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 The mission of the "Your Mark on the World Center" is to solve the world's biggest problems before 2045 by identifying and championing the work of experts who have created credible plans and programs to end them once and for all.
Crowdfunding for Social Good
Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe


This category includes articles about nonprofit organizations and NGOs that are actively working to accomplish a social mission. The work of foundations that primarily work as grantors to other nonprofits is covered in Philanthropy.

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This Pair Is Working To Integrate Refugees Into Parisian Employment And Community

Jean Guo, CEO, and Binta Jammeh, COO, of Konexio are working to provide digital skills training to improve the educational and career potential to some of the 200,000 refugees living in Paris. Just as important, they are strategically helping them to connect to the broader Paris community to help them fully integrate into their new community.

Launched less than two years ago, Konexio is already showing results, with most of the participants reporting that they use the skills they learned. Almost three quarters report getting jobs!

Interview with Jean Guo, the CEO, co-founder of Konexio.

The following is the pre-interview with Jean Guo. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

The problem that Konexio seeks to solve is the pressing issue of integration and employment for vulnerable populations, notably refugees and migrants. This problem revolves around three key facts:

There are currently 65 million displaced persons globally.

In France, where Konexio operates, there are over 200,000 refugees and asylum seekers, and the unemployment rate within this group is over 50%.

On average it takes 20 years for refugees to reach the same employment level as nationals.

However, according to the European Commission, 1€ invested in integration efforts can yield 2€ in economic benefits. Furthermore, it is is estimated that there will be 1 million vacancies in jobs requiring digital skills in Europe by 2020, while a staggering 90 % of jobs across Europe already require candidates to have at least a basic level of digital literacy.

Our solution is to provide digital and soft skills training to our students, thus providing refugees with opportunities for professional, social and educational development and a pathway to inclusion and integration in their host community.

We currently operate two programs out of our headquarters in Paris. Developed in line with digital skills standards recognized at both the European and international level, our digital skills program consists of a sequence of cumulative courses covering basic computer use and internet navigation to word processing (Microsoft Word) and spreadsheet proficiency (Microsoft Excel).

Our code skills program starts with basic concepts of web development. Digitous is the following course and a 2-step program. The first part involves a full stack curriculum, while the second focuses on hands-on learning by working on tech projects for businesses to give Konexio students access to their first professional experience in France.

In addition to digital and code skills training, we organize workshops focused on soft skills. Soft skills training, which requires an intimate knowledge of social and cultural codes, are particularly important for our refugee students looking to integrate in France. These interpersonal skills, such as effective communication, teamwork and working in collaborative environments, self-confidence, time management, self-expression and making public presentations, are as important and necessary as digital skills training — both are needed for a streamlined integration not only into the job market, but into the social fabrics of their new host communities.


More about Konexio:

Twitter: @konexio_eu




Konexio provides digital skills training and work placement for the most vulnerable, including refugee and migrant populations. With the opportunities presented by growing and unmet labor market demands in Europe for digitally-proficient/skilled individuals, our model focuses on training students in both hard and soft skills; we use innovative, tech-driven tools to deliver our computer skills training modules while tapping into our entrenched network of local and international partnerships to provide our students with access to professional and personal development workshops.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: We have a mixed portfolio containing several different revenue streams. We receive funding on one end from philanthropic supporters and foundations, as well as government grants, donations from corporate partners. We are moving to increase self-financing options, which include revenue streams from projects carried out by our students in collaboration with tech companies that we source (part of which would go to the students and part of which would be re-invested back into their education), hiring fees paid by employers to recruit long-term from our pool of students and a freemium model of payment for the program.

Scale: Since our creation in November 2016, Konexio has welcomed more than 120 students through 16 promotions, received support from more than 100 volunteers who have donated more than 2000 hours of engagement, and developed more than 30 local and international partnerships in tech, government and the nonprofit sector. In terms of the target outcomes achieved by our students, of the Konexio alumni surveyed, 70% have gone on to find work, launch their own entrepreneurial projects, or continue their education, 94% continue to use the digital skills learned in our courses in both their professional and personal lives, and 94% reported feeling more socially included and connected to their local communities. In 2018, we won the Quick Pitch Prize at the Global Social Venture Competition, and are current finalists in two social innovation tournaments organized by the European Investment Bank and the European Commission.

Jean Guo

Jean Guo’s bio:


Jean Guo is the CEO and co-founder of Konexio. She co founded Konexio based on her research as a Fulbright fellow investigating migrant policy at the Paris School of Economics, graduated from Stanford with dual degrees in economics and human biology, and worked as a strategy consultant before moving to Paris.  

For both her and Binta, as children of immigrant families, they saw firsthand the challenges their families faced in navigating the social, cultural, educational, and professional challenges of settling in a new country.

Binta Jammeh
Photo Credit: Maria del Mar Rodriguez

Binta Jammeh’s bio:


Binta Jammeh is the COO and co-founder, Konexio. She’s a passionate advocate for global education and intercultural communication, with several years experience in education with vulnerable populations. She has worked with refugee communities in the United States, in early language education in Thailand, and more recently at a high-school in an at-risk community in the suburbs of Paris. Her dedication to helping migrants navigate the cultural and socioeconomic complexities of adapting to life in their new host countries lead her to co-founding Konexio.

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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!

Business Is Booming For This Social Entrepreneur and ‘That’s A Bad Thing’

John Hanrahan, co-founder and medical director of the People’s Health Clinic in Park City, Utah will provide 9,000 patient visits this year to uninsured members of the community. Business is absolutely booming and John says, “that’s a bad thing.”

Don’t misunderstand, he’s thrilled to do the work and proud of the service the organization offers as the primary health care provide for thousands of residents in this small, affluent resort town. His concern stems from the fact that but for this small, nonprofit organization, many of these people would go untreated–some would certainly die.

Hanrahan is also the incoming District Governor for Rotary for the district encompassing the entire state of Utah, including 46 clubs and about 1750 Rotarians. I’m not finished. He’s also the founder of the Hope Alliance, a humanitarian organization serving communities in the developing world.

Interview with John Hanrahan, the Medical Director, Co-Founder of The People’s Health Clinic.

The following is the pre-interview with John Hanrahan. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

Many people living of our 2 counties do not have any health insurance.  Because of their lack of insurance and access to health care, they do not receive preventive care or appropriate care for chronic conditions.  We provide this care. We keep them out of the hospital and the Emergency Room. We help them lead healthier and more productive lives. We are a medical home for this group.  

More about The People’s Health Clinic:

Twitter: @peopleshealthpc



The People’s Health Clinic was founded in December 1999 to provide high quality health care for residents of Summit and Wasatch Counties who do not have health insurance.  We provide primary care for infants to seniors through staff and volunteer providers as well as some specialty care depending on our volunteer providers, as well as a prenatal clinic.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: All patients are asked to make a donation of 25$ at each visit.  More than 85% of our patients are able to do this. People’s Health Clinic is additionally funded by private donors, philanthropic foundations, businesses and trade associations, and municipal governments.  Several fundraising events occur annually as well.

Scale: We are on track to have 9,000 patient visits this year.  This includes primary care, specialty care, referrals, lab visits, and educational visits.  We have one staff MD (myself) a staff Physician Assistant, and 10 additional staff. We have dozens of volunteer providers from various medical fields, as well as dozens of volunteer nurses, translators, patient assistants, etc.  We precept for 3rd year Family Medicine Residents from the University of Utah, medical students, Family Nurse Practitioner students, and physician assistant students. Some of our volunteer providers include infectious disease, Ob/GYN, pediatrics, pharmacy, chiropractor, orthopedics, nutrition, mental health,  neurosurgery, emergency medicine, and others.

John Hanrahan

John Hanrahan’s bio:

Twitter: @JohnHan73581043


John Hanrahan, MD is the happy father of 2 teens and happy husband of Maura for 30 years.  He is the Medical Director of the People’s Health Clinic, a non-profit providing care to local residents who lack health insurance.  John attended Haverford College, The University of Maryland School of Medicine, and East Carolina University Family Medicine Residency where he served as Chief Resident.  During Residency training, John was selected as the young family physician of the year for the state of North Carolina. He and Maura moved to Park City, UT in 1992 where he joined a private practice.  

John left medicine in 2000 to co-found and run The Hope Alliance, a small international humanitarian organization.  John has led dozens of volunteer groups on medical, public health, and other expeditions in many countries. He also helped found The People’s Health Clinic in 1999.  After years as executive director of The Hope Alliance, John was elected to the Summit County Council and served for 4 years. He reentered medicine in 2011 at his current clinic.  John has volunteered on multiple local Boards. John loves to ski, bike, hike and boat-Park City is perfect!

John joined the Rotary Club of Park City in 2000 and served on the Board for 8 years.  He led the first joint club and Interact expedition internationally to Mexico. John is the District Governor Elect for District 5420, Utah.

He is a member of the Rotary Cadre of Technical Advisors traveling to evaluate projects in Ethiopia and Jamaica. He has been awarded the Rotary Certificate of Meritorious Service, and the Service Above Self Award. John and Maura are major donors, Paul Harris Society members and Bequest Society members.

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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!

Elite US Doctors Share Expertise With Developing World To Improve Global Health

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

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Bhavya Rehani, 37, and her husband, Ankur Bharija, also 37, are physicians at the top of their professions but that isn’t what inspires them. Harvard-trained Rehani practices at University of California San Francisco while Bharija is on the faculty at Stanford to the south. She is also the CEO of a nonprofit they founded, Health4TheWorld.

The 100% volunteer-led organization is working to share health information with doctors and patients around the world to improve health outcomes. Everything they offer is entirely free to the doctors, other healthcare professionals and the patients.

The pair is off to a good start. By localizing the tools for a variety of circumstances, the organization has in its first year of operation begun reaching people in 22 countries, touching 3,500 lives.

Rehani, who serves as the organization’s CEO, says, “The problem is lack of sustainable solutions to address disparities in health care especially in under-resourced communities globally. Short-term solutions which consist of traveling to these communities to provide care are noble but not sustainable and not possible for all communities worldwide.”

“We solve this problem by empowering local health care professionals in these local communities with free education, so they become champions of long-term local change to help their patients.”

Both Rehani and Bharija were born in India and were inspired to start this work to address the healthcare deficits they saw there. “My grandparents were in a small village in India and did not have access to healthcare,” Rehani says. Seeing their struggles inspired her to find sustainable solutions that would provide “long-term relief.”

One of the key tools they have created is live virtual education. Leading US doctors provide training for doctors in remote places in the world. On a recent day a Stanford Doctor was training doctors in Cameroon. After a year of such training sessions—all of which have been recorded—the organization now has a great database of training sessions that are permanently available to doctors in the developing world.

Rehani says they will soon launch a new website to host all of this content, calling it Health4TheWorld Academy.

The initial focus of Health4TheWorld was stroke. Bharija explains that the condition impacts many people around the world and is the number two killer globally. The organization produced mobile apps for both iOS and Android phones to provide education for both patients and their caregivers to improve outcomes.

Ankur Bharija, Health4TheWorld CREDIT: HEALTH4THEWORLD

Dr. Lekhjung Thapa, MD, DM (Neurology), President, Nepal Stroke Association for National Institute of Neurological and Allied Sciences, in Kathmandu, Nepal is a local partner.

He says, Rehani reached out to him before she and a team visited Nepal to introduce the program. “We have been helping people in our country to raise awareness, educate and help them in stroke treatment decision and post-stroke care through the wonderful app that Dr. Rehani and her team has designed,” he says.

“Although we focus mainly on stroke, people actually learn to live a healthy lifestyle through the risk factors reduction lesson outlined in a lucid way in the H4tW app,” Thapa says.

Helping patients to avoid or recover from stroke can improve their overall health; the activities that facilitate recovery tend to enhance many aspects of health and happiness he notes.

While acknowledging the challenges of implementing new technology in Nepal, he says the program is working. “Although we have lots of challenges regarding the use of technology, we have found one of the most exciting tools that we dreamt of, to be used in stroke patients in our community. And it’s helping both health care providers and service receivers.”

Click here to get my free webinar showing the three myths that hamper and the two keys for nonprofit crowdfunding success.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!

With Help From Rotary, This Clinic Offers Leading Neurorehabilitation in Africa

Mo Sbai lost his brother to a tragic accident that left him struggling for years to regain full capacity. The loss inspired him to open a neurorehabilitation clinic in Marrakech. It has become one of the leading clinics of its type in all of Africa.

Mo lives and works in Salt Lake City but hails from Morocco. Working with his Salt Lake Rotary Club, he obtained multiple grants that include funds from the Rotary Foundation that have enabled him to launch this important piece of the healthcare system in his native country.

Interview with Mo Sbai, the Co-founder and CEO of The MAIR clinic.

The following is the pre-interview with Mo Sbai. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

We are creating first access to adequate neurorehabilitation in Morocco

More about The MAIR clinic:

Twitter: @MAIR_Marrakech


Located in Marrakech, Morocco (North Africa), MAIR is a private, not-for-profit clinic specializing in medical treatment and research in the field of neuro-rehabilitation. We provide services to children and adults with cerebral palsy and its complications, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and many other neurological conditions.

For-profit/Nonprofit: Not-For-Profit, self-sustaining in the long-term

Scale: We are not focused on making money, but we need to be self-sustaining in the long-term

Mo Sbai

Mo Sbai’s bio:

Mo is research professor in clinical neurosciences with the University of Utah Brain Institute and the School of Medicine. He he holds a Ph.D in neurosciences from the University of Paris and and MS in molecular neuro-receptology from the Ecole Normal Superieure and University of Paris. After completing a successful post-doctoral training in neuro-genetics and cloning a new gene at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, he was invited to join the New Jersey Medical School as a research faculty where he focused on cancer biology. In 2007, Mo’s brother, Moulay Ali, passed away as a consequence of a severe traumatic brain injury he suffered several years prior while driving in Morocco. This caused Mo to focus his teaching and research on neurological conditions (like TBI, SCI, Stroke, AD, PD, MS and others) as well as cutting-edge neuro-rehabilitation. In 2015, together with Imane Bentahar and many others, Mo co-founded the Moulay Ali Institute for Rehabilitation in Marrakech City, Morocco, the first of its kind. This facility is experiencing exponential growth and already having huge impact on so many lives.

Imane Bentahar

Imane Bentahar’s bio:

Imane is physical therapist by training but since getting involved in the MAIR project (early 2014), she developed skills in neurological rehabilitation. She is also the person who first collaborated in the opening of the MAIR clinic as a co-founder and a recipient of specialized neuro-rehabilitation training both in Morocco and the United States.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!

Impact All Stars Share Career Insights That Could Change Your Plans

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Over the past five years, I’ve interviewed nearly 1,000 changemakers, including some of the most accomplished and respected leaders in impact investing and social entrepreneurship. This week, I reached out to some of the most impressive to get their advice for those just launching a career in impact today.

Imagine yourself sitting down around a big table with 41 accomplished impact leaders and getting their best career advice. Bookmark this page and come back to it regularly to serve as a guide throughout your life.

The advice was as diverse as the group, which included men and women from around the world, working on a wide range of topics. On a few topics, the counsel clustered around some themes but each idea they expressed was unique in some way.

Sheryle Gillihan, CEO of CauseLabs, observed that you don’t have to go to Africa to make a difference. “Consider the positive impact your work can have on your community. Regardless of where you work or what you do, you can be an impact ambassador and influence your team and business to do more good.”

Andrea Armeni, Executive Director of Transform Finance CREDIT: TRANSFORM FINANCE

Andrea Armeni, the executive director of Transform Finance, agrees. “You can have an impact in any career – in fact we need people with an impact mindset in all organizations. Think about what you can do there, rather than whether the organization itself is impactful.”

Similarly, Tara Varga Russell, president of Fathom—the impact cruise line at Carnival Corporation—says, “Ensuring your everyday behaviors positively influence others ensures you have meaningful impact every step of the journey.”

Two others also emphasized the need to be kind as a deliberate career strategy.

Tony Loyd, the host of the Social Entrepreneur Podcast, cautions about the stress of entrepreneurship. “Be good to people on the way up. The pressures of starting a new venture can bring out our…well, our not-so-good side. Social entrepreneurship is a small industry. Kindness goes a long way.”

Kate Hayes, director at Echoing Green, adds, “No matter what career you choose, everyday actions speak the loudest. We can have the most influence with those around us, so at work: lead with compassion, speak with intention, and act with grace.”

Christopher Soukup, the CEO of Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc., suggests taking a deliberately inclusive approach. “Surround yourself and cultivate connections with a diverse range of people who perceive and experience our world differently than you. They will infuse valuable insight and perspective into your work.”

One of the most consistent themes from the all-star group was the importance of passion for the work.

“Find a cause you care about; there’s no substitute for genuine passion,” succinctly says Rebecca Firth, the community and partnerships manager for Humanitarian OpenStreetMap.

Susanne Rea Oam, the founder of The World’s Greatest Meal to End Polio, has helped to raise millions of dollars to fund polio immunizations for children around the world. She says simply, “Follow your dream as your career is a huge focus in life. Being happy is essential.”


Billy Starr, the founder of the Pan-Mass Challenge bike race, which raises millions for cancer, said, “Immerse yourself. Find your new self in service to something more than yourself. Commit.”

Jacob Allen, a partner with Cicero Social Impact, says, “Find your passion first-hand; get involved directly. Get informed about root causes, real solutions, and beneficiaries’ views. And be relentless about actual change, not just doing good.”

Kenton Lee, founder of Because International, the organization that manufactures and distributes the Shoe That Grows, says, “Follow your passion and work with something you love. You can volunteer with orgs and use your skills to help them. Make a great wage and be an awesome donor. Lots of ways to make a difference.”

Carrie Romano, CEO of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area, says, “Choose to do what you love because you’ll be better at it. Be authentic. Align your actions with your intentions and leave it (whatever “it” is) better than you found it.”

The collective wisdom of the group suggests that patience pairs well with passion.

“Think big, think long, and think big tent,” says Nancy Pfund, founder and managing partner for DBL Partners, an impact investing firm that made an early investment in Tesla. “Several small advances can turn into an inflection point. Hang in there and don’t stop too early. And build coalitions as broad and inclusive as you can.”

Nancy Pfund, courtesy of DBL Partners CREDIT: DBL PARTNERS

“Creating impact takes time, hard work, and vision. Your passion will have to sustain you. Your resolve will be tested,” says Jacob Lief, CEO and founder of Ubuntu Pathways. “You must be unafraid to challenge conventional wisdom and learn from setbacks.”

“Don’t try to win the war right away. Aim to move the needle,” says Jack Griffin, founder of FoodFinder. “Your cause will always be a team effort in the long run, but you can start small and have an impact right away.”

“Small but sustainable wins. Too big too soon will burn you out just as quickly as not making ends meet,” says Paul Wilson, assistant professor of social entrepreneurship at Brigham Young University – Hawaii. “Bite-sized wins, that don’t break the bank, allow you to create large scale impact overtime.”

Another theme that the experienced drivers of social impact emphasized was the need to learn.

As Thane Kreiner, executive director of the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship put it, “Apprentice the problem, learn from people you admire, stay focused on mission.”

“Stop spending so much time listening to other people and focus instead on listening to yourself,” says Aaron Hurst, CEO of Imperative. “Keep a journal for a year about what brings you meaning at work each day.”

“Soak it all in. Realize there is something to learn from every experience – and more to learn from the bad ones,” says Tamra Ryan, CEO of the Women’s Bean Project. “The more you learn the better you’ll get. Leverage every experience to be better.”

“Learn from the people who truly have expertise, which is the people you are trying to support,” says Rob Gitin, executive director of At The Crossroads, an organization that without conditions helps homeless youth. “Listen first, rather than coming up with your own ideas of what others need. Be a humble servant.”

Aaron Hurst, Imperative CREDIT: IMPERATIVE

Atul Satija, founder and CEO of The/Nudge Foundation in India, which is scaling to support millions of people in multiple ways, says, “The decision to move to the development sector is the start of an amazing personal journey of courage, self-discovery, meaningfulness and real impact. All the best!”

Mari Kuraishi, co-founder and president of GlobalGiving, says candidly, “Unless you know with dead certainty what, where, and how you want to have impact, be open to new experiences and learning that will give you skills, insights, and knowledge.”

Two of our impact all-stars focused on learning from the people you hope to help and engaging them in the process.

“Involve the benefactor of your impact in the creation process,” says Sara Day, the cause director for Even Stevens. “You can better help a person, community or organization when you adequately understand their needs, challenges and opportunities.”

“Find ways to transform the recipients of service delivery systems from passive consumers to active co-producers of outcomes,” says Edgar Cahn, founder of TimeBanks USA. “The work of the future is to play a catalytic role in creating that shift.”

Several of the experts suggested a fundamental strategy of matching your skills and interests to the social problems you see.

“Always look for gaps to fill: needed things that others may not yet be thinking about in your sector,” says Marc Alain Boucicault, founder and CEO of Banj, a tech coworking space in Haiti. “That is how you will differentiate yourself and grow skills that will positively impact society.”


“Look at the problems of the world and ask yourself what skills do you have that can help solve them,” says Andreas Karelas, executive director of RE-volv, an organization that uses crowdfunding to finance solar for nonprofits. “If you pursue that line of work, you’ll go to bed everyday knowing you’re a part of the solution.”

Lisa Curtis, founder and CEO of Kuli Kuli, a company that makes healthy snack bars from moringa grown in the developing world, agrees. “Figure out what social issue makes you burn with passion. Then find the fixers and ask them what skills they need in their movement.”

“Ask yourself what you are good at, what you are interested in, and what you are curious about,” says Celeste Mergens, founder and CEO of Days for Girls International. “In the mix will be clues to what might be an unexpected pathway to your future career.”

Here’s another take on developing relevant skills.

“Learn to do something. Work at a law firm or a bank. Become a teacher. Manage a restaurant or store. Make bread,” says Laura Callanan, founding partner at Upstart Co-Lab. “Good intentions won’t matter without practical experience–almost doesn’t matter what.”

Adlai Wertman, professor and founder of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab at the USC Marshall School of Business, suggests a new mindset. “Create a new synapse that fires every time you get a new project: Can this product or service be applied to solve a social, environmental or health access challenge?”

A few of the experts also suggested carefully screening potential employers.

“Use Larry David’s advice,” suggests Robert Rubinstein, founder and CEO of TBLI Group BV. “Interview the recruiter by asking, what are the values of the company? Do they align with yours? If not. Don’t work there.”

“Follow your passion but don’t feel that you must make a lifetime commitment,” says Richard Marker, founder of Wise Philanthropy Institute. “Not all worthy causes are great places to work. Check out the workplace culture.”

Three of the impact experts focused on defining and living your own set of values.


“Practice your values consistently, know who you are and lead with your heart as well as your head,” said David Fanger, founder and CEO of Swell Investing. “You can rely on the UN SDGs as an impact north star.”

“Implement your values in your everyday life and practice what you preach,” says Cecile Blilious, founder and managing partner of Tel Aviv-based Impact First Investments. “Connect with thought leaders that project your values, follow them and then surpass them. Think different.”

“Develop a personal vision statement and a set of values that guide your every move,” says Shane Feldman, founder and CEO of Count Me In. “When you live and lead from this place of intention, you will be rooted in your purpose and capable of larger impact.”

Three of our influencers focused on getting started.

“Get involved!” says Bernard Loyd, president of Urban Juncture, Inc. in Chicago. “Whether you’ve got an hour per month to give or a hundred, if you’re involved you can make a difference.”

Karim Abouelnaga with student CREDIT: PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

“The model of do well now so you can do good later is broken,” says Karim Abouelnaga, CEO of Practice Makes Perfect. “Now is the perfect time to do good. It is possible to do good and do well simultaneously. Society is ripe for positive disruption.”

“To make a big impact on the world start by making small, tangible impacts,” says Daryl Hatton, CEO of the nonprofit crowdfunding site FundRazr. “Pick a career where you directly measure your results. Celebrate those results! Then scale them up.”

Sheeza Shah, the founder and CEO of UpEffect, suggests focusing on the employment of those who really need it. “If you truly wish to drive impact, work for or with businesses creating dignified employment opportunities for under-represented communities and are dedicated to elevating their voices.”

Robert Kaplan, cofounder of Closed Loop Partners, which has financed over $100 million in recycling projects, says, “Remember that humans don’t make rational decisions. They make emotional decisions that they rationalize. When making the case for change, you need to hit both notes.”

Lastly, Stephanie Gripne, executive director of the Impact Finance Center, wins the prize for the most advice you can fit in a tweet.

  1. Work you love with people you love
  2. Function from a place of abundance
  3. Assume positive intent,
  4. Thinking partners who are not echo chambers
  5. Integrity,
  6. Fail fast with fun
  7. Radical self-care.

Those for whom earning a living is a necesssary but not sufficient requirement for a job will be drawn to have more impact. This collective wisdom could alter your plans and multiply the good you do and the change you make in the world.

Click here to get my free webinar showing the three myths that hamper and the two keys for nonprofit crowdfunding success.

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The Gender Landscape After #MeToo

This is a guest post from Jessica van Thiel, PATHFINDER

The #MeToo Campaign is one of the most powerful social media campaigns of all time. On October 15 2017, actress Alyssa Milano encouraged the use of #MeToo (originating from social activist, Tarana Burke, 2006), to create awareness and a sense of the magnitude of sexual abuse and harassment. While there is no one leader of this movement (rather thousands of women who are speaking out against this prolific problem) several Hollywood names helped to propel the campaign into global action.

Actress Ashley Judd was the first of many who spoke out in October of 2017, about unwanted sexual advances by Harvey Weinstein, one of Hollywood’s most prolific and successful movie producers. Since her admission, over 80 actresses have come forth against Weinstein, including stars like Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. And, as allegations against him continue to pour in, on May 25th 2018, Weinstein was charged by the city of New York, with rape and sexual abuse in two cases. It seems like only eight months after women began to come forward with their stories, the Weinstein name is now more synonymous with sexual assault than it is with movie-making.

For decades apparently, this sort of behaviour was common practice in the entertainment industry. Weinstein’s abuses have been referenced as Hollywood’s greatest open secret. Why was this accepted? How could he have gone so far, with so many women, and gotten away with it for so many years? It seems incredible when you think about it. But the truth is it’s not uncommon. In fact the #MeToo campaign has proven just how ubiquitous the problem is.

However, a silver lining has emerged to this awful story. The celebrities who have spoken out have paved the way for regular, everyday women to do the same. The campaign had incredible success on social media and #MeToo (also adapted into #BalanceTonPorc, #YoTambien, #Ana_kaman and others), has provided support and solidarity for millions of people to come forward with their stories. The movement itself has been so successful, that as at November 2017, 82% of American polled said women are more likely to speak out about harassment since the Weinstein allegations, and that 85% say they believe the women making allegations of sexual harassment (Time Magazine, 2017).

Jessica van Thiel

The “Silence Breakers” – victims who spoke out about their stories of sexual harassment – made such an impact on society that they were voted “2017 Person of The Year” by Time Magazine. With widespread success of the campaign and Weinstein’s recent arrest, it appears that steps are being taken in the right direction. But what are these steps and how will they ensure the sexual abuse, harassment and silencing of women is no longer accepted?

#MeToo has received attention in all corners of the world. With access to internet and media in certain countries already being an issue, it’s no surprise that the campaign has had more success in some countries than others. In India for example, where in recent years outrage over sex crimes has sparked waves of public protests, it makes sense that #MeToo resonates with the public. However, not everyone has access to internet, and although the campaign reached only a small number of people with respect to India’s population, as Sian Brooke of the Oxford Internet Institute points out, “it has brought the idea of sexual harassment and assault into the public consciousness. And even if the discussion around the movement is criticism, you are still bringing about an awareness that this happens” (BBC, 2018).

In Canada, women are sharing their experiences of sexual violence like never before, resulting in a huge increase in demand on Canada’s sexual violence support services. For example, calls to the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre increased 100% in the last year alone (Canadian Women’s Foundation, 2018). One initiative, the #AfterMeToo (partnered with the Canadian Women’s Foundation) has created a fund that addresses the increased demand on sexual violence support services across Canada.

In the US, from October to December 2017, calls to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network crisis hotline rose by 23% compared with the same period in 2016 (BBC, 2018). The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) in Washington DC has, as a result of the campaign, been matching victims with lawyers who can offer them free advice (NWLC, 2018).

Another initiative which has been very successful in addressing the #MeToo question is the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund. The Fund was launched by more than 300 actresses, writers and directors in January 2018 and raised $21 million in legal assistance for people who suffer harassment, abuse or assault at work in its first operating month alone (The National Women’s Law Center, 2018).

An interesting takeaway from the campaign is that men are also often victims of sexual violence. 1in6 is a Los Angeles-based non-profit group that supports male sex abuse survivors. #MeToo had direct impact on the number of men reaching out to the organization, saw a 110% increase in web traffic, and a 103% increase in the use of online helpline services between September and October 2017 (BBC, 2018).

With an overwhelming number of people worldwide speaking out in a very personal way, is it even conceivable to continue to ignore such an issue? As a hopeless optimist I am tempted to say we have learned this lesson, society has grown, and mankind will not allow these errors to continue to occur. However, the reality is far more complex than that. Sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation of women (in a variety of forms) is so ingrained in our societies that it may take decades and several generations before we can truly move forward.

Yes, the #MeToo campaign is a good step. Yes, this is extremely encouraging. Sadly though, the numbers speak for themselves. It is estimated that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives (UN Women, 2018) with some nations showing up to 70 per cent of women having experienced sexual abuse in their lifetime (WHO, 2013). And this is not only in developing countries. In the UK, one in five women have experienced sexual assault (The Guardian, 2018). And these are the reported cases.

The stigma associated with victims of assault is often the leading reason women will not come forward. Society has trained us to question the victim rather than the ‘predator’. This is something that has become the norm. We’ve been asking the right questions but to the wrong people (TIME Magazine, 2017).

So with the recent arrest of Harvey Weinstein and the countless initiatives emerging in light of #MeToo, it seems that change is happening. Although the #MeToo campaign has a long way to go in ridding the world of sexual abuse and predators, one thing it has been successful in doing is identifying a massive, global issue.

Rebecca Seales of the BBC News explains that “perhaps, then, #MeToo is not an endgame – but a clarion call to something bigger. A reminder for people to seek change in their communities, and push to make damaging systems better – especially for those who lack the power to fight alone” (BBC, 2018).

The #MeToo campaign has created a platform in which victims of sexual abuse can be heard and supported. It has shown that victims are not alone, far from it, and that collectively we can effect change.


BBC News (2018). What has #MeToo actually changed?

Canadian Women’s Foundation (2018). After MeToo.

MeToo (2018).

Time Magazine (2017). The Silence Breakers.

The Guardian (2018). Sexual harassment and assault rife at United Nations, staff claim.

The National Women’s Law Center (2018). The Time’s Up Legal Defence Fund UN Women (2018). Facts and figures: Ending violence against women.

World Health Organization (2013). Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence, p.2.

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If You Haven’t Fixed Your Nonprofit Website To Comply With GDPR, Here’s How

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes or Google Play.

On May 25, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation went into effect. These rules effectively apply to almost every website operated in the world—including your nonprofit or social venture. If you haven’t figured out compliance yet, take a few minutes to read this article to learn how.

Let’s start by pointing out that for a small nonprofit or social venture, failing to comply with the GDPR rules could cost up to 10 million euro, almost $12 million. Just hiring a lawyer to defend a case brought by someone in Europe could wipe out all the funds you plan to spend on your mission for years to come. Have I got your attention now? If you haven’t fixed your site to comply, it’s not too late.

Amber Hinds, the CEO of Road Warrior Creative, works primarily with social entrepreneurs and nonprofits to build websites. Much of her work over the past two years has been preparing for the implementation of GDPR rules. She joined me for a live interview, which you can watch in the player at the top of this article, and provided additional information to help me understand the rules.

Hinds knows her stuff.

Amber Hinds, Road Warrior Creative

Angie Coleman, director of community for Lesbians Who Tech, uses Road Warrior for GDPR compliance work. She says, “Road Warrior Creative was instrumental in our compliance with the new GDPR rules. They were able to walk us through what was needed, help implement new changes, and oversee that everything was cohesive across our three brands. It was a huge help, especially as we waited till crunch time to make the changes.”

CJ Legare, chief of staff and faculty coordinator for Lean Startup Co, uses Road Warrior, too, and she agrees. “RWC gave us wonderful guidance and made sure we understood our options, so we could make informed choices”

If you are based in the EU, you are, of course subject to the new rules. Even if you are based in the US, or elsewhere outside the EU, chances are good the rules apply to you.

If you have a website that is intended for use anywhere in the EU, which still includes Great Britain and will include English-speaking Ireland even after Brexit, you are subject to the new rules. If you have people from the EU in your newsletter list, if you have accepted donations from the EU or sold products to people in the EU, you are almost certainly subject to the new rules.

Hinds offers this caveat:

Now, what I will say about this is that if you are a very small non-profit or individual or organization that is collecting, let’s say, just emails for a newsletter and you’re not expressly targeting people from the European Union–that is to say they might just find you via Google but you don’t have any information that is marketing related that is targeting that demographic–it is possible that it may not apply to you because those are incidental users.

While you’re reviewing your compliance with GDPR, consider your compliance with older EU regulations around cookies. Many sites have not been compliant and people have been using GDPR as an opportunity to get compliant with these rules as well.

Again, you are subject to the rules about cookies if you are physically based in the EU or if you target consumers in the EU. You might think that your site doesn’t use cookies, so the rules don’t apply to you but almost all sites do, whether you know it or not. All WordPress sites use cookies. Google Analytics uses cookies and most sites now incorporate Google Analytics. Again, chances are good you’ll need to comply with these rules, too.

To comply with GDPR there are three primary things you need to do.

  1. Get consent to collect any personally identifiable information
  2. Disclose to your customers the data you’re keeping about them
  3. Forget everything about a person upon request

Getting consent prospectively is not terribly difficult. One key is to resist the temptation to require people to opt out of your lists or to automatically add them after doing business with you. To send marketing messages you must have permission. The best practice is a “double opt in” feature where you send each person who signs up a confirmation email that they must click to finally be added to your list.

What about all those email addresses you already have on your list? They have been gathered over years. You may not know or remember how those email addresses were gathered. Some people have chosen to send everyone who might possibly be in the EU—in some cases, everyone on their list, an invitation to proactively confirm they’d like to continue receiving their messages. Others have simply purged old names and email addresses for which they don’t have a clear record of how they were acquired.

Additionally, when a customer asks to know what information you store about them, you’ll need to be able to tell them exactly what you’ve recorded. When a customer asks to be forgotten, you’ll need to either purge all their data or anonymize it. You are allowed to keep information that is required for compliance with other record-keeping regulations in your jurisdiction, as may apply to financial and other transactions.

To comply with the old EU cookies regulations that so many of us have been ignoring, you are required to give people notice that your site uses cookies and provide a link to your policy about using cookies. To do this, most websites have chosen to create a popup bar at the top or bottom of the screen that summarizes the cookies policy and provides a link to the full policy

If you’re like me and you’re not a coder or web-designer like Hinds, this all sounds very intimidating. She pointed us to two affordable tools that will help you comply.

The first is the GDPR Framework WordPress Plugin. This plugin will integrate with most WordPress sites and will help you implement your GDPR compliance. One great feature of this tool is the price: free.

Another tool that is somewhat more robust but is still affordable is This site is a legal compliance site that for an annual fee of $27 will help you get a legally compliant policy. Using a TurboTax-style process, it will help you build a policy that describes what you are currently doing. When you’re finished, they provide a snippet of code that you can install on your site to get compliant.

Even with these tools, the process may sound intimidating. For those with resources, firms like Road Warrior Creative can help you. For those with limited budgets, investing the time to figure this out is worth the effort it requires.

As Hinds says of these rules, “I just think this is good customer service. When you provide people with information about the data you’re using, you’re collecting on them and why you’re collecting it or say that you have cookies on your website and you’re transparent about that, I think people generally are going to appreciate that.”

Click here to get my free webinar showing the three myths that hamper and the two keys for nonprofit crowdfunding success.

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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!

These 2 Kids Have Helped 30,000 People Find a Place to Volunteer

Max and Jake Klein, now 14, remember being told they were too young to volunteer when they were just seven or eight years old. That frustration ultimately inspired them to launch a matching service to help kids–and adults–find service opportunities.

Recently, Verizon recognized their work with its Service Through STEM Award, which encourages young people to use science, technology, engineering and math to do service. So far, 30,000 people have used the site to find a service opportunity.

Interview with Max and Jake Klein, the of Kids that do good.

The following is the pre-interview with Max and Jake Klein. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

We are a non-profit website that helps connect kids and adults to volunteering opportunities in over 80 markets across the country. We also offer ideas for charitable events you can do on your own. This way kids can make a difference in their communities no matter what their age is. It’s never too early to think about helping others.

Max and Jake Klein

More about Kids that do good:

Twitter: @kidsthatdogood

Instagram: @kidsthatdogood




We are a non-profit website that helps connect kids and adults to volunteering opportunities in over 80 markets across the country. We also offer ideas for charitable events you can do on your own. This way kids can make a difference in their communities no matter what their age is. It’s never too early to think about helping others.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!

Philippe Cousteau Continues Famous Grandfather Jacques’ Environmental Legacy

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes or Google Play.

The assumption that Philippe Cousteau, 38, had no choice but to follow in the footsteps—er, wake—of his famous, sea-exploring grandfather Jacques Cousteau is wrong. While the younger Cousteau revere’s his grandfather, it was his own experience exploring that connected him to his grandfather’s work.

The senior explorer died in 1997 at the age of 87. By the time the grandson was ready to explore the world, the grandfather was resigned to the role of “elder statesman” rather than intrepid explorer.

An expedition to New Guinea at age 16, with Eugenie Clark, known as the Shark Lady, convinced Philippe Cousteau that there was simply no other way to live.

As with his grandfather, his love for the sea and the natural world includes a passion for protecting it. One of the ways that Cousteau manifests his environmentalism is through the nonprofit organization he founded called EarthEcho, focused on engaging young people in the environmental movement.

Jill Belasco, an entrepreneur who served on the board of the organization for six years, including a term as the Vice Chair, says, EarthEcho is about education; they not only develop programs for the next generation of environmentalists but work closely with teachers and schools to get kids involved with hands-on projects.”

“I have worked with other environmental non-profits and have yet to find any organization that connects directly to our youth in the way EarthEcho does,” she adds.

The full-time staff at EarthEcho is small—just six people—and the budget of “over $1 million” is modest but leveraging the Cousteau brand and passion to build partnerships, the small organization is able to play above its weight class.

Philippe Cousteau, continues the legacy of his famous grandfather, Jacques Cousteau.

Cousteau says, “We don’t like to reinvent the wheel. There’s far too much of that already in the environmental movement—in most movements actually.” He believes the partnerships provide leverage to allow the small organization to maximize its impact.

In addition, EarthEcho has a Youth Leadership Council with 15 people from age 16 to 22 from around the world that also support the organization’s programs.

Watch my full interview with Cousteau in the video player at the top of the article.

Cousteau hopes that his nonprofit will help to galvanize a generation of activists. He notes with obvious frustration, “We saw in the last election, climate change wasn’t even a topic that came up in the debates.” He observes that environmental issues have become politically divisive.

“I always like to remind people that Richard Nixon passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. He founded the EPA,” Cousteau says. “We can argue about foreign policy, we can argue about economic policy when it comes right down to it clean air and clean water are non-negotiable.”

In recent years, EarthEcho recognized an opportunity in the movement to improve STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—education in schools. The science-focused curriculum EarthEcho provides aligns well with the movement so the organization has adapted its materials to emphasize this connection.

“What better way to study biology chemistry and engineering than nature because that’s where it all comes from,” Cousteau says.

The young Cousteau is also continuing some of his grandfather’s work in front of the camera and has been nominated for multiple Emmy Awards. He is the star of Caribbean Pirate Treasure on the Travel Channel.

Alex Morrison, a current board member at EarthEcho and SVP of Business Development at Strada Education Network, says he met Cousteau while working at the Discovery Channel.

Morrison says EarthEcho is empowering a generation of young people through education to identify threats to oceans and bodies of water in their own communities and to address them. “That type of approach has tremendous magnification.”

The late Cousteau said, “The sea, the great unifier, is man’s only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat.” Now his grandson is trying to get a new generation aboard.

Click here to get my free webinar showing the three myths that hamper and the two keys for nonprofit crowdfunding success.

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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!

JP Morgan Chase Foundation to Increase Giving to $1.75B

JP Morgan Chase Foundation recently announced that it would be increasing it annual grantmaking to $1.7 billion. Much of their philanthropic giving is paired with supportive lending as well, potentially increasing the impact. (Disclosure: I have a small investment in JPM stock.)

Foundation president Janis Bowdler said in our interview (watch the full interview in the player at the top of the article) that the increase in funding is part of a broad corporate strategy to increase equality.

Interview with Janis Bowdler, the President of JPMorgan Chase Foundation of JPMorgan Chase.

The following is the pre-interview with Janis Bowdler. Be sure to watch the recorded interview above.

What is the problem you solve and how do you solve it?

Our mission is to enable more people to contribute to and share in the rewards of a growing economy. We believe that reducing inequality and creating widely-shared prosperity requires collaboration of business, government, nonprofit and other civic organizations, particularly in the cities and metropolitan regions that power economic growth.

We take a comprehensive approach to increasing economic opportunity, using our firm’s global scale, talent and resources to make investments and create partnerships in four priority areas: Jobs & Skills, Small Business Expansion, Financial Health, and Neighborhood Revitalization. The firm’s $150 million investment in Detroit’s economic recovery continues to make an impact and establish a model for how to help more people share in the rewards of a growing economy. Going forward, the firm will continue to apply this investment model in other cities. For example, the firm recently announced a $40 million investment in Chicago’s South and West sides and a $10 million investment in Washington, D.C.’s underserved neighborhoods.

The firm also nearly tripled the size of the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund in Detroit from $6.5 million to over $18 million and is expanding the Fund to San Francisco and the South Bronx next month. Other examples of some new and successful philanthropic investments in the U.S. include:  Transforming America’s education and job training systems through increased investment in skill building for adults and young people in cities across the U.S. such as Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and dozens of others. JPMorgan Chase is supporting proven and new training strategies and policies and partnering with community colleges, career technical education programs, and business to build career pathways to well-paying jobs in growing fields such as healthcare, advanced manufacturing and transportation, distribution and logistics. Expanding The Fellowship Initiative, an intensive academic, leadership and professional development program that contributes to increased education and career opportunities for young men of color, in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York. This effort helps them build their skills, networks and ability to access resources. The JPMorgan Chase Service Corps is a three-week, skills-based volunteer program that engages top-performing employees from around the world who share their expertise to help nonprofit partners expand their impact in the community. The Service Corps will be expanded to support more nonprofits in 2018 including in Chicago, Detroit and the South Bronx.

JP Morgan Chase CSR:

More about JPMorgan Chase:

Twitter: @jpmorgan



JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. At the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, we believe that reducing inequality and creating widely-shared prosperity requires collaboration of business, government, nonprofit and other civic organizations, particularly in the cities and metropolitan regions that power economic growth. We take a comprehensive approach to increasing economic opportunity, using our firm’s global scale, talent and resources to make investments and create partnerships in four priority areas: Jobs & Skills, Small Business Expansion, Financial Health, and Neighborhood Revitalization.

For-profit/Nonprofit: 501(c)3 Nonprofit

Revenue model: The JPMorgan Chase Foundation is funded by JPMorgan Chase.

Scale: In 2017, the firm and its Foundation gave nearly $250 million to nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and in 40 countries around the world, and has committed to invest $1.75 billion by 2023. In addition, last year, 56,000 JPMorgan Chase employees provided 383,000 hours of volunteer service in the communities where they live and work.

Janis Bowdler
Photo Credit: Janis Bowdler

Janis Bowdler’s bio:


Before joining JPMorgan Chase in 2013, Janis spent two decades advancing economic opportunity for families at risk of being left out of growing global prosperity. She began her career in her native Northeast Ohio, working to rejuvenate Cleveland’s east side neighborhoods. Following that, she spent ten years in Washington, D.C. advocating on behalf of Latino families at UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza). Under her leadership at JPMC, the firm has launched several high profile initiatives, including Financial Solutions Lab, PRO Neighborhoods, Entrepreneurs of Color Funds in Detroit, South Bronx and San Francisco, and blight mitigation initiatives in Detroit. Janis has been a leader on much of our community development work in Detroit, where JPMorgan has committed $150 million to revitalize the city, including our neighborhood mapping work.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at!

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