Megan Arthur, Site Based Program Manager at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta
Social Media: LinkedIn
Megan Arthur feels a deep sense of connection to the mission at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta. As the first person in her family to attend a 4-year college, she remembers feeling overwhelmed by the decisions to be made about what to study and how that would impact her future. She says her mother’s support and guidance was a huge part of what helped her through those decisions. In her experience at Big Brother Big Sisters, she sees that same type of supportive relationship developing between Bigs and Littles every day.
Kristina Smith, Founder of HYPE
HYPE Social Media: Facebook, Instagram
2018 HYPE International Experience Video Recap
1. Kristina, you are the founder of HYPE, a nonprofit organization focused on providing hope for youth through empowerment and education. HYPE emphasizes STEM education, which refers to science, technology, engineering, and math. You, yourself have a professional background in technology, as an engineer and information management consultant. What first sparked your interest in technology?
My interest was sparked by exposure to technology and computer science, which I unfortunately didn’t get until I went to college. My decision to major in Computer Engineering was encouraged by dad – who saw my capability in math and my attraction to problem solving (and playing on the computer). I actually didn’t even know what a computer engineer was! Had it not been for people in my life and in my corner to encourage me to pursue something that I had limited understanding of, there is no telling what I’d be doing today.
After learning computer science and working on engineering projects in school, I really loved it – and was good at it! This is what motivated me to continue along that path as a career.
Christina G. Cummings, Executive Director of Kidz2leaders
Kidz2leaders Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube
(1) Christina, you currently work as the Executive Director of Kidz2leaders, a non-profit organization that aims to end generational incarceration. How long have you been working in the nonprofit sector and what inspired you to pursue a career in this industry?
My nonprofit work began in 2008, during my senior year of college at UGA, when I became the Executive Director of a student-run philanthropy benefitting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In that role, I had the opportunity to volunteer within the hospitals, lead teams of student volunteers, organize fundraising events, and advocate for our cause within the UGA community. By the time I graduated, I knew I was in love with the nonprofit world and made plans to stay at UGA to pursue a master’s degree in Public Administration, concentrating on nonprofits. My master’s program provided me with a stronger foundation for my career in the sector, gave me a network of colleagues to learn from, and, ultimately, connected me to the person who would hire me for my first real job! Ten years later, I can’t imagine doing any other type of work.
Qaadirah Abdur-Rahim, Founder & CEO of Future Foundation, Inc.
Future Foundation Social Media: Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn
Qaadirah Social Media: Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn
(1) As the CEO of Future Foundation, Inc., an organization that focuses on youth empowerment through education, you are leading the way for those interested in creating impact, both globally and in their local communities.
Growing up in Atlanta, you’ve directly experienced the challenges faced by many children attending low-performing public schools. Future Foundation, Inc. provides intervention and serves many children at the middle school and high school level who may live below the poverty level. What are some unique challenges faced by this demographic?
Children living below the poverty level uniquely experience a combination of social factors that create a cycle of generational poverty. These factors include, racially segregated communities, low household incomes, historically low performing educational institutions, and high unemployment. Our focus at Future Foundation is to equip our students and their families with the tools to break the cycle.
Jillian Madden, Development Director at Midtown Assistance Center
Editor's Note: this guest blog was written exclusively for YNPN Atlanta
(1) Jillian, you currently work as the development director at Midtown Assistance Center, a non-profit organization that aims to prevent homelessness and hunger. How long have you been working in the nonprofit sector and what inspired you to pursue a career in this industry?
I started out working at Midtown Assistance Center (MAC) through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, a program similar to AmeriCorps, that places young people at nonprofit organizations for a year. The program focuses on living simply and in community - I lived with three other men and women who were working at different nonprofits throughout Atlanta. I loved working at MAC and discovered that nonprofit work was definitely my calling. I worked for United Way of Greater Atlanta after my year as a Jesuit Volunteer, and came back to MAC about 2.5 years ago as their Development Director.
Editor's Note: this guest blog was written exclusively for YNPN Atlanta.
Jenni Hargrove, Nonprofit Jenni Show, Podcast
iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play
1. Jenni, we’re elated to have you featured in YNPN’s blog spotlight. Can you tell us a bit about your professional background? How did you get your start in marketing? And what led you to focus in on the nonprofit sector?
Thanks so much for having me! :) I got started in marketing pretty young… Way before I was ‘professionally’ marketing. When I was growing up, volunteering was never a choice for me—I was ‘voluntold’ more than I volunteered. But that wasn’t a bad thing—I never even thought twice about it. Volunteering was just a habit I got into, the same way your parents force you to brush your teeth every night before bed or go to school five days per week.
In middle school, I was very fortunate to be zoned for a school which had a STEM Academy, so I took a ton of technology classes, which included a bunch of digital marketing topics. I started talking with the nonprofits I volunteered with and asked, “Do you need someone to help with your website?” (This was back before social media was a thing.) They were all super excited to have me help out because websites were so new, and they didn’t really have time to mess with it.
Fast forward to my volunteering in college, I realized nonprofits generally find it pretty easy to get regular, client-facing volunteers. However, most don’t have nearly enough ‘skilled volunteers,’ which are long-term volunteers who help with more professional, back-end tasks. So, I started volunteering on lots of Marketing, PR, and Development committees.
After several years of doing this in a volunteer role, I realized a lot of nonprofits really need someone to come in and help them write entire marketing, development, and board development strategies. Most nonprofit leaders don’t have extensive business backgrounds and need the advice of someone who does. So, I started my own company and podcast to help meet those needs!
Editor's Note: this post has been re-blogged. It originally appeared on The Conversation, and it references the Volkswagen emissions scandal of 2015.
How could VW be so dumb? Blame the unethical culture endemic in business
Edward L Queen, Emory University
That far too much of the world’s corporate leadership is driven by moral midgets who have been educated far beyond their capacities for good judgment should be obvious after observing the events of the past week.
The financial industry-led economic collapse of 2008 should have taught us this lesson, but the specificity and clarity of it was brought home by news of price-gouging in the pharmaceutical industry and, even more blatantly, by the announcement that Volkswagen intentionally programmed thousands of its diesel automobiles to cheat emissions testing.
We should be outraged by such behavior and demand appropriate punishments and sanctions as well as restitution and correction. But we should not be shocked. As an ethicist who has looked at the behavior of individuals in business and corporations, I can point to a number of troubling trends that help explain these transgressions.
Editor's Note: this guest blog was written exclusively for YNPN Atlanta.
By Sherman Standberry, Atlanta-based social media expert and cofounder of LYFE Marketing. Find out more about Sherman.
Do you know how to use social media to grow your nonprofit?
According to nonprofits social media marketing data, 98% of all nonprofits are on Facebook, but only 48% of them view the results of social media as valuable. This hints that many nonprofits are unfamiliar with how to use social media marketing to grow their organizations. It also represents an opportunity for those nonprofits who do utilize social media effectively to rise above their competition.
After working with numerous nonprofits and churches at LYFE Marketing, we have developed a definitive strategy that have worked for many nonprofits over the past few years. Here is an exclusive strategy for YNPN nonprofits to implement today:
Develop a concrete plan: Why is your nonprofit on social media? Answer this question before doing anything. Define your main objectives for using for social media and make sure that every post, engagement, follower, etc. is relevant to your main objective. Analyze your audience and understand which social media platforms your target demographic is spending the most time (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc). Once you have pinpointed your target audience on social media, the next step is to grow a strong presence that attracts them to your nonprofit.
One of the best things about being part of a national network like YNPN is the opportunity to share resources and learn from our fellow chapters in other cities. This past summer at the YNPN National Leaders Conference in Minneapolis-St. Paul, our board members Molly, Ashley, and Renee learned about Podio, an awesome new project management tool that other YNPN chapters have used to streamline their operations.
Citrix Podio is the new way for teams to communicate, organize, track, and get work done in one place, and we are thrilled to announce that Podio has become an official sponsor of YNPN Atlanta! With Podio, project management will be easier than ever for the YNPN Atlanta Board of Directors and committee volunteers, with increased collaboration on projects and integration with tools like Google Calendar, Dropbox, Facebook, LinkedIn, and much more!
Podio is a great tool for volunteer driven organizations who need a way to organize communications in the cloud. Interested in having Podio sponsor your organization? Visit their sponsorship application online!
Excited to hear how YNPN Atlanta leaders are working to make our chapter better every day? Consider joining our team with one of our current volunteer opportunities!
Editor's Note: this post has been re-blogged with the author's permission. It was originally posted on the author's blog September 18, 2014.
By Sonya Collins, Atlanta-based independent journalist covering health care, medicine, & biomedical research. Find out more about Sonya.
Yesterday, I read an article that said the most productive workers take breaks often. To be precise, they take a 17-minute break for every 52 minutes worked. I’m a work-from-home freelancer, and I always have at least a half-a-dozen assignments on my plate, and a list of at least that many tasks I must complete for each of them. Without the rhythms of an office, co-workers, and meetings to structure my days, I’m always on the lookout for the latest evidence on how to be more productive.
For health purposes, not so much for productivity, I had tried to adopt the habit of standing up for five minutes every 60-90 minutes. I used StandApp on my iPhone, which sounds an alarm every 60 minutes (or 90 if you choose), then shows you a five-minute exercise video to do during your break. It’s pretty funny because the man and woman who do the exercises are standing in a poorly lit, cramped cubicle in business clothes, and they use their desk or shelf for support during certain exercises. But I got pretty bored, pretty quickly with this routine. I think it was because the breaks were so short that they seemed almost pointless. They didn’t give me time to do anything useful, like cook lunch or clean my bathroom. And at the same time, they seemed to come around too often. I felt like I couldn’t get anything done before the alarm went off. Eventually, I found myself going through one set of the exercises and then leaning over my desk working for the rest of the break till the phone told me I could sit back down again. If the stand-up alarm went off when I was in the middle of something, I wouldn’t press play on the exercise video, and the app would stop running and that would be the end of my healthy desk habits for the day. Finally I quit using the app.