in understanding and getting to know who you are as a person. Figuring yourself out.

I’m here in Varkala Beach, India, and I’m doing alot of soul searching myself. After working 2 years of my life in Bangladesh, I now want to get even more attuned with my values, identity and what I want out of life, who I want to become, and what I want to share with the world.

Here are some ways to encourage you to do a little more soul searching yourself, so that you get more out of your life and work.

1) Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Travel. I believe that as humans, we need to go on physical journeys in order to build character and make progress within. Travelling also allows you to get out of your comfort zone. You remove yourself from the regular confines and routines of your life and work. Travel allows you to escape, even for a while – to get away from it all. It is in the moments that you get away that you can be able to put yourself in unique situations to fully understand your true self.

Being in India at the moment, after finishing a two year job, I’m able to reassess everything about my life and contribution from the past, present and future.

2) Go to a Quiet Place

While travelling can be a great start, be sure that you also have time during your travel schedule to actually be calm and still and reflect. Admittedly, India does have its share of chaotic situations, including some of the hectic streets in the cities. There are also many instances of poverty and hardship especially at the slum villages. Witnessing this can be an eye-opener, as well as a wake up call particularly for social entrepreneurs.

Nevertheless, I do suggest time out at a quiet location, such as a beach, mountain, river or retreat. These places are more conducive to allowing you to mentally and emotionally process everything.

3) Meditate & Reflect

Some people like to sit alone or go for a walk, and through these activities, they are able to mentally reflect on their life and work. Others like to debrief with a friend about their ideas and experiences. Others like to write out their thoughts in a journal.

I personally like to do all of these things. I’m passionate about walking along the sea side. I enjoy debriefing my ups and downs with my best friend, P. I also like to write down many of my thoughts and experiences, as shown through this very blog.

How Soul Searching Can Help You?

Life is definitely short. I believe that each of us have an important mission in this life. Unfortunately, all the background noise in the world cannot truly give you the answers you are searching for. A job or a degree should not define who you are for life. I think that while external factors can influence you, it’s your soul within that can be your guiding force.

I believe that leaders, including yourself, should take some time out of the “busy”-ness in your life in order to figure out what your life is truly all about.

Too many people go through life as sleepwalkers. Steadily trodding along, following the whims and requests of their boss, their jobs, peer pressures or what they “think” society tells them to do.

Ever read the book “Walden“? It’s interesting how the messages in the writings are still relevant today.

Too many people live lives of “quiet desperation.”

Personal Development for Leadership Development 101

I personally believe that your life is too valuable for you to be unhappy and in conflict with your soul (your values, conscience, identity and life passion). I also believe that the more that you give to yourself through self reflection, the more that you can give to others.

Life, and social entrepreneurship, in my opinion, require not only physical action but also internal reflection, especially for the social entrepreneurs – the leaders – who are to transform internal values into a living reality.

What is Participatory Assessment?

y2.d7 | that edit girl
Creative Commons License photo credit: B Rosen

In order to change the world and make a difference, you need to understand the current situation.

Understanding Problems to Find Solutions

I’m a firm believer that you should focus 20% of your time and energy analyzing the problems. Then after that, you should spend 80% of your time and energy focusing on the solutions.

A precondition to finding a solution is to first understand the problem.

That’s where conducting a situation analysis is valuable. A situation analysis can comprise a number of tools and techniques to comprehend the current problems. One kind of tool within a situation analysis is the participatory assessment.

4 Factors of a Participatory Assessment

Participatory assessment is a means of building partnerships with people from certain communities of all ages and backgrounds. The partnership is fostered through structured discussions and dialogue.

Participatory assessments may include holding separate discussions with women, girls, boys and men, in order to:

  1. gather accurate information on the specific problems that they face,
  2. get information about the underlying causes of those problems,
  3. understand the capacities of various persons within the community,
  4. hear their proposed solutions to their problems.

A Major Benefit of Participatory Assessment

In my point of view, one of the most beneficial aspects of participatory assessments is the fact that it helps mobilize communities to take collective action to improve their own quality of life. Participatory assessments also form the basis for the implementation of a rights and community-based approach.

My Experience with Participatory Assessment

Over the past few days, I’ve actually been involved as a facilitator in a week long participatory assessment with Myanmar refugees in Bangladesh. I must admit that it is quite thorough, and we’re having to discuss with community leaders as well as various segments of the community such as the women, men, adolescents and children.

Final Note on Participatory Assessments

I will admit that running a participatory assessment is not easy. It is certainly challenging. Nevertheless, I agree that it is highly important because as a social entrepreneur, you don’t want to dictate solutions to communities.

Rather, you will want to discuss with communities in order to find a sustainable and feasible solution.

Inspirational Quote: “Be the Change You Wish to See in the World”

paise par mahatma
Creative Commons License photo credit: { pranav }

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Mahatma Gandhi said this over 50 years ago, but I think that it still rings true today for social entrepreneurs.

Inspirational Quotes from Inspirational Role Models

Through your social entrepreneurship journey, you will often want to find role models to inspire you to become more and do more.

I would suggest that Mahatma Gandhi of India is a great role model to look up to, and he has certainly been an inspiration for my own growth and development.

Mahatma Gandhi’s Quote Inspired Me

Throughout my university years, I actually posted up a poster of Mahatma Gandhi on my bedroom wall, and this particular quote was written at the bottom of the poster. I was in awe at the accomplishments that he was able to pioneer.

I especially advocate for his idea of non-violence which then inspired many other great world leaders including Martin Luther King Jr of the USA, Nelson Mandela in South Africa, and Benigno Aquino of the Philippines along with many others.

Why This Quote is Important for You

I think the importance of the inspirational quote is this: There’s no point in complaining about the various aspects of the world that you can’t control.

One of the major things that you can control is yourself. If you want good to be more present in the world, start with yourself and be good. If you want more peace, then act with forgiveness and peace. Be an example of what you want the world to be like.

Practice What You Preach

I admire that Gandhi didn’t just preach without action. He practiced many of his teachings alright, including peaceful resistance. He showed us that you didn’t have to put up with the wrongs in the world. You could stand up for what you believed in, but you could do it in a peaceful and principled way. Gandhi’s ideas helped India gain independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

The Impact of This Gandhi’s Quote on Social Entrepreneurs Today

Gandhi has even inspired several social entrepreneurs today. Blake Mycoskie, who is the founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS Shoes, says that this Mahatma Ghandi quote is his favorite. He even sells shoes that display those words.