Leadership Message: January 2017

Twenty Seventeen, What Does it ALL Mean!?

We don’t know about you fellow game changers but something about the turning of the year left us somewhat uninspired thanks to a very uncertain year ahead. The nonprofit sector has its work cut out for us this upcoming presidential term. Healthcare, environment, education, gun control, women’s reproductive rights, immigration…the list of social justice issues under attack goes on.

So what does this mean for us as the next generation of nonprofit leaders in our community? How does this shape our actions and commitment to creating change and advocating for the voiceless in the upcoming year? What is needed to push our missions and the vision we share for a thriving Santa Cruz County?

If we stop to really think about these questions, deep down we already know the answers. All we have to do is look at history and within ourselves to understand change always has and always will start at the individual level. It just takes one. That’s YOU. Luckily, we have more than one in YNPNCC. We have each other.

So in the spirit of Michael Jackson’s great song, “Man in the Mirror” (who couldn’t use a little MJ from time to time?) we are serving up some small but meaningful ways we can continue to make change in our community starting with the man and/or woman you see in the mirror today.

Our top 12 ideas for making change today:

  1. Get coffee with a fellow dot org’er you don’t know very well or don’t know at all. Talk about possible partnerships and ways to support each other’s work in our community.

  2. Do one kind thing for a co-worker. No reason just send out some good vibes to make them feel good about coming to work that day.

  3. Suggest one thing your team can do to improve work culture. Maybe it’s increasing team member recognition or rallying the troops for an ice cream trip each month.

  4. Take care of yourself so you can continue to do good. That means drinking more water, sleeping more, exercising every week and eating that good, local, organic stuff we are so lucky to have all around us. Try to focus on this moment right now and BREATHE.

  5. Call and personally thank 10 donors this year.

  6. Share another nonprofit’s social media post. Spread the word of their cause.

  7. Volunteer for another nonprofit. It’s just a few hours and it will take you out of your own mission and expand your understanding of community change taking place.

  8. Schedule a one on one with a few board members to deepen your understanding of your org

  9. Get to know the unknowns and keep learning - sign up for a webinar and learn a new skill

  10. Tell great stories about your organization to friends and family - because the world needs to hear good news!

  11. Attend a community meeting. That could be city council or one of the many initiative meetings taking place about different issues our community is facing.

  12. Help or smile at someone just because. Hold the door open, buy the person behind you in line their cup of coffee, put quarters in someone’s meter or say a kind word to someone looking like they are having shitty day. Hell, just smiling and saying hello more often to strangers is a good way to spread good vibes. Remember we are all in this very deep, very real human experience TOGETHER. That’s true no matter who our president is;)

So that’s it. That’s our list of a dozen ways to make the world better starting with you and me. Now pick yourself up and get ready to do some good today, YNPN Central Coast. Happy New Year.