8 Practices for a more Emotionally Just Organization

Submitted by Kay Rosenthal PhD, RN-Guest blogger, EPNRC Volunteer

8 Practices for a more Emotionally Just Organization

By Agustinav
Rockwood Leadership Institute

Vacation time in the Rockies! But some of you are still working during the summer. Your to-do list might include: Reviewing operational policies and procedures; analyzing progress or creating new fiscal year budgets; evaluating hiring practices, but have you considered looking at emotional justice?  I am including this article from the Icarus Project in full and encourage you to think of ways that you can incorporate emotional justice at your organizations.

“When I (Agustinav) worked in the human rights movement, I often heard the phrase, ”There are no human rights for human rights workers.” Because we had life-saving jobs, we felt like we would put people at risk if we took any time for ourselves. There was a double standard: workers gave intensive support to the people who came to us, but were denied a fair or just workplace ourselves. We were spread thin, and there were no mechanisms in place for protecting our emotional well-being.

Unfortunately, this kind of culture is all too common in many social justice organizations, despite the fact that giving all of ourselves to the job, and to others, isn’t sustainable or conducive to wellness.

At my current workplace The Icarus Project, we believe that social justice begins at home. Our work on mental health has led us to deeply interrogate the ways we reproduce oppression in our movements, and identify what we can do to dismantle harmful cultural beliefs and practices in the workplace.

That’s why, within our organization, emotional justice is more important than productivity. We define emotional justice as policies that protect the emotional well-being of our staff by centering anti-oppressive and trauma-informed practices in our workplace. For us, it’s better to move slower together than to move fast and leave our friends behind.

If you’re interested in shifting your organization’s culture in this direction, here are eight practices The Icarus Project uses to be emotionally just:

  1. Embrace different ways of being: Some people communicate better on the phone, and others by email. Some are project-based, and some need to clock hours. Because we know we all work differently, we trust in each staff member’s work process, and give everyone the independence to fulfill their tasks in the way that works best for them.
  1. Emotional Honesty: In our workspace, we feel safe to communicate promptly about emotional needs without feeling like we’re being difficult or inconvenient. We support self-honesty, self-awareness, and community care by encouraging staff to create safety plans: information about stress and trauma responses, ways others can show care and support, and people to contact in case of crisis. This allows us to better support staff and keep them in our movements, instead of marginalizing them or burning them out.
  1. Emotional Check-Ins: When a member of our organization is struggling, they feel safe to say so without fear of negative consequences. This also allows us to keep working effectively, because we’re able to shift tasks and responsibilities to support the health and well-being of our coworkers while still getting the job done.
  1. Evaluations That Uplift: We have quarterly evaluations that uplift our employees and help advance the workflow of the organization. Instead of judging how well a person did their job, we ask questions like, “Was the workload realistic for you?”, “Do you need support to finish your tasks?”, “Do you need training, skillshares, or a shift in how a project or program operates?” Sometimes support might just be creating space for someone to figure out how they can manage their workplan. This is part of any healthy collective management arrangement, and can also be implemented in more traditional hierarchies.
  1. Realistic Workplans: It’s been said that when you chase two rabbits, you lose both of them. Realistic workload improves emotional health, so we prioritize goals, and choose programs and tasks that can be done realistically in the amount of time we have. Everything else, we allow ourselves to table or leave behind.
  1. Work flexibility: Life keeps moving even when we’re at work – pipes burst, people move, babies are born. That’s why it’s important to provide flexibility for those moments that may require staff members to take time off work. We offer parental leave, bereavement, sick days, and a certain number of free days that people are able to take as needed.
  1. Time Off:When our organization gets particularly busy or the work becomes stressful, we encourage staff to take time off in order to recharge. We recognize that a job is only one part of a person’s life, and our organization won’t stop functioning just because people take time off. We also know that when employees pursue hobbies, enjoy leisure, and spend time with their families, they’re often more productive as a result.
  1. Trust & accountability: We trust that our co-workers will manage themselves, strive for their best, and will utilize our generous policies respectfully. Self-honesty, self-disclosure, and self-accountability are the cornerstone of an emotionally just organization.

There are many ways to create nurturing work environments, so we invite you to explore what might work best for your organization.

Emotional justice is an important – but often overlooked – part of social justice, and it may be a key to our liberation.

The Icarus Project is a support network and education project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness. They advance social justice by fostering mutual aid practices that reconnect healing and collective liberation, and believe that we transform ourselves through transforming the world around us. Learn more at theicarusproject.net


Posted in Wellness | Leave a comment

Branding Your Email

Submitted by Kay Rosenthal PhD, RN-Guest blogger, EPNRC Volunteer

Branding Your Email

Are you familiar with branding your email as a concept?  If not, check out mailchimp, sigbop, constant contact, verisign, brandmymail, cantaloupe, network for good, vertical response to name a few services that are available.  Just search Google and read on.

Here’s an example from Constant Contact that is informative.  Note: I’m not trying to sell you anything.  I just wanted to give you an example.

Here are six tips from Constant Contact:

“1. Add your logo

You can easily upload and store your logo in your Constant Contact account. Make sure to position your logo at the top of an email you send out so that it’s one of the first things people see when they click to open.

2. Customize your colors

You don’t have to guess which colors fit your brand. Tools like Color Cop for PC users, or Digital Color Meter for Macs, allow you to pull the RGB or Hex value of the colors on your website or in your logo. You can then enter these values into your Constant Contact account and we’ll provide the colors that match.

3. Use consistent fonts

When choosing fonts for your emails, it’s typically best to keep things simple. Using too many different fonts can make your emails look messy and distract readers from the message you want to get across.

4. Add visuals

Your email should have an eye-catching image that pulls the reader in and makes them want to pay attention. One of the best places to find photos that help with branding will be on your social media sites.

Constant Contact customers can integrate their accounts with Facebook and Instagram, and easily add photos to the emails they send out.

Choose photos that help people get to know, like, and trust your business — like photos of your staff, products, or loyal customers.

5. Include relevant links

In addition to the links you include for people to take action on your emails, (shop online, donate, register, etc.) you should also include links to places like your website and social channels so that people can connect with you beyond the inbox and learn more about what you have to offer.

With an email template, you can easily add social media buttons that link directly to your FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, or Instagram accounts.

6. Find your voice

This one can take a little practice, but as you continue to send emails on a regular basis you really need to think about the “voice” you use in the messages you send out.

After all, your brand isn’t just about the look of your messages; it’s also reflected in the content that you write.

Take a look at some of your recent emails. Are you using a consistent voice that’s reflective of the type of service your business offers? Does it sound like it’s coming from you, or could it be mistaken for an email from any other company?

Finding your voice will help your emails better connect with your readers and strengthen your brand in the process.”

For the full article by Ryan Pinkham’s Jan 4, 2017 titled, How to Brand Your Emails So That You Look Like a Pro in the Inbox please go to https://blogs.constantcontact.com/how-to-brand-your-email/

P.S. Send me an email so I can check it out! K



Posted in Marketing | Leave a comment

The Health Benefits of Volunteering

Submitted by Kay Rosenthal PhD, RN-Guest blogger, EPNRC Volunteer

The Health Benefits of Volunteering

April is National Volunteer Month!  Hope you are out there volunteering!  Not just for the organization but for yourselfJ  Did you know there are health benefits to volunteering!  Not just feeling good …but physically – feeling good!

“Older volunteers are most likely to receive greater health benefits from volunteering. Research has found that volunteering provides older adults, (those age 60 or older), with greater benefits than younger volunteers.

These benefits include improved physical and mental health and greater life satisfaction. In addition, while depression may serve as a barrier to volunteer participation in mid-life adults, it is a catalyst for volunteering among older adults, who may seek to compensate for role changes and attenuated social relations that occur with aging. (Li and Ferraro, 2006; Van Willigen, 2000)

Volunteers must meet a “volunteering threshold” to receive significant health benefits. When considering the relationship of the frequency of volunteering to improved health benefits, researchers have found that there is a “volunteering threshold” for health benefits. That is to say, volunteers must be engaged in a certain amount of volunteering in order to derive health benefits from the volunteer activities. Once that threshold is met, no additional health benefits are acquired by doing volunteering more.

The definition of considerable volunteering has been variously defined by these studies as 1) volunteering with two or more organizations; 2) 100 hours or more of volunteer activities per year; and 3) at least 40 hours of volunteering per year. (Oman et al., 1999; Lum and Lightfoot, 2005; Luoh and Herzog, 2002; Musick et al., 1999)

Volunteering leads to greater life satisfaction and lower rates of depression. Evidence indicates that volunteering has a positive effect on social psychological factors, such as a personal sense of purpose and accomplishment, and enhances a person’s social networks to buffer stress and reduce disease risk. (Herzog et al., 1998; Greenfield and Marks, 2004; Harlow and Cantor, 1996) …..

RESEARCH IMPLICATIONS Studies of the relationship between volunteering and health demonstrate that there is a significant relationship between volunteering and good health: when older adults volunteer, they not only help their community but also experience better health in later years, whether in terms of greater longevity, higher functional ability, or lower rates of depression. “

So if you aren’t out there volunteering already– start making calls- there are plenty of organizations in Estes Park that need you to be a volunteer. You’ll be happy and healthy as a result.  Take care, K

For the full document go to https://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/07_0506_hbr_brief.pdf

Tips for Volunteering

Below are general tips for individuals interested in volunteering, as well as broken down by specific age category.
10 Tips on Becoming a Volunteer (32 KB PDF)
Tips for Youth Who Want to Volunteer (30 KB PDF)
Tips for Boomers Who Want to Volunteer (30 KB PDF)
Tips for College Students Who Want to Volunteer (31 KB PDF)
Tips for Families Who Want to Volunteer (29 KB PDF)

Posted in Volunteers, Wellness | Leave a comment

“Are You Honoring Your Small-Dollar Donors?”

Submitted by Kay Rosenthal PhD, RN-Guest blogger, EPNRC Volunteer

“Are You Honoring Your Small-Dollar Donors?”

Pamela Word wrote, “Are You Honoring Your Small-Dollar Donors?” for Nonprofit Pro.
“You need more major donors, right? And lately it seems like mid-level fundraising and major gift fundraising are all the rage. The experts are hammering the point home that smaller nonprofits aren’t raising major gifts (duh), and there has seemingly been an influx of major gift fundraising classes too.

Of course, who wouldn’t want Oprah or Ellen to notice their organization and put them on the map? Or have the local billionaire step up, out of the blue, to write a check?

But you know better, don’t you? Fundraising isn’t about asking rich people for money.

Fundraising is about the systems that take your first-time donor…to lifetime donor.

Your organization’s major donors are, after all, right in your backyard. Yep, they’re already in your donor database, and you just have to know how to work them. Here’s the 411: If you’re not honoring your first-time or small-dollar donors and if your systems are broken, you’re going to have a hard time getting from here…to there.

What does your donor experience when he or she makes that first online gift? What if it’s “only” a $10 gift?

What systems do you have in place to understand your new donor’s motivations and to bring in the second gift?…

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Are you getting your “thank you” letters out promptly?…

2. Are you making those donor “thank you” calls?…

3. What does your “thank you” email look like?…

4. What do you know about your donor’s motivation for making a gift? …

5. What systems do you have in place for welcoming new donors?

Fundraiser Karen Fromel recently noted: “I have numbers from our new donor welcome packet for January through October of last year. The welcome packet is a thank you letter, a bookmark and a brochure. There has been a 47 percent capture rate since Jan. 1, 2016. This has resulted in a 163 percent increase in donations from their first gift. Some donors have given as many as eight times since their initial gift.”

Get your board and staff involved in the gratitude process because it’s everyone’s job to be present when it comes to communicating gratitude to the supporters who make your wonderful work possible….

Remember, at the heart of major donor fundraising lies donor retention. Pure and simple.

Take a cue from Brittany’s Hope Foundation and run with it. Three years ago during a session of mystery shopping, I made several online gifts to a number of small nonprofit organizations, and Brittany’s Hope was one of them. Imagine my surprise and delight when I received a “thank you” phone call merely 15 minutes later from their executive director. The crazy good feelings and vibes didn’t stop there, though, and neither did my giving. I’m now a monthly donor at the $35 level. Though I’m far from being a major gift supporter by any nonprofit’s standards, Brittany’s Hope makes me feel like a major donor because they’ve cared about our relationship from day one.

Mai-Lynn Abel Sahd, MSW, executive director of Brittany’s Hope, explains the organization’s donor philosophy best:

“No matter the gift (large or small), all gifts are important and special to us here at Brittany’s Hope. Whether we receive a donation for $35 or $5,000, we make sure we recognize, thank and welcome all those who support us. Of course, a large donation warrants a detailed report and may be recognized with naming rights (i.e. project plague), but a continuous monthly support is just as valuable in our eyes. This may sound cliché, but our communication and place of importance are equally the same for all our donors regardless of dollar amount. The term “small donor” is never used here at our office when segmenting our donors; quite simply, we do not measure our donors based on the dollar amount, rather on their vested interest, time, talent, passion and resources.

In many cases, what could be considered as a “small” or “mid-size” donor typically gives a larger percentage of their income than a “large” donor. Also, at our organization, this group holds the highest retention rate and is our strongest advocate in spreading the mission. That is not to say one donor segment is more important than another, rather all donors represent a different quality and attribute. Therefore, all deserve the same time and respect.

I truly believe the secret behind our donor success lies within the personal relationship and authenticity with our donors.”…”

I hope this brief highlight of Pamela’s blog will entice you to read the entire article at www.nonprofitpro.com/post/honoring-small-dollar-donors/. Check out her sample thank you letter.  Get more ideas on how to recruit, welcome and retain donors.  If you have strategies that have been successful share your comments with others by commenting below.




Kay Rosenthal PhD RN

Posted in Donor Relations | Leave a comment

How to gain more experience in less time!

Submitted by Kay Rosenthal PhD, RN-Guest blogger, EPNRC Volunteer

Naphtali Hoff, PsyD, an executive coach and organizational consultant, wrote, “How to gain more experience in less time”. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for? Ways to do more with less time! Here are parts of his blog that shares how to gain experience in decision making as a leader without making tons of mistakes along the way….

“A story is told about a reporter who was interviewing a successful bank president. He wanted to know the secret of the man’s success. “Two words,” he was told, “right decisions.”

“And how do you make right decisions?” asked the reporter. The reply: “One word: experience.”

The reporter pressed on. “And how do you get experience?” he asked. To which the banker replied, “Two words: wrong decisions.”

We all recognize the importance of job and life experience, especially for leaders. Experience gives leaders context for important decisions that they must make and insight into how best to lead, motivate and respond to their people. Experienced leaders have been through the wringer before and can use their past learning and decisions to guide them moving forward.

Yet, for many new leaders, experience can be hard to come by. And in today’s fast-changing, competitive environment in which more and more young people are assuming leadership roles, it can be critical for them to find ways to gain experience quickly in order to ensure that they make as few “wrong decisions” as possible, for their own sake as well as for those that they lead.

What can new and aspiring leaders do to gain the benefits of experience when they simply don’t have much on-the-job learning under their belts?

  1. Go for training.
  2. Volunteer.
  3. Find a mentor/peer group.
  4. Read/watch leadership experts.
  5. Reflect and take notes.
  6. Ask for feedback.

Confucius once said, “By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

Every new leader would be wise to take the necessary steps to gain as much wisdom as possible without having to endure the bitterness of wrong decisions.”

I have always learned a lot by going to conferences and seminars and networking at those events. Making sure to apply what I learned. Being a volunteer in different organizations and tossing out my ideas and trying new things to see how they play out has helped as well. Working with a mentor is a fabulous way to avoid some pitfalls as you learn from a person with more experience. You can also reach out to leadership experts and read more about them or watch them on YouTube or TED talks. I always take notes so I can go back to see what I learned and reflect on if it’s “stuck” in my head for future use or if I need to keep reviewing my notes. And finally I agree with Dr Hoff that asking for feedback will be beneficial. Keep in mind that the only way this works is if you use the information you are given so that you are able to grow into the leader you strive to be.

Good Luck in all your endeavors,
Kay Rosenthal PhD, RN

For the full article go to: http://smartbrief.com/original/2017/02/how-gain-more-experience-less-time

Posted in Professional development | Leave a comment


Submitted by Kay Rosenthal PhD, RN – Guest blogger, EPNRC volunteer


In January I blogged about “Karma Yoga”, being of service without seeking personal benefit in return.

In February I am sharing highlights from Tony Stubblebine, founder of Coach.me.  He talks about “ten science-backed reasons for altruism”.  A few were new to me. Others are reminders of things we have heard but might forgot to do.

  • “Generosity…. cooperation or even allowing others higher payoffs” are more successful strategies than attempting to dominate others.
  • “Be the first to speak up in a meeting – and say something positive about someone else”.  WOW!  That’s a lovely idea!  What a great way to start a meeting on a positive note!
  • Want to “lower your blood pressure and increase your psychological well-being”?  Volunteering your time and skills is shown to improve your health.
  • By your role modeling altruistic behaviors your children will “feel better, behave better, and reduce bullying”. Anything we can do as adults to reduce bullying in schools and in our own workplaces will make a positive impact on our lives and on the lives of others.
  • I think we have all heard it is “better to give than to receive”. Tony says that “Spending money on others can increase your happiness more than spending it on yourself”.
  • Have you noticed that when you do good deeds in the workplace it makes you happier and more satisfied as an employee?
  • Are you “paying it forward”? Like in the TV ad where you see one person doing something nice so that person does something nice to the next person they encounter and it goes on and on.  Tony says that, “Witnessing acts of altruism makes people more likely to be altruistic themselves”.
  • Want to inspire good works in others?  “Altruism is a quality of charismatic leadership”.
  • Have you heard of the “helper’s high”? “You can get an instant change in mood from altruistic acts” according to Tony.
  • “Giving to others reduces stress and can increase life expectancy”.

Which of these have you incorporated in your life?  Which one(s) will you start doing in 2017?  Think about it and let us know or show us in your next meeting. So even if you aren’t being altruistic for personal benefits it’s nice to know that you reap benefits regardless. NO harm in that!

Based on Tony Stubblebine “10 Science-Backed Reasons for Altruism” Here’s the link:  www.facebook.com/coachdotme/posts/967871763346517


Posted in Professional development, Wellness | Leave a comment

Karma Yoga, A Perfect New Year’s Resolution

Kay Rosenthal PhD, RN – Guest blogger, EPNRC volunteer

Karma Yoga, A Perfect New Year’s Resolution
By Ram Rao

Friends share the greatest insight via email and blogs. Yeah! I read this one this morning after Jill sent it to me and agreed that I needed to share it with you.

A lot of people volunteer for which many are truly grateful. This article by Ram Rao shares the positive social, emotional, and physical benefits of volunteering. The twist that this author presents is selfless voluntary service, which Ram calls “Karma Yoga.” The key points are that the service is without any expectation of something in return and providing the selfless service with a loving attitude.

Please read on for the full article.

“Karma Yoga can be loosely interpreted as a selfless voluntary service that is rendered without any personal expectation. An individual rendering selfless service puts the well-being of others as a top priority ahead of his/her personal gain or achievement, and gets rid of all egoistic tendencies while offering such a service. To be a karma yogi you need to cultivate two qualities: 1) providing the service without any expectation of reward, award, name, or fame and 2) having a loving attitude toward the selfless service.

Selfless service requires you to perform any service. At the same time you need to cultivate a loving attitude towards the selfless task without developing any stress from it, no matter what the outcome is. If you render selfless service with these qualities, you experience true happiness and satisfaction. Seek the true karma yogis and you will commonly hear them saying that the more they serve selflessly, the more true happiness they receive. Here is how Krishna puts it in Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita:

“Set thy heart upon thy work, but never on its reward, Work not for a reward; but never cease to do thy work. Do thy work in the peace of Yoga and free from selfish desires, be not moved in success or failure”—translated by Juan Mascaro

This approach—performing a task without any expectation, letting go of all results, whether good or bad, and focusing on the selfless action alone—is the essence of selfless service/karma yoga. In the light of non-attachment, the selfless doer attains freedom from emotional disturbances including but not limited to desires, ambitions, fear, worry, anxiety, judgment, and rage, and this is what leads to true happiness. BKS Iyengar alludes to selfless service when he extols the benefits of karuna (compassion). Karuna or true compassion is when you couple the compassion with a selfless action that relieves the misery or suffering. A true karma yogi is one who without any expectation or reward uses all the available resources to mitigate pain, misery and suffering, provides courage and strength to the weak and, provides shelter to all. In doing so, the doer of selfless service overcomes all mental afflictions (vrittis).

It is no surprise that the authors of a recent study Is volunteering a public health intervention? A systematic review and meta-analysis of the health and survival of volunteers that compiled empirical evidence on the benefits of selfless service concluded that rendering selfless service is very good for both body and spirit (physical and mental/emotional). And it also adds years to life. The study found that selfless service—like serving food in a soup kitchen or reading to the blind—reduces early mortality rates by almost 22%, compared to those people who did not volunteer in such activities. The study, which reviewed 40 other studies on selfless service and its effects, also revealed that volunteers benefit not just from reduced rates of depression but they also experience an increased sense of life satisfaction and wellbeing—doing a selfless service made them feel good, provided them true happiness, and also led to improvements in overall health.

However, the authors also add not to expect these benefits just by offering few pennies to the charity box. True selfless service and its benefits come from going that extra mile—sacrificing time and effort to engage in an actual service. In the study, benefits were seen only among those participants that volunteered at least an hour of work once a month or those that offered their services more frequently. It is easy to understand why selfless service provides true happiness, leads to improvements in health, and extends health span (see Volunteer Work and Hedonic, Eudemonic, and Social Well-Being ). Studies have shown that doing a selfless act leads to numerous changes in the body and mind including:

· Stress reduction—when you are helping others, your body releases an important hormone called oxytocin which assists in buffering out stressful thoughts.
· Merely thinking of a selfless service releases certain “feel-good” chemicals namely dopamine that boosts the morale of the individual.
· Self-confidence—self-esteem builds and confidence levels grows when you are passionate about helping others in need.
· Helping others has shown to reverse high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and dementia by modulating the blood flow.
To promote these advantages, the United Nations as well as many European governments are encouraging more citizens to volunteer and render selfless service. We can do our bit as well. How about committing to selfless acts on a regular basis to achieve a longer health span and bring greater fulfillment to our life? A perfect and selfless resolution for Y2017!”

I wish you a happy and healthy year of selfless service carried out with a loving attitude as you start the New Year out as a karma yogi. Please set up an hour or more a month in your new 2017 calendar now. Enjoy! Namaste.

Posted in General Nonprofit Information | Leave a comment

Six Fundraising Ideas to Help Connect with Millennial Donors

Kay Rosenthal PhD, RN – Guest blogger, EPNRC volunteer

Six Fundraising ideas to help connect with millennial donors.

Posted by Ian Lauth on Winspire News highlighted and abbreviated below by Kay Rosenthal. I encourage you to read the entire blog and click on his links– this is a teaser to see if you might want more information.

For the full blog go to: http://blog.winspireme.com/6-fundraising-ideas-to-help-connect-with-millennial-donors


I’m a baby boomer but my son is a millennial. He definitely has different thoughts on donations. Since the millennials are a large portion of the population – we baby boomers need to learn how to reach them. According to Ian, “millennials … ages of 21 and 35 – are known for their generosity and interest in charitable causes”. Ian offers six “fundraising auction ideas for attracting millennial donors and maintaining positive relationships with younger audiences.

  1. Be tech savvy

…Skip snail mail and opt for digital outreach. Email is key, but don’t forget to connect via social media too. Keep your website, online profiles and accounts up to date and interact frequently with followers and members…Optimize your site for mobile! Many millennials will use a tablet or smartphone…

  1. Focus on the cause

Millennials support causes they are passionate about… use stories, photos and video to make an emotional appeal. They want to know how their money is making a difference… Explain how $100 feeds 50 children for a week, and then embed a video on your blog that shows your organization in action…

  1. Convey genuine gratitude

… A millennial who donates digitally should get the same genuine “thank you” that other donors receive… If you do have an automatic thank you or confirmation email, use the person’s name, indicate the specific amount they donated and include an emotional story about their impact”…. Ian recommends making a personal phone call – not that my son would ever pick up! Haha! But Ian says it “can forge a life-long connection.”

  1. Don’t forget them after they give

…Send updates about your mission, recent successes or even articles that relate to your cause. Work to make recent donors feel like they are part of a new community, something bigger than themselves… Do not ignore them after you get funding -this is key to millennial patron retention.

  1. Sharing is caring

Millennials like to share. Through social media, they like to tell the world what they are doing, who they are with and what they support.  An oft-forgotten fundraiser idea for younger audiences is to encourage online sharing. Make sure you have social media share buttons available after a donation is made…




  1. Don’t underestimate their donation power

By far the biggest mistake Nonprofits can make with millennials is to ignore them assuming they don’t care or don’t have money to give. While they may not have accumulated as much …they still have money to give. As the millennial generation ages, they will soon have the resources to contribute more to charity in the years to come. Make sure you are always considering the lifetime value of a donor. They will remember the impression they had of your organization the first time they made a donation, which will influence donations they may make in the future.

Savvy Nonprofits know that connecting with younger patrons is just as important as connecting with older audiences. These fundraising ideas will get you that much closer to building meaningful relationships with millennials so you can grow your Nonprofit’s mission today and for years to come”.

We baby boomers know how to reach out to our like aged family, friends, and colleagues, now we need to learn how to reach out to the millennials. I thought Ian had some great ideas. I hope you will find them helpful.


Posted in Donor Relations, Fundraising | 3 Comments

It’s Flu Season

Kay Rosenthal PhD, RN – Guest blogger, EPNRC volunteer

It’s Flu Season!

Are you vaccinated?  I am and I strongly recommend that you talk with your health care provider to see if you should be vaccinated too. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers great information on the flu and the flu vaccine.  Below are excerpts from the site.

Flu Vaccination

“Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. “Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. During this time, flu viruses are circulating at higher levels in the U.S. population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

Flu vaccination should begin soon after vaccine becomes available, if possible by October. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even in January or later. While seasonal influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, during most seasons influenza activity peaks in January or later. Since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection, it is best that people get vaccinated so they are protected before influenza begins spreading in their community.

The benefits of the flu vaccination include:

  • The flu vaccine can keep you from getting sick with flu.
  • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization, including among children and older adults.
  • Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.
  • Vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy. Getting vaccinated can also protect a baby after birth from flu. (Mom passes antibodies onto the developing baby during her pregnancy.)
  • Getting vaccinated yourself also protects people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.”

If you haven’t already gotten your flu vaccination please contact your personal health care provider to see if getting the flu vaccine is appropriate for you. Let’s stay healthy Estes!


Posted in Wellness | Leave a comment

Vacation- what a relief…what a stressful time….. which is it for you?

Kay Rosenthal PhD, RN – Guest blogger, EPNRC volunteer

Vacation- what a relief…what a stressful time….. which is it for you?

For me, it was both! I was super stressed planning our trip to Iceland. Therefore, I did a ton of reading, reached out to people to see where they visited when they were there, then talked to my friends and family about my fears around planning the trip. Maybe we should just go on a package trip and make it easy on ourselves.The downside would be we wouldn’t get to see all the things I had learned about. Finally, I enlisted the help of my husband and we created an excel spreadsheet to plan our activities on and my son came to the rescue with Google Maps! Google Maps helped me determine if we could really get from point A to point B.

Knowing I couldn’t control a lot of the aspects of our trip helped me to plan parts of the trip and then have contingency plans for weather, fatigue or both. Seeking out support helped me get it all planned. PS – Our trip was magnificent.

The stress related to planning a vacation is one thing, planning events and day-to-day operations of a nonprofit organization can loom much larger for staff and board members. Jill Lancaster, Executive Director EPNRC, sent me this great article, How to Hack Stress- Science of People by Vanessa Van Edwards. I hope you will take the time to watch the TED presentation by Kelly McGonigal and read the six steps for hacking stress in the link below. Invest in yourself and spend 15-20 minutes learning more. Then, see if any of the tips work for you.

Here’s the link: http://www.scienceofpeople.com/2016/10/how-to-hack-stress/

After watching the video this morning I realized that I have always befriended stress. I have used it as a way to get myself geared up and moving forward. I do see it as the body’s response to help me rise to the challenge, whatever that challenge that might be. What I used for my trip planning instinctively – asking for help, getting support – worked! I didn’t even realize that reaching out was actually part of the stress response. Kelly mentions the role of oxytocin in her TED talk and explains how we experience stress and our body responds by increasing our heart rate and respiration so that we are ready to respond physically. In addition Kelly explained how our body then supplies a natural anti-inflammatory neuro-hormone to encourage us to seek help and give help to others which then helps our body cope with the stress. Our bodies are amazing, aren’t they?

What I found even more interesting in her TED talk was the meaning and belief behind our stress response is life threatening or life saving depending on if we feel that stress is bad for our health or is actually good for us. Re-framing stress into a positive part of our life is powerful and Kelly explains that caring creates resilience. With all the caring you do within your non-profit organization and the volunteer efforts you provide our community you are helping not only others but yourself.

The article continues with six main points to help you hack stress. I’m not sure you need these pieces now if you focus on re-framing the stress in a positive way however, you might still find these helpful. The six tips include:

1. “Lose Control”- The article talks about disrupting your routine intentionally to help you get more comfortable with chaos and not being so time conscious as we all know we cannot control time.
2. “Put Yourself First”- Be sure you “are well-rested, well-fueled and recharged.”
3. “Practice Mindfulness”- Do one task at a time instead of multi-tasking.
4. “Create a ‘Break’ List” You might want to take a walk around the building, jump on a mini-trampoline, call a friend, or do something else that you think is fun.
5. “Distract Yourself”- Journaling and taking walks, take up a new hobby are mentioned as ways to distract yourself.
6. “Color Meditation”- Have you been to a coloring book party? It’s a great way to socialize and find your “mental zen.”

After watching the TED talk I am going to work on enhancing my positive perception of stress as actually helping me to reach out more to others and help further increase my resiliency. Let me know what you plan to do and what you find works for you. Believing that stress is healthy may be the most crucial aspect of your taking time to read the full article after viewing the TED talk.

Posted in Wellness | Leave a comment