Thursday, December 31, 2009

9 Have Fun Do Good Reflection Questions for Your New Year


One of my favorite things about this time of year is reflecting and planning. I've been enjoying other bloggers' reflection and planning posts like:
I'm also looking forward to listening to the mp3 of Kimberly Wilson's New Year, New You tranquility du jour teleclass on January 4th.

Below are 9 Have Fun Do Good New Year Reflection Questions that I hope you'll find helpful as you think about your New Year's resolutions, goals, intentions, wishes and dreams.
  1. What does having fun mean to you?
  2. What does doing good mean to you?
  3. How did you have fun in 2009?
  4. How did you do good in 2009?
  5. How did you have fun and do good in 2009?
  6. How do you want to have fun in 2010?
  7. How do you want to do good in 2010?
  8. How do you want to have fun and do good in 2010?
  9. What is the one have fun do good 2010 resolution you are the most excited to keep?
The have fun do good resolution I am the most excited to keep is about gift giving:
In 2010, I am going to make gifts, give gifts of time together, or buy gifts from local businesses, or creative entrepreneurs.
What is your have fun do good 2010 resolution?


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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wanna Go to Davos? Pitch Your Cause on YouTube



Do you think your organization, or cause should be represented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland? Make your pitch in a YouTube video by January 4, 2010.

According to the Official YouTube blog post, One Week to Make Your Pitch to Attend Davos!:
"[A]ll videos should be no longer than three minutes. Speak clearly and from the heart. Five finalists will be selected by a judging panel comprised of Paolo Coelho, Arianna Huffington and Muhammad Yunus. These finalist videos will then go to public vote on January 8, with a winner announced on January 19."
The winner will have access to a "special panel" at the Forum to talk about their cause.

If you're looking for tips when making your video for the contest, or for making YouTube videos for your nonprofit in general, check out these posts for ideas and advice:If you enter, good luck!

Cross-posted from BlogHer.com.


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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nonprofit Calendars for 2010

I know more and more people are using calendars on their computers and cell phones, but I like paper calendars. There is something about writing things down by hand with different colored pens that I still love.

If you haven't purchased your 2010 calendar yet (or are looking for a last minute holiday gift), lots of nonprofits publish calendars.

I asked my Facebook and Twitter pals for suggestions, and they came up with the list below:


I'm sure there are lots of community and regional nonprofits that publish calendars too, like the ones listed in this Idaho Statesman article, Buy these calendars to help out nonprofits. According to the article, the Zoo Boise has a Poop of the Month calendar that features different species and their feces. Hilarious.

What are other fabulous calendars produced by nonprofits that should be added to the list?

A big thanks to all of the folks on Twitter and Facebook who sent me nonprofit calendar suggestions: @maggieleithead of Charity Village, @CoreyPud and Kate Millea of Convio, @coldmtn of Rikshaw Films, Kory Taylor, Marylee McInnes, Gwen Rose, Milo Sybrant of Amnesty International USA, Stacy Colwell, Morra Aarons-Mele of Women & Work and BlogHer, Roger Carr of the Everyday Giving Blog, and Douglas Patinka.

Cross-posted from BlogHer.com.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Creative Women Entrepreneur Survey Results and Winners

In the fall, Jennifer Lee, Lisa Sonora Beam, Kimberly Wilson, and I asked you to tell us what your ideal creative women entrepreneur gathering would look like by completing a survey. We were thrilled that 300+ of you shared your ideas with us! Thank you!

Here are some highlights of what you said:
  • Your preferred formats would be a retreat, or an online event
  • You are in the beginning stages of starting your businesses
  • You would like both early stage and established entrepreneurs to be a part of the gathering
  • You want to clarify your vision, network, and learn hard skills (i.e. social media, finance, licensing)
Based on your input, we're thinking about holding an in-person retreat and an online event in Fall 2010. We'll keep you posted as things evolve. In the meantime, if you have favorite retreat locations you'd like to recommend, let us know!

We're continuing to vision and plan a fabulous experience for you, and we can't wait to connect with all of you vibrant and inspiring creative women entrepreneurs.

And congratulations to the winners of our raffle (you should each have been notified already via e-mail by your awardee):




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Friday, December 18, 2009

I Need a Slow Holiday (Do You?)

I don't know about you, but my life has been moving at a breakneck pace this month. Every year I tell myself, "I'm not going to get stressed out about the holidays," but inevitably I do.

I was thrilled to find Kirsten Dirksen's post on The Huffington Post, How to Have a Slow Holiday: Re-learning How to Play, and the accompanying video, Slow Christmas: how we play (no shopping required), about how her family celebrates Christmas. She writes:
"After all, polls show that 90% of Americans feel anxiety around the holidays. So I'd like to propose a solution: don't shop, play."
Love it.

Her family has "shopping-free" Christmases where people give things that they already own. Love that too!

Porter McConnell, of Slow Christmas has some good tips in her post, Down to the Wire: 3 Tips to Christmas Sanity. I particularly liked Tip 2:
"Ask yourself, is this a situation where my need for speed is legitimate, i.e. am I being pursued by bears?"
The Psychology Today blog, The Power of Slow, also has a post with Top Ten Ideas to Slow Down This Holiday Season by Christine Louise Hohlbaum. One of my favorites was:
"Busy is a mindset. Try saying the words 'I have time.'"
Finally, Slow Family Living has a 14-page Creating YOUR Slow Holiday e-book, which I just downloaded for $7.50. I'm going to hunker down with it this weekend. Most of it is workbook-style, with questions like:
"What messages do you get now from society and from friends and family about what the holidays should look and feel like?"
If you're one of the few people who doesn't get stressed out around the holidays, please, share your tips!



Cross-posted from BlogHer.com


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What a Nice Gift! Career and Blog Coaching

This morning I finished putting together a hand-painted card and gift certificate for 6 career coaching sessions with me. A woman bought it for her artist friend for Christmas. Isn't that a nice gift?

Some of you might not know that I've been a career consultant for creative and do-good folks for the past 12 years. I've also been offering a new service recently that I'm calling blog therapy (one of my clients came up with the name. Isn't it cute?).

I've found that people often start blogging, or redesign their blog, during times of transition. Blog therapy mixes career coaching and blog coaching to help people create work they love, and a blog that expresses their new identity and enterprise.

If you're interested in giving a friend (or yourself!) some career coaching or blog therapy, shoot me an email at britt AT brittbravo DOT com. Giving the gift of a one-hour phone session is $95. Giving the gift of 4 one-hour phone sessions is $300.


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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Share Your Have Fun Do Good Photos & Stories using The Extraordinaries

Hello Have Fun Do Gooders!

As some of you know, I do some blogging for The Extraordinaries, a microvolunteering application that you can use on your iPhone, or your computer.

Most of the microvolunteering opportunities are for nonprofits, but the folks at The Extraordinaries recently added a Have Fun Do Good microvolunteer opportunity! Wahoo!

You can either share a story about how you, another person, or a group is having fun and doing good, or take a photo of a way you can have fun and do good at the same time. I'll be checking the submissions from time to time, and featuring some of them here.

No photos have been submitted yet, but six people have submitted stories (see some of them below). I hope you'll share your Have Fun Do Good stories (:

  • i helped to start a neighborhood party that now happens every 6 weeks at a different neighbor's house each time. out of the event, there have been apartments found, relationships made, business brokered, friendships formed, and a stronger neighborhood created as a result.

  • My sorority contributes to the Robbie Page Memorial Fund every year and we also create a fun craft for children with terminal illnesses.

  • I am a Iron Soul. The Iron Souls is a Motorcycle Club based out of Oakland California that gives back to the betterment of the community. We like to ride Harley's, and have fun most of all, but we also work with foundations like Lend A Hand, Mother Wright Foundation, and a few others. We also do things like Turkey dive/giveaways to the less fortunite. We really have fun doing it too.

  • our school asb hosted a hats on day where students could wear hats to school to help raise funds for the foundation for children with cancer.

  • Habitat for Humanity is an awesome to meet people, have fun, AND do something amazing for a family. This organization is completely volunteer and donation reliant so it is satisfying to know that you are helping change someone's life. Building, painting, even nailing two boards together is giving hope to people that don't have sufficient help. I had a great time doing many projects with Habitat for Humanity and look forward to having more fun and accomplishing things in the future!

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Does Your Fundraising Make Me Feel Happy and Hopeful?

I've been sharing the Outside article, Nicholas Kristof's Advice for Saving the World with lots of folks this week. In it, the New York Times columnist and blogger writes about what mobilizes people to get involved in social change. The gist of his conclusions were:
  • People are moved to do good in order to feel good.
  • People are moved to help individuals.
  • People are moved by hopeful and inspiring stories.
  • People are moved by the opportunity to make a successful impact.
This all seems like common sense, but think of how many annual appeal letters you receive that tell sad stories, quote miserable statistics, and in general make you feel like, "What's the point of giving $50, or volunteering, it won't make a difference?" People want to feel like they are able to make a difference, which may be why, "Yes We Can," resonated with Obama supporters.

For example, in her post, Here’s a good fundraising appeal: I gave on Katya's Nonprofit Blog, Katya Andresen shares 5 reasons she liked the appeal she received from Imagination Stage.
1. The gratitude
2. The clear demonstration this is an organization that has tightened its belt and will stretch my dollar
3. The tangible sense of where the money goes
4. A reminder of why we love the arts and what it does for kids
5. More gratitude
The appeal made her feel good, hopeful, and confident that her donation would make an impact.

Likewise, in the post, How Many Thank-Yous Will I Get This Year? on Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog, Kivi Leroux Miller writes about how important it is for organizations to write thank you notes. She is repeating an experiment that she tried last year, where she donated to 12 charities, and waited to see how many thank you notes she would receive.

The result of last year's experiment, which she wrote about in, Can a Girl Get a Thank-You Note, Please?, was that 4 of the 12 charities sent a thank you note. Her favorite came from Interplast because it told the story, with photos, of one boy whose life would be changed because of donations like hers.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of bad news, angry emails, sad photos, and depressing statistics. Why would I donate or give my time to a lost cause? Please, help me believe that, yes, we can.


Flickr photo credit: Happy Happy Cookie uploaded by CarbonNYC/David Goehring.

Cross-posted from BlogHer.com.


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Have Fun Do Good Link Love: Slow Holidays, GoodGuide iPhone app and Nicholas Kristof's Advice for Saving the World

November was a good month for press. The WE Volunteer blog I write for, Do Good, Feel Good, was mentioned in WSJ.com's Blog Watch (thanks Beckey Bright!), and Kimberly Wilson interviewed me for the Tranquility du Jour Podcast (thanks, Kimberly!).

NEWS
I've published 12 new WE Volunteer posts since the last Have Fun Do Good Link Love:
And 3 new posts on the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship blog:

And 2 new posts on The Extraordinaries blog:


And in the most recent episode of the Be Bold Podcast I chatted with Jobs for Change blogger and NOI Program Assistant, Anne Marie Ashburn.




LINK LOVE




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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Write a Letter, Make a Video, Embrace Diversity: December 10th is Human Rights Day

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood"--Article 1 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Thursday, December 10th is Human Rights Day. This year's theme is, "embrace diversity, end discrimination." Two creative ways you can celebrate are by writing a letter, and making a YouTube video.

1. Write for Rights with Amnesty International

Join Amnesty's Global Write-a-thon December 5-13, and write a letter to help a human rights defender, prisoner of conscience, or other victim of human rights abuse. You can write letters by yourself, or find an event near you. The Amnesty site has resources to help you write your letter and organize an event, as well as success stories for inspiration about people whose lives were changed because of letter-writing campaigns.

I've linked to information about the campaign from www.amnestyusa.org, but www.amnesty.ca also has a Write for Rights site, and Amnesty branches in other countries may have information as well.

2. Create a YouTube video about a human rights organization

Each month, YouTube's Video Volunteers program asks folks to make videos about organizations working on a particular issue. This month's issue is human rights. To participate, make a promotional, less than 3-minute video about a human rights organization whose work you admire. Submit it by December 21st. The top 3 videos will appear on the YouTube homepage at the end of the month.

When we think about human rights, we often think of extremes circumstances like torture, wrongful imprisonment, or genocide, but really, you can help preserve human rights in your everyday life. I like this Eleanor Roosevelt quote on the Every Human Has Rights site:

"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works."

I found the continuation of Roosevelt's quote on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 50th Anniversary site:

"Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world."

Related blog posts:
Red rights badges taken from Every Human Has Rights
Cross-posted from BlogHer.com.





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Friday, December 04, 2009

20 Lists of Holiday Gifts that Give Back

My friend Gabriela of One Love Alliance forwarded me an email today from Slow Family Living that said:
"Remember?

It's supposed to be Comfort and Joy.
Not stress and overwhelm.

Don't forget to...
Slow Down.
Connect.
And truly Enjoy this holiday season."
Isn't that awesome?

So, before you dive into your holiday gift shopping, remember that the "gifts that give back" the most are the ones given with love, no matter what they are.

When I wrote my first 10 Holiday Gifts that Give Back post in 2007, there weren't many posts like it. Last year, there were more, so I posted 10 Lists of Holiday Gifts That Give Back. This year, there are TONS. As they wrote in Gifts That Give Back: Charitable Gifts on Marie Claire, "Charity is the new black."

I think you'll find that many (not all) of the gifts on the lists below are collaborations between large national, or international nonprofits, and big brands. I encourage you to support the small, local nonprofits in your community with a gift donation. Better yet, why not give the gift of time to your family, and to an organization, by volunteering at a local nonprofit together during the holidays?

OK, here are the lists. I'm telling you, this is just a sampling.
  1. 7 Gifts that Give Back to the World in Impact News on The Huffington Post
  2. 11 Holiday Gift Programs that Benefit Nonprofits and Make the World A Better Place on Nonprofit Tech 2.0
  3. 2009 Gifts That Give Back, Part 1 on The Vibe
  4. Dressed to Give: How to make the holidays fabulous and philanthropic on the Case Foundation
  5. Colorful Spending: Gifts That Give Back on Live in Full Color
  6. Do Good Gift Guide 2009: Presents with a Purpose on lhj.com (Ladies Home Journal)
  7. Give Gifts That Give Back! on Forbes.com
  8. Gifts That Give Back: Charitable Gifts on Marie Claire
  9. Gifts That Give Back: Holiday Gift Guide 2009 on InStyle
  10. Gifts That Give Back: Snapfish Free Photo Calendar & Make-A-Wish Custom Photo Book Giveaway on This Full House
  11. Give Gifts That Give Back This Season on Women for Women International blog
  12. Give a guy a gift that gives back on the Case Foundation blog
  13. Green Holiday Gifts that Give Back on Bliss Tree
  14. "Good" holiday gifts on a college student budget on the Case Foundation blog
  15. Presents for Purpose – Every Gift Benefits a Cause (Coupon Code and Giveaway Too) on Just Not Martha
  16. Ten Gifts That Give Back on weBEgirls
  17. 'Tis the Season to Help: The Gifts That Give Back Roundup on Outblush
  18. Top Five: Gifts That Give Back on SheFinds
  19. Twice as nice: Gifts that benefit nonprofits on The Miami Herald
  20. Women Who Create Gifts That Give Back on Oprah.com
Cross-posted from BlogHer.com
Photo taken by me at Mountain View Cemetery.



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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Handmade Nation: Watch It, Gift It, Love It!

In 2006, filmmaker Faythe Levine traveled 19,000+ miles visiting over 15 cities, and interviewing more than 50 indie artists, crafters, and designers. The result is a fun, fabulous documentary that recently came out on DVD, Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design.

I watched it a couple nights ago, and *loved* it. Levine not only captures artists like Jenine Bressner, Nikki McClure, and Jenny Hart working in their studios, but also profiles the owners of independent stores, galleries and online distributors, like Little Otsu, Beehive Co-op, and buyolympia.com. She also has lots of footage from events, like the Renegade Craft Fair (which I'm hoping to report back from later this month).

You can watch a 10-minute trailer on YouTube. The film is still being screened across the country. Look in the right sidebar of the Handmade Nation blog for upcoming screening dates. It is also available on DVD from buyolympia.com and Amazon.

Whether you identify with the people profiled in the film's desire to create, be independent, work sustainably, make a living as an artist, preserve a craft, or find community, I think you'll be inspired by the film's end. I was.

I received a review copy of the DVD, which I'd be happy to send off to a lucky someone. To enter in the raffle to receive the DVD, post a comment on the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship blog, where this post is cross-posted from, with your DIY/handmade holiday gift idea, and a way to contact you if you win, by December 21st.

Images: Jenine Bressner, Providence RI 2006. Nikki McClure, Olympia WA 2006. Jenny Hart's desk, Austin TX 2006.