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Ask Them To Write The Grant!

Nick and I were talking about foundations and program officers and the inability of otherwise competent development staffs and leaders in attaining ‘grants‘ from a foundation.

3 Quick Things:

    1. A FOUNDATION is still led, run, managed by PEOPLE! Sending out shotgun proposals, based on online guidelines, is a cop out.
    2. Those PEOPLE can be talked with and visited ! It’s their job!

Start by asking what the Foundation’s priorities are. Then, find the fit. Then get the Foundation Director or Program Officer to be your Champion. Then…

Actually ask them to help you with the proper words and terminology to get the grant!

Could be as simple as “Would it be okay if I sent you a DRAFT of the proposal before we submit it?”

Try it. You’ll like it.


Answer the 3 (Double) Questions

Based on thousands and thousands of visits, I would suggest that these are the 3 BIG (Double) QUESTIONS of every investor.

    1. WHERE is the money going? (And WHY?)
    2. WHO decided that? (and HOW?)
    3. WHAT do you want from me? (And WHEN?)

PHILANTHROPY comes from the Greek words for friend of mankind. Your ‘FRIENDS’ cannot help you if they don’t understand the answer to these 3 questions!


Improv and Spontaneity

I just read that researchers at John Hopkins used an MRI to study the brains of jazz musicians and found that improvisation – which is the essence of spontaneity – activated the part of the brain associated with the highly creative ‘flow’ state.

He went on to say that every day spontaneity can help you find all aspects of your life and work.

Have some free time? Don’t schedule anything! Go for a walk, get some exercise, do something you wouldn’t normally ‘do’.

It’s been proven that will make you much more productive.


Arthur’s Day

At 12:59 today, I will be at the Guinness Building in Dublin, Ireland, helping to celebrate Arthur’s Day and generate funds for the Arthur Guinness Fund for Social Entrepreneurs.

Arthur’s Day refers to a series of music events, which were first organized in 2009 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Guinness brewing company by its owner Diageo plc.

Those events took place internationally in the cities of Dublin, Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, New York and Yaoundé on 23 September 2009. The event was broadcast internationally on Sky TV, ITV2 and DirecTV. €6 million has been pledged to the Arthur Guinness Fund. The celebration has been endorsed by several high-profile names, such as rock star-turned political activist Bob Geldof, director and screenwriter Guy Ritchie, footballer and Guinness football ambassador for Africa Michael Essien and British celebrities such as Peter Crouch, Sophie Dahl.

Guinness drinkers are expected to raise a glass to the memory of Arthur Guinness at 17:59 (5:59pm), a reference to 1759, the year the Guinness Brewery was established.


Perseverance and Persistence

A very ‘small‘ thing happened to me recently that may have a ‘big‘ impact on you.

I was working with a wonderful young Social Entrepreneur who has an opportunity to scale and grow her business to literally change the world.

I gave her the name of someone I thought would be a tremendous help as Champion, as an Investor and as a strong Advisor (who was deeply engaged in her sector and an expert at what she was trying to do.)

I asked her to follow-up with me and I would make the contact and introduction.

Almost two months went by. I didn’t hear anything. Then I received two-line email saying she had ‘forgot’ and wondered if I could still help. In the normal rush of a busy day, I laid it aside and meant to get back to it.

Just found it this morning. Almost two months again from the email.

I realize part of this is certainly my fault. However, if you are a Social Entrepreneur… if you are truly trying to change the world, you need to be waaaaay more perseverant and persistent!

As they say in the States, “Keep the ball in your court.” It’s up to you to do the FOLLOW-UP!


8 Ways to Lose in Business

Really good insights from John Maxwell, leadership expert speaker and author. This is from his column in October Success Magazine.

It caught my attention right away that Maxwell referenced the seed of this particular lesson came from the former President of Coca-Cola, Don Keough. Don Keough is a big-time Notre Dame Champion, an investor, as well as involved and committed to projects in Ireland.

The 8 ‘rules and attitudes’ to follow if you want to ‘lose in business’ or in your For Impact organization or in your life are as follows:

    1. Quit taking risks.
    2. Relay totally on experts and research to make decisions for you.
    3. Always ask yourself, “What would the founder have done?”
    4. Concentrate on your competitor instead of your customer.
    5. Administrative concerns take precedence over all others.
    6. Be inflexible.
    7. Look to someone else to do your thinking for you.
    8. Memorize the motto, “That’s good enough.”

Here’s the full column from Success.



Great article in Success Magazine, October Issue, called Business with Heart.

What particularly resonated with me was a segment entitled ‘A New Business Model’: Are you seeking to make your business the Best in the World or Best FOR the World?

Good stuff in here for Social Entrepreneurs and For Impact Leaders as you build your own Business Models and as you meet with businesses that are looking beyond the ‘bottom line’.


The Power of Total Confidence

The 3 parts of TOTAL CONFIDENCE:

    1. Confidence in Self.
    2. Confidence in your Team. (Company, Family, Organization)
    3. Confidence in a Higher Purpose.

This comes from Tim Sanders, a leadership consultant to Fortune 500 companies and former Chief Solutions Officer for Yahoo.

His new book is Today We Are Rich.

Sanders says, “The key is to generate total confidence through purposeful daily applications of core values.”

Much like Napoleon Hill’s classic Think & Grow Rich, Sander’s book presents a completely different meaning of the word rich. It’s not about the size of your bank account or large cash reserves or houses or cars. Sanders says, “There are profoundly wealthy people who are unhappy… and extremely poor people who have happy lives.”

He adds a quote from the philosopher Andre Gide, “Complete possession is proved only by giving. All you are unable to give possesses you.”

Think about this last quote as you are meeting with prospective investors who want to move from Success to Significance.

Also, think of the whole idea of TOTAL CONFIDENCE as you Present Your Opportunity.


Celebrate Your Birthday

Over the last 15 years, I have been encouraging people to celebrate/enjoy not just their birthday but their birth date.

Mine is today, the 19th (March 19 Birth Date)

To celebrate today, I’m in Dublin, Ireland with a great group of For Impact Leaders and Social Entrepreneurs! I get to visit the Ryan Academy at Dublin City University. I’ll walk around St. Stephen’s Green. And, I’ll probably have some crepes at Savannah’s place.

*As always, I will write in my journal on the 19th… a combination of reflection on the last 30 days and goals for the next 30. (At 30,000′ over the Atlantic!)

Note: Since I am a landowner in Ireland, I get to check out my property.


The ‘TOUR’

Nick and I are doing some work with Craig Hospital in Denver… an absolutely amazing place, filled with world-class talent and pioneering/innovative programs.

I loved this recent quote from one of their superstars: “When you can get them here, it is very engaging!”

In their case, the power of the ‘TOUR’ is beyond description.

Three things to think about as you bring prospective investors/prospects to show off your impact and value (typically called a ‘tour‘).

    Without question, the best predisposition in the world is giving someone an opportunity to see and touch (and even ‘smell‘) what you do.
    The best way to leverage the tour and take advantage of the emotional connection is to actually end the tour in a designated place in order to PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY!
    3. TOUR FLOW.
    This is the deliberate and conscious effort to plan the flow of the tour… who delivers it, who you meet along the way, what you see, how you to show your impact, etc.

***Quick Story. During a recent Craig tour, the tour ‘guide’ and the prospect were waiting for an elevator. When it opened, out stepped a Craig patient and his parents, who were being discharged that day. All three of them proceeded to talk about the amazing CRAIG EXPERIENCE, how thankful they were, etc.

The prospect probably thought it was planned. It wasn’t. It should have/could have been.

Big Lesson: None of this kind of connection can happen if in your ‘office’ or in their ‘office’.


The Power of Words

I wanted to share a really powerful (and short) video that reinforces my points earlier this week around Change Your Vocabulary and Strategic Vocabulary.

Full Disclosure. I am ‘newbie’ when it comes to all this online video stuff. Been a ‘reader’ my entire life. However, I’m absolutely amazed at the power of video, and the technology that allows us to watch these kinds of snippets or Ted 18 Minutes.

This Power of Words come from my friend, my trainer and Chief Experience Officer at Eagle Creek, Steve Wolfie Wolf. You may have already seen it, but it’s definitely worth a re-watch.



“Times Like These…”

“In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.” -Paul Harvey

American broadcaster Paul Harvey was ‘on the air’ for more than 50 years. He was a master of the one-liner.

This is a great quote for all those sitting around in their offices bitchin’ and moanin’ about everything from the economy to Hurricane Irene.

As Stuart McLaughlin Chief Visionary of Business to Arts said yesterday, “Nothing gets done ‘in the office’.”

Well said.