Believing that social change is possible is the beginning. Realizing that you yourself can effect such change will lead you to clarify your vision and identify the skills you need to prepare the ground and plant the seeds of change.--Anne Firth Murray
While on vacation I read several books, but the one that stood out the most was Paradigm Found: Leading and Managing for Positive Change by Anne Firth Murray, the founder of the Global Fund for Women.
Whether you are starting your own nonprofit, or simply interested in how a person can take a seed of an idea for positive change and make it into reality, you'll find some nuggets of wisdom in this book.
What I find so interesting and inspiring about the Global Fund's work is how their grants to women's groups seem to come with so few strings attached, which empowers the women receiving the funds to use them how they best feel that they need to be spent. Murray writes:
At the Global Fund I defined empowerment as 'having a vision, having a plan to work toward that vision, and having the capacity to take the first steps toward the plan.' The Global Fund's role in such empowerment usually involved responding to requests from women's groups to provide the financial means for women to take the first steps in a plan that they had already developed in the context of their vision.Over and over again, Murray talks about the importance of making connections and of people working together to create positive change. Interestingly, in the late 90's the Fund received a grant for the Pacific Institute for Women's Health to visit 56 grantees in 8 countries and report back about their successes. One of the results was:
[T]he researchers learned that trust was a key element in women's perception of the success of their organizations. . . . the researchers also discovered that the act of gathering together in groups with other women appeared to increase feelings of power, status, and well-being in women.
We love the groups---book clubs, Weight Watchers, Dining for Women--BlogHer!
So for all you Solutionary Women out there, no matter what goal you are pointed towards, whether it's to create social change, find work that you love, be a better mom, or paint your kitchen, reach out to other women and see how much more you can achieve.
Image via www.paradigmfound.org
anne firth murray