Tag Archives: causes

A New Frontier (The Bubble – Part 3)

Have you come to a conclusion on the answer to part 2? Our sociological environment has lead us into a  new frontier. Although we can’t include EVERYTHING in our bubble (since that’s the point of having one to begin with), we can now include practically ANYTHING. We have access to news and information from anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds. We are able to be aware of so much, if we only choose to be aware.

What will this new year find you including in your bubble. What issues and problems will you be aware of? What solutions will you be a part of?

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Justin Bieber (The Bubble – Part 1)

It was just announced that Justin Bieber was the most searched person online in 2011. Maybe I’m getting old (still under 30) but it seems like celebrities are getting younger and younger and more careers are started from Disney Channel acting jobs than anything else (like Bieber’s girlfriend, Selena Gomez or Miley Cyrus.)

This points to something interesting in our society. As we stack fake – a fictional television show – on top of fake – a fictional music career – we isolate ourselves from reality with multiple layers. This can cause many real world issues to seem very far away. It’s an aspect of what I call “The Bubble”.

We’ll talk more about the sociological impact of the bubble over the next few posts but for now I just want to say that it’s our job to use reality and well-crafted storytelling to help people reconnect with real world issues that need to be addressed. We can never hope to solve real problems if we think celebrity breakups are the worst thing that can happen.

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Of Course You’re a Leader!

Some people feel like making big changes in the world is the job of leaders and leaders are the people who are in charge of big groups or organizations. Somewhere along the line there had to be an election or a town hall meeting or something. As if that were a prerequisite for leadership.

Truth be told, big changes are made by leaders. Leaders are people who bring others with them when they do something. The beautiful thing is that, in our society, anyone can be a leader. Years ago you had to be the President so that people would broadcast your ideas on one of the 3 networks. Today, from the President down to the janitor who cleans up after the town hall meeting, anyone can now spread their ideas and messages to a large number of people.

No movement or good cause has ever failed from a lack of followers. They fail from a lack of leaders. Dare to be the one who is called a leader. Or even the one who moves people toward something without ever being recognized as the leader.

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Charity in the Church

There are a huge number of references in the Bible to giving and taking care of people who have needs. We’ve been fortunate enough to be born in a nation that has so much and there is responsibility to see outside of our bubble and realize that we are accountable for the lives of others, as well as our own. Unfortunately, there are still soup kitchens who require people to take vows before they will feeds them and organizations who refuse to care for the poor if they can’t include a sermon plug.

A visiting minister from India made a very good point in my church a few weeks back. A starving person doesn’t want to hear a sermon, he wants to eat. Then he will want to listen. For many people the “good news” is that they get to eat, get to be healthy, get to be safe. This is the purest form of the gospel and the mission that many people in the church are leery about because it feels too political somehow.

There is the perfect intersection right now between the shifting sociological environment and the way the church is organized and connected. A network of millions of people who are all (ideally) in one accord and desiring to show love to the world can make a huge impact. Let’s become the ones who lead the way to the new philanthropy.

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5 Steps to Fixing the World (you can take at least 3 today)

Since we’ve talked about the 100 reasons not to do something, I figured we should get a jump on doing something good with a few simple steps. These five steps are always part of the process of leading change. You can take the first three right away and you should. They keep many people from ever moving on to the last two.

Identify Problems- You need to start by seeing the needs. Who needs what? Who is in the greatest need? Opinions will vary on this, but that’s why you are you and they are them.

Identify Your Passion- Now you narrow down the problems and decide which one you are going to make a difference in. This isn’t saying that you can’t make more than one difference in the world, just start by focusing on the one you are most passionate about until you get some momentum going.

Solve the Problem on Paper- In order to start solving a problem, you need to know what that solution should look like. Is it a problem that can be solved by sending money or one that requires time and personal contact. It doesn’t do any good to throw money at something that can’t be bought or rally volunteers for something without the resources to complete the project.

Raise Awareness & Gather Resources- Now that you have your target acquired and know what general direction you need to take to make a difference, you can start telling your story and leading people in the right direction. This is where you build a team and gather what you need for the final step. Most of the time, these last two steps continue to work side-by-side as long as the project is operating.

Deliver on Your Solution- If you’re feeding orphans in Mexico, this is where you take the food or money you’ve collected and actually feed them. This is when you send the funds you’ve raised to the people on the ground. This stage looks different for each cause but it always looks like you’re making a difference. Congratulations!

 

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Word of Mouth in a Time of Retweets

If you take a well written essay and sign your name on it, it’s called plagiarism.

If you take a great joke and tell it as your own, it’s called stealing. (If it’s your joke and everyone is stealing it, you’re probably Jerry Seinfeld)

If you take someone else’s great idea and make a profit off of it, it’s called intellectual property theft.

If you take a great picture accompanied by a funny anecdote and sign your name on it like it’s your own idea, that’s called a birthday card.

This birthday card approach is how people spread word of mouth in our new society. They find someone who is saying what they agree with in a more eloquent way than they could have said it and then they approve and pass it along. Technology makes it easy to spread something in it’s original format. If you can express your cause and your charity in a way that is intelligent, well written and funny (when appropriate) you’ll have people on all sides of the issue digging, liking, retweeting, forwarding and recommending your message to everyone they know. After all….they wish they’d said it.

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Story Contest December

I just want to invite everyone to post some stories in the contest page for December. This is a great way to share what we are doing, whether you are part of a large organization or just moving for a good cause on your own.

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100 Reasons NOT to Do Something Important

Isn’t it always the case? There are always 100 reasons not to make a difference. They run through your head when you consider doing something big and as soon as you mention the idea to your friends and family they will give you whatever is missing from the 100 as negative comments on your Facebook status.

I don’t know how to do this.

I don’t have the right education.

I’ve never been out of the country.

We’re in a recession. No one will donate to a good cause.

…and the biggest lie of all…

Someone else will do this if I don’t.

Victory goes to those who do and those who look down at all the potential problems usually don’t make it to the doing stage. Don’t let the 100 reasons get in your way. In fact, if you want a fun exercise in overcoming the hurdles, just list the reasons you think of and the ones people throw at you and then cross them off with better reasons to do something. I’ll get you started.

Someone else will do this if I don’t.  If I do this, someone else will too (maybe lots of someone elses)

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Anyone Can Be a Philanthropist (and Everyone Should)

Time magazine shared some statistics from DARA on the successful dispersal humanitarian aid. The U.S. ranked 16th of the 23 countries listed. This list measured amounts sent and also the efficient use of funds. What this says is that it’s time for new philanthropy.

In this age of blogs, e-newsletters, and “donate now” buttons, anyone can become an advocate for their favorite causes and help raise funds and awareness to improve the worlds biggest problems. Everyman philanthropy is faster, more efficient and much more socially plugged-in than the efforts of large organizations. It’s time for us to step up and change things. There’s never been a better environment for it.

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No Small Causes

Last night one of my favorite charities, To Write Love on Her Arms, won a $1 million grant from the American Giving Awards. This grant allows them to do some amazing work.

Our featured story of the month helped raise funds and awareness for prostate cancer. This is another big cause in our society which has affected a huge number of families.

In light of these big causes, we need to remember that there are no small causes. A good cause that affects only one person is still important. That means anyone can be a word changer by taking action to change things in the areas that matter most to them.

I want to hear about your cause. What do you help with or want to help with? Is it a local community fundraiser, sponsoring a child, or volunteering to help hungry families? No cause is small and no story is either. What are you passionate about changing? Share those thoughts.

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