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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

Monthly Archives: June 2016

Mom Launches Nonprofit To Serve Daughter And Others With Poorly Understood Condition

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Dr. Laura Lemle’s daughter was diagnosed with NVLD when she was five years old. Dr. Lemle had earned a PhD in clinical psychology decades ago, before getting into the real estate business. Now, applying her entrepreneurial skills to a social problem close to home, she’s launched a nonprofit, The NVLD Project, to help kids with NVLD.

Dr. Lemle, motivated by a desire to change the world for her daugther’s benefit, is moving quickly to build a top-flight advisory board and begin its work of helping those with NVLD and other social and spatial disabilities to lead more complete lives.

Up to this point, Dr. Lemle has provided most of the funding for the nonprofit, but the team is still small with just two other people on staff with her. Growing the organization’s impact will require growing its revenue.

Who hasn’t misread a social situation and felt embarrassed as a result? While that is the fertile soil that comedy writers use for sitcoms, imagine being unable to read social situations correctly.

This is the problem that Dr. Lemle is seeking to address. ”We are trying to help children and young adults who have NVLD. Having any disability is challenging, particularly when that disability, like NVLD, is not officially recognized, is poorly understood, and presents significant social barriers.”

Dr. Laura Lemle, courtesy of The NVLD Project

Dr. Laura Lemle, courtesy of The NVLD Project

She adds, “Too often individuals with NVLD are stigmatized and ostracized, largely because they misread social cues. Being accepted socially and feeling supported by a community remain among the biggest obstacles – a challenge we are addressing.”

Dr. Abigail Diamond, an NVLD expert who sits on the organization’s advisory board, adds, “Often schools don’t realize how prevalent this disability is and don’t understand the impact that this diagnosis can have on students both academically on socially.”

The NVLD Project is dedicated to raising awareness, building support and creating helpful solutions for children, adolescents, and adults with Non-Verbal Learning Disability,” Dr. Lemle says. The organization has a variety of programs, including workshops, research and advocacy all aimed at the these goals.

Dr. Lemle has faced some unusual challenges in building her nonprofit. ”The biggest challenge is that NVLD is not a valid diagnosis and that people don’t understand what it is. Additionally, the name of the diagnosis often confuses people and is misleading because it addresses the disability, not the ability,” she says.

In addition, customary challenges, including a lack of awareness of the problem and the difficulties of raising money have challenged her.

Dr. Diamond says Dr. Lemle is already making progress despite the challenges. “The organization has already developed relationships with several schools where they are working to provide professional development and ongoing education to faculty and administration on how to best understand and support students with NVLD.”

The benefits to the schools who receive the training go beyond helping the students with NVLD. “Beyond that, the work that the NVLD Project has been doing with schools benefits all students, with and without an NVLD diagnosis as it encourages teachers to be attuned to subtle cues in students’ social well-being,” Dr. Diamond says.

Dr. Lemle has a big vision for her new social venture.The NVLD Project envisions a world where those with social and spatial disabilities, particularly NVLD, can proudly address their differences and learn to live fuller and more satisfying lives,” she says.

Ultimately, the success of a nonprofit as an enterprise is tied to its ability to make measurable progress toward its goals. ”Considering that this is a relatively new organization, I think Laura’s work is quite impressive,” Dr. Diamond says.

On Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 5:00 Eastern, Dr. Lemle will join me for a live discussion about how she is overcoming the entrepreneurial challenges she faces in helping her daughter and those like her. We will be joined by Dr. Moira Rynn, MD, of Columbia University’s Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.  Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Cotopaxi Striving to ‘Do Good Well’

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

Lindsey Kneuven, Chief Impact Officer at venture-backed Cotopaxi, recently told me, “Businesses can be a force for immense good; let’s ensure they do good well.”

At the moment, she’s focused on making sure that Cotopaxi does good well. The social enterprise is scaling quickly and her role is to ensure that they don’t lose focus on the targeted impact.

Lindsey brings valuable experience to Cotopaxi, having spent time with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation helping some of the area’s largest companies with their corporate philanthropy. She is concerned that startups today need to become more disciplined to have the impact they want.

She asks, “As more young companies build models that integrate their social and environmental goals, how do we create a movement to ensure that they are leveraging best practices from the development sector? How we capitalize on the enthusiasm for social impact in a way that ensure models are informed, that effective solutions/interventions are prioritized, builds on the collective impact model, and prevents the dilution of donor dollars?”

The type of legal structure a company uses has an impact on its ability and commitment to having an impact. “Cotopaxi incorporated as a Benefit Corporation and was the first company to take this structure and then receive venture funding. We are committed to infusing social impact and sustainability into all aspects of our work. This takes shape in our giving, our employee engagement, our supply chain, our operations and our design and development philosophy,” she says.

One of the challenges she faces in her work at Cotopaxi is dealing with the rapidly changing context of her work. With rapid changes in supply chain, for instance, she must quickly react to ensure that each supplier meets the company’s impact standards, stretching her capacity.

The limitations of scale inherent in one company’s trying to change the world are overcome by exporting the model for impact to other companies, she says. “Our model has incredible potential for adoption and replication. We hope to overcome any limitations by sharing our model, helping to coach other companies on how to integrate a model in a sustainable and scalable way.”

Lindsey is committed to applying data-driven principles and a collective impact approach to Cotopaxi’s social good mission. The goal: do good well.

On Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 4:00 Eastern, Lindsey will join me here for a live discussion about her strategy for driving the greatest possible impact at Cotopaxi. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Lindsey Kneuven, courtesy of Cotopaxi

Lindsey Kneuven, courtesy of Cotopaxi

More about Cotopaxi:

Twitter: @cotopaxi

Cotopaxi creates innovative outdoor products and experiences that fund sustainable poverty alleviation, move people to do good, and inspire adventure.

Cotopaxi funds solutions that address the most persistent needs of those living in extreme poverty. Giving is core to our model. As a Delaware Public Benefit Corporation, Cotopaxi has made a commitment to creating positive social impact. We focus our efforts on global poverty alleviation & give targeted grants to advance health, education, and livelihoods initiatives around the world.

Lindsey’s bio:

Lindsey Kneuven is the Chief Impact Officer for Cotopaxi, a Utah-based outdoor gear company with a social mission at its core. She leads the organization’s global philanthropic strategy which includes all giving, supply chain initiatives, and employee engagement. Recently recognized by Utah Business as one of 30 Women to Watch for her leadership in business and the community, Lindsey serves on the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Commission on Community Engagement and is active on several nonprofit boards. Lindsey formerly directed global grant making, strategic planning, and large-scale employee engagement programs for a portfolio of seven corporations, including: Oracle, Juniper Networks and Singularity University at Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF). She also led the organization’s work on human trafficking and wrote a grant-funded white paper on human trafficking in Silicon Valley that earned her the Leigh Stillwell Award for Excellence. SVCF is a comprehensive center for philanthropy, serving both individual and corporate donors. With over $7.3 billion in assets under management and over $823 million granted in 2015 alone, SVCF is the largest community foundation in the world. Lindsey also has extensive experience in international development and nonprofit management, having spent a number of years working in East Africa to develop and implement a primary school literacy model with Nuru International as their Senior Education Program Director. Before Nuru, Lindsey served as the Global Grants Manager for the Salesforce Foundation where she oversaw the strategy, programming and success of multi-million dollar granting initiatives for four years. She has been active in international and domestic poverty alleviation initiatives for 15 years.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and 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!


What Can You Learn From a Maxi Pad? More Than You’d Think!

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

Over the past few years, countless people have told me how important it is to learn from and partner with those we hope to serve in order to serve them effectively. Celeste Mergens, founder of the nonprofit Days for Girls, is the best case study for proving that principle that I’ve encountered in years of reporting on social impact.

Days for Girls works to provide girls and young women with feminine hygiene products to enable them to attend school and work, giving them five more days per month in school or at work learning or being productive. Working in 101 countries, Celeste is truly is making a dent in the universe.

Over the past few weeks, Celeste–Washington State’s 2014 Mother of the Year–has been working on some lessons she could share with us about being more effective in our development efforts. She calls them her “5 Keys to Reversing Cycles of Poverty.”

1. Seek the Wisdom of those You Serve

When Days for Girls began, I had been actively seeking ways to reverse poverty, applying them in Kenya. From solar water pumps, to efficient rocket stoves, poultry ventures and tilapia fish ponds, I was looking for effective innovations; researching, applying and documenting solutions. You can imagine my surprise when it came to me to ask what the girls were doing for feminine hygiene and then learning that they had nothing, they would just sit in their room for days. How? By sitting on a piece of cardboard, missing school in isolated. My first idea? A typical western solution, disposable pads. However, I knew that even if I could consistently fundraise for hygiene supplies for 500 girls, if I sent money for hygiene and they needed food, they would use that funding for food, not pads. Any of us would. And that of course turns out to be true around the world. Anywhere that a family has to choose between food and hygiene. They will choose food. And that is true in the US as well. What do homeless women do? What does a vulnerable teen do? So we made our first washable pads and they were awful, and I can say that. I was the one that proposed it! They were white, because sanitary items are white. And they were shaped like pads, because they were pads. However, I soon learned that was not what worked best for the girls. Taboo and stigma made that design hard to care for properly. It wasn’t until we delivered the solution with education and a conversation about women’s health that the first girls explained that they were being exploited in exchange for a single disposable pad. That’s the moment that Days for Girls was born for me. They needed a solution that worked.

By asking for and responding to their feed back we were able to innovate a solution that washes with very little water and dries quickly, all without looking like a pad. All important attributes for those we serve. Days for Girls Kits are made of cloth and a waterproof material. They wash with less water and dry faster than other washable options. Each kit lasts 2-4 years. A design created by seeking the wisdom of those we serve. In fact, the design is nothing short of genius, but it is innovation inspired by the wisdom of those we serve. Their genius in action. What if we hadn’t listened?

Since 2008, Days for Girls has reached over 300,000 women and girls, earning back collectively 54 million days of education and opportunity that would otherwise be missed without hygiene solutions. And we have reached 101 nations. That’s how big the need is, and the need was not even recognizing in development until just a few years ago. A need that is keeping girls from school and women from work, creating isolation, indignity, exploitation and lost opportunity, not only for women and girls but for entire communities all over the world. Simple things matter.

Celeste Mergens in Nepal, courtesy of Days with Girls

Celeste Mergens in Nepal, courtesy of Days with Girls

2) Be Culturally, Physically and Environmentally Relevant

Some solutions sound great at home, but apply them in another part of the world without context of their circumstances, and suddenly the solution can be ineffective or even absurd.

With Days for Girls, the disposables we provided at that very first school seemed like a good stopgap solution for the girls, but what about the next month? And when we arrived 3 weeks later we saw that the “disposables” were piled against posts nearby and the pit latrines were stopped up with them. They littered every chink of the chain link fencing adjacent to the latrines. Some girls were even attempting to reuse those that had been left behind. There was no disposal service. They needed a solution that they could count on month after month, but not just any washable solution. They needed one that washed with very little water and dried quickly. It needed to come with education, that ensures proper care and usage was clear so the pads remain healthy.

Conversely, I was once at a development meeting with another nonprofit when an Executive Director proposed diverting funding for a composting toilet facility to instead build a 30 foot building for girls in the community school to shower…. in a drought stricken part of Kenya. It didn’t matter to her that they had so little water. It didn’t matter to her that the cost was greater than multiple classrooms. Nor that she was proposing importing one of the worst experiences of Junior High. To her it was a familiar solution from home that seemed like a good idea.
Development that ignore the realities of those served is not only ineffective but can be harmful.

A solution that was culturally, physically and environmentally relevant is a change maker.

3) Look closer

I had been visiting that first orphanage and school and bringing support every six months for almost 2 years trying to help kids stay in school. Food, exam fees, books and more. It never occurred to me that lack of hygiene resources could be a reason for girls to be missing school. To give you an idea of the global level of need, UNESCO estimates that in Kenya alone, 2.6 million school girls are going without access to pads.
If you had asked me 7 years ago if menstrual hygiene management was one of the keys to keeping girls in school, reversing cycles of poverty, violence in communities and introducing general health conversations, I don’t think I would have believed it. But it is. It was only hidden in stigma and shame, no one wanted to talk about it, let alone consider it. And it was only because we listened that we learned the many costs women and girls pay when they don’t have what they need for a basic biological function that half of the world’s population faces. Today more and more are talking about it. In fact, NPR named 2015 The Year of the Period. But until recently when people asked what was holding girls back, menstruation was the last thing anyone would name, yet girls miss

What other keys might we be missing? Looking a little deeper can mean catching vital successful actions.

4) Keep it simple, basic, direct and effective, over efficient.

One of my favorite books is the book Cradle to Cradle. It’s a book documenting the
unique approach to design and science, created by architect William McDonough and chemist Dr. Michael Braungart. In their then ground breaking book they explain that effective is better than efficient. In our industrialized solution-driven world we are always looking for faster, stronger brighter. They use the example of a cherry tree. By definition of industrial efficiency, there are excessive blossoms, too many limbs, there could be a few less leaves and it would still be a cherry tree. But when considering effectiveness, those limbs provide shelter for birds and those “extra” blossoms self-fertilize the tree. Efficiency is not the same as effectiveness. High cost and complication does not equate effectiveness. In fact, keeping things simple is often harder thing. Keeping things sustainable and community led, and simple… that’s genius. And that happens when you invite the wisdom of those you serve, stay tenaciously flexible to respond with sensitivity to their needs.

5) Community led development

Days for Girls gets Kits into the world through a unique hybrid approach. The first half is our volunteer model, made up of over 600 chapters and teams that make and distribute Kits for free. The other half is our social enterprise model, where Kits are made in the same area where they are also sold.

Not only is this community-driven model incredibly cost-effective, but it also enables DfG to gather data all over the world, both in terms of the current level of need, as well as the long-term impact of Days for Girls Kits. Since 2008, Days for Girls has reached over 300,000 women and girls, earning back collectively 54 million days of education and opportunity that would otherwise be missed without hygiene solutions.

DfG Kits have a tremendous social and economic impact, not only in terms of school days earned back, but also because of the conversations they start. the second arm of what we do is to teach local women to make their own Days for Girls Kits and to serve as Ambassadors of Women’s Health Education within their own communities. By having not only the knowledge but also the supply chain held locally as well as internationally, important social enterprise options then empower local women to lead the way in health while providing locally made Days for Girls Kits and distributions. It’s how we are reaching the last mile in our goal of reaching every girl. Everywhere. Period. It’s working.

On Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 2:00 Eastern, Celeste will join me here for a live interview about her five keys to reversing cycles of poverty. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Celeste Mergens in Kisii, courtesy of Days for Girls

Celeste Mergens in Kisii, courtesy of Days for Girls

More about Days for Girls:

Twitter: @daysforgirls

Days for Girls International empowers girls, women and communities in over 100 nations on 6 continents, helping reverse cycle of poverty and violence against women in a simple, direct, effective and perhaps a way that may be surprising to you: They help women have access to washable feminine hygiene that lasts 2 – 4 years. One of the major causes of disempowerment of girls in poverty is their monthly cycle. Many girls cannot afford feminine hygiene products and as a result cannot attend school. A girl absent from school due to menstruation for 4 days of every 28 day cycle loses 13 learning days, the equivalent of two weeks of learning every school term. Studies show that every year of schooling increasing a girl’s future earning power by 10 to 20 percent, allowing her to break the cycle of poverty. There are millions of girls and women worldwide who suffer days of isolation, infection, and exploitation due to this single issue– it will take all of us to reach all of them. With attention to collaboration, and responsiveness to local feedback Days for Girls tackles large systemic challenges with simple solutions that are turning out to be key to social changes.

Celeste’s bio:

Twitter: @celestemergens

Celeste is known for her always present smile as well as her ability to build teams and empower collaborations. Celeste founded Days for Girls during a trip to Kenya in 2008. With over 17 years experience in non-profit work, a reputation of building teams, and a strong personal interest in sustainable development and sewing and tailoring, Celeste put her creativity to use to find a solution… and then she listened to feedback of women around the globe that led to a uniquely appropriate design (28 versions later). Just seven years later, Days for Girls empowers women and girls in over 100 countries on six continents. Days for Girls has been featured in O Magazine,, Glamour, and in 2015 was named a Huffington Post ‘Next Ten’ organization positioned to change the world in the next decade. Days for Girls Uganda won the African SEED Award last September for Gender Equity and Entrepreneurship. Celeste’s passion for this issue is infectious and she has helped bring international attention to an issue that has long been neglected. All with the support of her beloved husband Don, and their 6 children and 13 grandchildren. Celeste is Washington State’s 2014 Mother of the Year and a recipient of the Soroptimist Ruby Award. She is continually grateful to be part of such a direct and effective key to empowering people and communities.  See Celeste’s TEDx Bellingham speech here.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and 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!


Neuro-Rehabilitation Center in Morocco is Changing Lives

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

As a teenager playing in the waves in Hawaii, I had a wave crash down on my back. The impact instantly paralyzed me, perhaps out of fear. As I floated beneath the surface of the water my life in a wheelchair flashed in front of my eyes. It was one of the most vivid experiences of my life. Fortunately, I walked away from the experience.

Of course, many people don’t walk away. Some of them don’t have the relative luxury of living in the developed world with access to leading edge treatment and fail to reach their full potential.

Morocco is one such place. There, Mohammed Sbia has launched MAIR in 2015 to provide treatment to people with spinal cord injuries. Zahra Charity is a U.S.-based nonprofit he organized to fund and support MAIR.

He explains, “Lack of neuro-rehabilitation care in Morocco and tragic subsequent, very high level of disabilities and/or death among patient population that is suffering of neurological conditions. Most of these patients would have a normal life if given access to adequate neuro-rehabilitation.”

The impact on individuals is dramatic. “We have helped many patients so far, some of whom are truly amazing medical stories of life-changing recovery,” he says.

Mohammed plans to continue to grow MAIR until it is internationally recognized. He hopes to serve “as many needy patient as possible, while developing education and research programs that will allow significant, long-term improvement of neurological rehabilitative care in Morocco.”

Getting the treatment center financed and built was a big challenge, Mohammed says. “Before the start of MAIR operations, Zahra Charity struggled for six years trying to assemble necessary resources (funds, human resources, equipment and local support). These resources were finally gathered during the year of 2014.”

Initially, only non-paying patients sought treatment at the clinic, he says. “But after few months in operations, capable patients with cash or medical insurances started coming to MAIR for therapy.”

Now the center has a new challenge: exponential growth. Mohammed says the institution needs to expand in scale and scope to meet the increasing demands.

That said, financing remains the biggest limitation to reaching a profitable scale. “Funding is our major limitation. MAIR is not in position to expand its operations right now. More funding will allow it to increase operations, which in turn should bring MAIR closer to financial self-sustainability.”

Mohammad sees the potential to have a significant impact not only on the patients, but on the culture of a country that hasn’t traditionally valued people with neurological problems. “We are giving hope to patients who did not have any hope for recovering from crippling neurological conditions. Most of them will have better, more productive lives because of the therapy they will receive at MAIR. By demonstrating excellent outcomes in a patient population that is being looked down and considered as source of shame or curse, the work of MAIR will ultimately help change a local culture that have very little consideration for patients with neurological disabilities.”

On Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 3:00 Eastern, Mohammed will join me here for a live discussion about the work of Zahra Charity in Morocco and the impact it is having on people there. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about Zahra Charity:

Twitter: @zahra_charity

The Zahra Charity(ZC) a US 501-c3 non-profit, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and dedicated to creating access to adequate neuro-rehabilitation services to needy patients in Morocco. Since August 2015, ZC started operating a small clinic, The Moulay Ali Institute for Rehabilitation (MAIR) in the city of Marrakech. MAIR is already gaining positive notoriety by demonstrating excellent rehabilitation outcomes. Hence the exponential growth it is facing now.

Mohammed’s bio:

Dr. Mohammed Sbia is US citizen originally from Morocco where most of his family is currently living. After earning a B.S. in sciences and a coveted scholarship from the University of Cadi Ayyad (Marrakech City, Morocco), he decided to study abroad in pursuit of advanced biomedical research. He chose France where he earned a Ph.D in neurosciences from the University of Paris-XI. His doctorate research work (1989-1994) was inspired by his fascination with the Human brain and it was focused on the molecular mechanisms of neuro-transmission. Specifically, Dr. Sbia studied the molecular mechanism of the Ca++-dependent release of neurotransmitter and its pharmacological regulation in the central nervous system. Some of his broad scientific interests in neurosciences also included the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying memory, learning and neuroplasticity.

Soon after defending his Ph.D dissertation, Dr. Sbia came to the USA and joined the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology (Nutley, NJ). His research there led to the discovery of new Mammalian gene, part of the Vacuolar H+-ATPase complex. This work stimulated Dr. Sbia’s interest in molecular genetics and since then he focused his research interests on chromosome structure, DNA replication, gene transcription as well as cancer biology.

Prior to his Ph.D, Dr. Sbia received a Master Degree in receptor biochemistry from a joined graduate program at the Ecole Normale Superieure of Paris and the University of Paris-XI. Dr. Sbia’s neuroscience research is featured in several international peer-reviewed journals, conferences and meetings.

Currently, Dr. Sbia spend major part of his time teaching at under-graduate and graduate levels in addition to managing a biotech consulting company providing R&D expertise in neurosciences and cancer biology.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and 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!


The Three ‘I’ Insights to Greater Good

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

If you run a nonprofit, your life can be overwhelmed by an endless cycle of demands from the people you serve and the donors who enable you to serve them. Take a few minutes to contemplate these three critical insights from Liz Baker, Executive Director of, a grant-making organization that supports 150 nonprofits around the world.

Liz says the key to making a real difference is in the three I’s of a nonprofit: impact, imagination and innovation.

In her own words:

I-1. Impact

Define your desired impact before starting a new nonprofit program. If you don’t take this “working backwards” approach, you will not have a clear path to reaching your end goal. The impact can be as narrow as “we want to ensure shelters participating in this program see a 20% lift in adoption rates each month” or as broad as “we want to deliver quality reading material into the hands of as many underserved youth as possible”. Understanding your impact is necessary to successfully imagine solutions and innovate processes.

I-2. Imagination

Once your impact is defined, you have to be able to imagine the problem is solvable. Sometimes this is a simple exercise, and sometimes it’s not. In order to tackle big issues, you need to exercise your imagination and be okay with exploring different possible solutions. With our Girls’ Voices Program, we imagined a way to allow girls in developing countries to tell their story to supporters around the world who could help them overcome barriers to a quality education.

I-3. Innovation

Innovation in nonprofit is key to moving the bar forward. We can’t keep doing the same things if they aren’t working. A good example of this is the Rescue Bank program, who saw nonprofits fundraise to buy food for shelters and rescues while manufacturers were landfilling perfectly good food because the product had undergone a branding change or was approaching its sell-by date. Rescue Bank set up a one of a kind distribution network to deliver food that would otherwise be landfilled to rescue groups. The program continues to innovate with new technology and new systems for delivering product other than food, and for large scale distributions in times of disaster.

On Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Liz will join me here for a live discussion about her three I insights for greater good. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Liz Baker, courtesy of

Liz Baker, courtesy of

More about

Twitter: @greatergoodorg is an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization devoted to improving the health and well-being of people, pets, and the planet. We were born out of a desire to make a real difference – to connect those looking to help with the best programs that are on the ground helping. Established in 2007, supports over 150 impactful non-profit organizations around the world, and we operate and administer several of its own Signature Programs that work toward our mission. We work mainly in the core areas of: alleviating and addressing the root causes of world hunger and food insecurity, early detection and treatment of breast cancer and other widespread health concerns, preventing and treating childhood illness, promoting children’s literacy and education, protecting and restoring the environment, and providing care and feeding of rescued animals in shelters.

Our Signature Programs are operated and administered by our staff—we hire experts from the various fields related to our mission to build programs that have huge impact and fill needs not met by our grant programs. Some programs and highlights include:

  • Rescue Rebuild, a community driven volunteer program that works to rebuild, repair, and renovate animal shelters and rescues in need. Since 2009, we’ve renovated over 100 shelters 48 states, Puerto Rico, and Thailand. Rescue Rebuild has brought over 10 years of volunteer hours into shelters in need.
  • Rescue Bank delivers high-quality, name-brand food to smaller, less visible rescue groups all over the country. In 10 years, we’ve delivered over 120 million meals (so far). That’s 22 meals a minute!
  • One Picture Saves a Life helps provide shelters proper equipment and training on how to groom animals for photography to increase adoption rates. We’ve taught workshops in over 30 cities to over 3,500 shelter workers, donated 225 cameras and over 500 grooming kits to help increase a pet’s chances of being adopted.
  • Madrean Discovery Expeditions works to study and protect the biodiversity of the Sky Island region in northern Sonora, Mexico. This program has helped to document thousands of species of plants and animals, including rare and undiscovered species.
  • Project Wildcat works to establish protect areas for predators who are in conflict with local ranchers in Mexico, especially jaguars. So far, we’ve created a successful 34,000 acre wildlife corridor, home to the northernmost breeding female jaguar seen in over 100 years.
  • GROW (Girls’ Right to Opportunity Worldwide) identifies and works to remove barriers between girls in developing countries and a quality education. From providing a safe ride to school to protect girls in Afghanistan from attacks, to funding a secondary school in Haiti, to launching Girls’ Voices to teach girls how to tell their story through blogs, photos, and video (and then providing scholarships for them), GROW makes a difference all over the world.

Liz’s bio:

Liz Baker started as Executive Director of in 2012, helping to make grants to protect people, pets, and the planet. She has also overseen the creation of several signature programs that address multiple issues ranging from hunger (Operation Sandwich,), education (Girls Right to Opportunity Worldwide, Girls Voices, Secondary School in Haiti), land conservation (Project Wildcat and Maderean Discovery Expeditions) and animal welfare (Cats R Cool, One Picture Save a Life, Shot at Life, Rescue Rebuild, Rescue Bank) to name a few. In her previous role as Executive Director of the Foundation, Liz distributed over 20 Million dollars in cash and product grants to adoption partners in the US. Liz has also worked for as Vice President of Partner Relations, at Family Education Network as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and at as Vice President of Operations building lasting partnerships and brand-building initiatives. Liz volunteers on several boards including The Jackson Galaxy Foundation and Native American Advancement Foundation. Liz lives in Tucson, Arizona with her fiancé Doug, two daughters, one pit bull, and two cats. From time to time, Coyotes jump her five-foot fence and spend the afternoon playing in the back yard with her dog, reminding her that we shouldn’t let barriers get in the way of our dreams.

 Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and 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!



Innovative Nonprofit Captures Food Waste, Feeds Hungry

“The USDA estimates that nearly half the food grown and produced in the US goes to waste. At the same time, more than 50 million Americans face hunger and need help from their local food banks to fill the gaps near the end of the month when their paychecks and food benefits run out,” explains David Bobanick, Executive Director of Rotary First Harvest.

David’s Seattle-based, innovative nonprofit “works with farmers, truckers, volunteers, food banks and other partners to develop collaborative programs that capture millions of pounds of pounds of cosmetically imperfect but highly nutritious produce for distribution to those in need.”

While he acknowledges that Rotary First Harvest, which is a project led by Rotary District 5030, isn’t the single solution to hunger in the world, it has distributed nearly 200 million pounds of food since its founding in 1982.

He says, “One of our greatest challenges we face is the actual time it takes to coordinate, harvest, transport and distribute perishable produce before it spoils, rots or goes to waste. There is no one-size-fits all solution, so creativity and adaptability must be critical parts of an effective food recovery equation.”

David is able to see some challenges as opportunities; perhaps that is what defines an effective social entrepreneur. “We’ve learned that every bit of food that is wasted has a critical point at which it went from being potentially nutritious to being a costly challenge with negative environmental and human impacts. Our work is focused on finding that critical point, and creating a program or solution that redirects the food for good.”

David sees huge potential to expand and replicate the Rotary First Harvest model to move food directly from farms to food banks to feed people who simply don’t have enough to eat.

“Through our core work of redirecting full truckloads of produce to food banks, we are building a catalog of ideas, models and best practices that can be applied in communities around the country and the world,” he concludes.

On Thursday, June 30, 2016 at noon Eastern, David will join me here for a live discussion about his effort to feed hungry people and how it can be expanded and replicated to feed even more. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

David Bobanick, courtesy of Rotary First Harvest

David Bobanick, courtesy of Rotary First Harvest

More about Rotary First Harvest:

Twitter: @rfharvest

Rotary First Harvest connects farmers, truckers, volunteers and food banks for hunger relief. Our role is to find opportunities to collaborate with existing networks, companies and organizations to redirect millions of pounds of produce that might otherwise have been wasted into the hands of families and individuals receiving assistance from hunger relief agencies.

David’s bio:

Twitter: @bobanickdb

David has more than two decades of experience in non-profit management. Since David joined Rotary First Harvest in 2001, the organization has quadrupled the amount of produce collected and distributed annually and significantly expanded RFH’s strategic impact at the local, national and international levels.  David has developed Rotary-based hunger relief programs in other states and countries and serves on several state, national and international committees focused on agricultural development and hunger response initiatives, including serving as President of the Rotarian Action Group for the Alleviation of Hunger and Malnutrition.

David participated in the inaugural Non-Profit Executive Leadership Institute at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington as well as Executive Leadership Institutes at Stanford University’s School of Social Innovation. David has guided several nonprofit organizations in the development of long-range strategic plans, and serves as a board officer for four local and statewide nonprofit organizations.

David currently serves as District Trainer for Rotary District 5030, just finished his second term as an Assistant Governor, is Past President of the Rotary Club of Mercer Island and is an Assistant Rotary Public Information Coordinator for Zones 25/26.

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Devin is a journalist, author and 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!


A Note on Brexit and the Markets

This is a guest post from Garvin Jabusch, Chief Investment Officer of Green Alpha Advisors, LLC

The UK has voted to leave the EU, and global markets, for today, are way down. But what, fundamentally, does it all mean? Why does a Brexit equal market turmoil? Will Brits stop all commerce, quit consuming, and cease all import and export activity? Will Europe? Will global trade falter?

No, the Brexit will cause none of that. And yet, some economists do see some declines as a possible outcome. As reported by the Economist, “the central estimate touted by George Osborne, the chancellor [of the UK Treasury], is that GDP may be 6.2% lower than it would otherwise have been by 2030, an annual cost that he reckons works out at some £4,300 ($6,000) per household.” The “than it would otherwise have been” is code meaning the UK economy will still grow between now and 2030, but perhaps a bit more slowly than if it had stayed in the EU. The UK Treasury’s “central” scenario is based on the assumption that the UK’s future trading relationship with Europe will consist of “membership of the European Economic Area (EEA), like Norway; [or] a negotiated bilateral free-trade deal similar to Switzerland’s or Canada’s.” It’s worth noting that, despite never having enjoyed membership in the EU, Norway’s, Switzerland’s and Canada’s economies are among the world’s best. I know, that’s merely a correlation, but still, it gives an idea of the economic capabilities of nations currently living in the UK’s likely near-future scenario.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that events like debt crises, fiscal cliffs and market bubbles will always capture headlines, but, unless they represent the exceedingly rare event that really does change the trajectory of the world economy, they are short lived. Remember last summer’s market freak out during the Greek debt crisis? Forgotten by fall. The Fiscal Cliff selloff in response to the idea that the U.S. might default on its obligations? That hammered the markets in November 2012, but the reversion to the “norm” took days, and the event is barely a blip on the 5-year S&P 500 chart if you look today. Even the horror of 9/11 didn’t impact markets for long. According to CNBC, “Stocks plunged the day the markets reopened on Sept. 17, bottoming out with a 11-percent loss five trading days later. Yet by Oct. 11, the S&P 500— as well as NYSE trading volume — were essentially back to pre-attack levels.” CNBC summarized the market effects of that awful day thus: “September 11: National Scar, Market Blip.” So while events like the Brexit may increase uncertainty for short periods, real economic fundamentals do prevail in the long-term.

As economist Jeremy Grantham has written, markets can be “depressed by a very obvious reason: the cloud of negatives, which generally and surprisingly have historically had very little effect individually on the market, but apparently do depress “comfort” when gathered into an army of negatives. So, whenever the negative news cools down for a week or so, the market tries to get back to its “normal” level, which is about 20% higher.” Markets hate uncertainty. When they are reassured that the status quo won’t actually change much, they revert to the norm.

Meanwhile though, the world is in fact facing far larger, more dangerous, trajectory changing threats: climate change and resource scarcity. The World Economic Forum has recently found that “water crises,” “failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation,” “extreme weather events,” “food crises,” and “profound social instability,” in that order, are the global economic risks of highest concern for the next 10 years. Notice the unifying theme of these top five risks: “climate issues were the risk factors most likely to influence other risks and thus have the greatest potential impact.” How great an impact? The European Systemic Risk Board has warned of economic “contagion” if a global move to a low carbon economy “happens too slowly or too late.”

Garvin Jabusch

Fortunately though, the solutions to some of these larger, more meaningful risks that confront us all are booming. Rapidly falling prices for both solar and wind energies, renewed U.S. ITC tax breaks, and the Paris climate deal among other things are fueling record solar and wind sales worldwide. Yes, solar stacks have not fared well recently, but declines are “more about perception than true fundamentals,” according to an analyst at S&P Global Market Intelligence, because the fundamentals continue to improve, given both low equipment and production costs and surging demand. “But that’s not currently reflected in the share prices.” So at the moment many solar and wind equities are a compelling opportunity. This is well supported by the fact that overall renewable investments have been growing, with 91.6% of all new electricity generating capacity in 2015 globally coming from wind and solar. Thus, a fissure must be forming in energy investing, and solar is poised to break from the pack, providing savvy investors with a remarkable opportunity to invest in the Next Economy—and the future of the planet.

The transition to the next economy now has gained so much momentum that earlier this year Morgan Stanley advised in a report, “Investors cannot assume economic growth will continue to rely heavily on an energy sector powered predominantly by fossil fuels.” Powerful stuff, especially coming from a venerable, old bank that still has a lot of investments in fossil fuels.

So, to summarize:

  • Brexit: short term risk and instability, that comes with a short-term buying opportunity.
  • Climate change: risk of existential instability, but with the corresponding largest economic opportunity in history.

Please keep an eye on this portion of our website for this and related investment commentary

How to Secure Sponsors for Nonprofit Events

This is a guest post from Ashley Walsh, Director of Marketing for Formstack

Nonprofits are always looking for more donations since donations are usually the lifeblood of their cause. And one way to get that major spike in funds is to host an event and secure corporate sponsorship.

Social responsibility has become an important value for businesses. It’s also something consumers love to support—and it can even increase loyalty. This is why nonprofits should start looking to corporations for charity sponsorship: they are a win-win for both organizations. Event sponsorship increase brand loyalty for the sponsoring corporation and result in funds for the nonprofit. They also can result in supplies or potentially more attendees during an event, and the sponsor gets extra exposure and recognition as a giving business.

But here’s the common question: How can nonprofits find these much-needed sponsors for their event? Two words: online forms. These easy, inexpensive tools can make this endeavor a lot easier.

Below are 4 ways to leverage forms to help land sponsors for an upcoming event:

1. Market your event.

The first step in planning a successful event is to market it properly. Create a page on your website that has the full event details, so it can be promoted via social media, emails, your company blog, and other relevant channels. This page can help get potential attendees to register for the event as well as help to secure corporate sponsors.

Also include a section on the page that specifically targets prospective charity sponsors. For example, list out previous corporate sponsors, include positive testimonials from those organizations, and promote that content socially. Viewing other corporate sponsors can be motivating for potential sponsors and may be the push they need.

The final step is including a sponsor or partner interest form that companies can submit if they’re interested in getting more information about sponsoring the event. An easy way to add the form is to embed it directly onto your organization’s Facebook page, which will expand your reach and visibility.

2. Contact corporations directly.

Next, it’s time to think strategically. Consider the people your organization or event serves. Identifying their demographics, where they live, and what they like to do will help narrow your target area and allow you to evaluate what kinds of businesses would want to work with these people. For example, if your event were a road race, a sporting goods store might be interested in serving the people that would attend your race.

Make a list of possible businesses that could connect with your target audience and reach out to them through phone calls, emails, or social media. Some corporations even have sponsor request forms or fundraiser registration forms on their sites so you can easily let them know you are interested in working with them for your event.

3. Set up sponsorship levels and promotions.

Once you have a list of definite sponsors, it’s time to nail down the sponsorship details. To start, set up sponsorship levels so sponsors can contribute at a level that feels comfortable to them. A smaller business might not be able to donate as much as a large corporation, so nonprofit sponsorship levels can increase the chances that a variety of organizations at different financial levels will be able to participate.

Decide what type of promotion each sponsor will receive. For example, will they each get a logo on the event signage or apparel? Will they be given a corporate table or tent at the event? Will top-tier sponsors get more prominent promotion than lower-level sponsors? These little perks can motivate sponsors to give more.

Once you have made your decisions regarding levels and promotions, send each sponsor a charity sponsorship agreement form. This form can be used to confirm sponsorship levels, upload a logo, or electronically sign off on the terms and conditions. Additionally, the form can be used for donations if it has security measures and is connected to a payment processor.

4. Keep the lines of communication open.

Finally, it’s important to keep in touch with your sponsors. Add all sponsors to your email list so they receive updates about annual events, both before and after the events happen.

At the event, set up a booth with tablets hosting online forms for attendees to sign up to receive more information or indicate sponsorship interest for future events.

After the event, send sponsors a follow-up survey to determine if they were happy with their experience. Also, it might be beneficial to send them a sponsorship renewal form for next year’s event.


About Ashley Walsh:

Twitter: @anighbert

Ashley has worked in multiple areas of the B2B marketing sector and is currently the Director of Marketing for Formstack, an online form building solution based in Indianapolis.


Is This Wildlife Conservation PhD The Steve Jobs Of Impact Investing?

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Did the people who met Steve Jobs in 1976 have any inkling that they were talking to the person whose name would for a generation be synonymous with “entrepreneur”? More often, people have believed to have found the next incarnation of Jobs only to be disappointed. Perhaps you can help me determine if the subject of this article could become the Steve Jobs of impact investing.

From my perch in Salt Lake City on the west side of the Rockies, over the last few years I’ve been hearing rumblings from the other side of the mountains. In Denver, Dr. Stephanie Gripne has created one of the most dynamic centers of impact investing and social entrepreneurship in the world. With a goal to catalyze impact investments of over $1 trillion and a plan to get there, it is about time that people outside the Rocky Mountains took note.

Dr. Gripne founded the Impact Finance Center as a partnership between the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business and the Sustainable Endowments Institute, a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

In 2014, the Center launched the CO Impact Days and Initiative with a three year goal to catalyze $100 million of impact investment in Colorado-based social ventures. The event has grown into a marketplace for impact investing.

Wendi Burkhardt, co-founder and CEO of the Colorado-based social enterprise Silvernest was an early participant in CO Impact Days. She says, “I am inspired by the opportunities that Stephanie and IFC are creating to employ traditional philanthropic donations as capital investments that offer a substantial return and thereby further the impact and intention of the applied funds. I’m excited by this untapped opportunity to bring these worlds together.”

Will Morgan, Director of Impact for Sonen Capital, has worked with Dr. Gripne for several years, providing grant funding for the Center. He sees the need for the infrastructure that the Center is working to create. “I think IFC’s work is great. Investors are searching for more meaning with their assets and resources. Social enterprises and private businesses that create positive impacts are starved for resources. It’s a natural thought that more infrastructure needs to be put into place so that both sides of the equation can get what they need,” he says.

Jeramy Lund, Managing Director of the Sorenson Impact Center at University of Utah, agrees. He notes that she drove great collaboration. He says, the CO Impact Days event was a big success. “The way she was able to bring together the major foundations and get them to agree on collective impact was impressive heavy lifting. To pull it off on the first year was amazing.”

Dr. Gripne isn’t working to create a marketplace for impact capital by leveraging her Wall Street experience. She doesn’t have any formal finance training or experience.

Rejecting her father’s business career as path for her life, Dr. Gripne earned a PhD in Wildlife Conservation at the University of Montana. Her early career had working in academia, the Journal of Wildlife Management, the USDA Forest Service and the DOE Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It isn’t clear when she learned to calculate the present value of an investment.

It was working with her father, however, that she learned about the power of doing good with investment dollars. “ Before my dad passed, we completed some of my first direct impact investment deals together. We partnered with families going through medical bankruptcy. We basically created an affordable housing model where my family would buy a house and give the families partial equity of their rent and all equity above a ten percent return. These were essentially people with good credit who were faced with a medical emergency and were struggling to make ends meet.”

“That experience – the joy of philanthropy with a financial return — permanently changed my course,” she adds.

Since then, her focus has been on impact investing, not for her own account so much as for her community, her country and the world.

The Center operates its $700,000 annual budget largely through grants today, but Dr. Gripne plans to make it financially self-sustaining. Already, she says, the Center earns some revenue through research and development, thought leadership, education, marketplace Impact Days and sub-advisory services.

She acknowledges that the Center is really just getting started and that it may be too soon to measure future results, but she is optimistic. “Having only just launched this catalytic concept this year, we are currently operating at a negative gross margin of -18%. A significant portion of our expenses come from the development of the intellectual property we’ll be bringing to market in the coming months and years. Once we can begin to generate revenue from that IP in the form of educational workshops and sub-advisory services, we aim to be self-sustaining within 18-24 months, and profitable by 2019.”

Dr. Gripne’s early success comes from her passion. Burkhardt explains, “Stephanie is truly a force of nature and I am always amazed at her ability to produce the results that she does! In addition to her being an incredibly accomplished academic, [IFC] capitalizes on something much greater. It is a true labor of love for her – it is her deepest passion and that fuels her at the highest level of performance.”

Her sense of the problem drives her. Rhetorically, she asks, “In [these] times of economic uncertainty, climate change, and social division, how do we increase the flow of resources to the ventures that will deliver positive impact on our economy, society, and environment?”

To address the problem, the Center helps high-net-worth individuals and institutions with $10 million to $5 billion to invest to do it with more impact and lower fees. Dr. Gripne says, “We do this though outreach, education, and technical assistance that allows them to understand their objectives in terms of financial return, impact, risk, and liquidity and them help them find ways to make their philanthropy more efficient, their investments more effective, and in many cases start directly investing.”

Dr. Stephanie Gripne, courtesy of the Impact Finance Center

Dr. Stephanie Gripne, courtesy of the Impact Finance Center

By way of sample case, she shared this:

For example, we recently assisted, Nicole Bagley, an individual philanthropist and trustee on multiple family foundations to make her first impact investment into Silvernest, a women led technology company working to help the aging population age in place by providing housemates for additional income, companionship, and help around the house. Not only is she looking for her next investment, she is exploring her first impact investment with one of her family foundations and has joined the Impact Finance Center as a Senior Advisor.

Despite progress that some see as remarkable, Dr. Gripne is impatient. She sees building a critical mass of participating investors as her greatest challenge. She needs financial help to create the marketplace she envisions and needs more people to begin investing within that framework. For many, it will be their first impact investment.

Dr. Gripne is all about rapid growth. “We have the research, educational curriculum, and statewide marketplace; we now are in a place of finding the catalytic philanthropic gifts and partners to allow us to scale,” she says.

Morgan notes, “Steph is doing a lot. Frankly, I think she could or should slow down and focus on a few things deeply. She has tremendous potential, and has accomplished an enormous amount with IFC in the last two years. She’s stretched in many directions due to the potential of this burgeoning field of impact investing and she wants to do it all.”

“I’m working on narrowing her focus, but I don’t carry much sway,” he added.

Dr. Gripne sees potential for a multi-national scale to the Center’s work, helping to create a global marketplace for direct investments in social ventures.

“How do we move $1 trillion of investment into our communities? $1 billion a time. How do we move $1 billion into our communities over five years? By investing in the infrastructure to create a national impact investing marketplace,” she says, making the possibility of catalyzing massive amounts of investment capital sound perfectly reasonable.

She concluded our online discussion with this:

Until we build the infrastructure for a national impact investing marketplace that syndicates 10 regional impact investing marketplaces we will not see institutional money flow into our communities at the scale that is needed to solve society’s most pressing problems that include supporting a diverse spectrum of social impact, including improved school readiness, education, accessible jobs, healthy homes and neighborhoods, family economic security, community development and revitalization, climate resilience and more.

On Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 1:00 Eastern, Gripne will join me for a live discussion about her work in the Rocky Mountains and her efforts to build a global infrastructure for direct impact investing. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Watch the interview and in the comments below let everyone know what you think. Is Gripne really on to something here? Could she be the Steve Jobs of impact investing?

Fundraising Expert Offers 3 Tips for Effective Philanthropy

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

One of Utah’s leading nonprofit fundraising professionals recently left the Community Foundation of Utah where I serve on the board to launch her own business serving nonprofits. Katherine Fife is the founder of Philanthropy Matters.

Katherine recently share three tips with me for more effective philanthropy. I’ll share  them here:

  1. Giving options are multiplying. The philanthropic landscape is changing, both for those who make charitable gifts, as well as for those who are receiving them and putting them to work for social good. The options for giving are growing exponentially and charitable giving is no longer as simple as writing a check. Gifts are made for more personal reasons and based upon impact.
  2. Investing parallels giving. More and more philanthropists are beginning to mirror their philanthropic giving with their personal financial investments. In the past, philanthropists and donors would manage their charitable giving in a completely separate way from their financial investments. In many circumstances, the two were often in conflict with one another. Today, social and financial returns are now being integrated and can even have complimentary portfolios.
  3. Consider your options. It is important to consider all options to make the best decisions regarding your giving and investments that align with your charitable goals. To get the most out of your giving, it is essential to educate yourself or work with experts who can help guide you in your philanthropic journey.

On Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 4:00 Eastern, Katherine will join me for a live discussion about effective philanthropy. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

Katherine Fife, courtesy of Philanthropy Matters

Katherine Fife, courtesy of Philanthropy Matters

More about Philanthropy Matters:

Philanthropy Matters, LLC is focused on making charitable giving more effective, efficient, and impactful. We Help Philanthropists:

  • Determine philanthropic goals,
  • Establish philanthropic giving plans/portfolios,
  • Understand options and issues for giving, and
  • Gain a better understanding of the impact of giving/philanthropic investments.

We Help Nonprofits:

  • Better steward/appreciate donors
  • Understand giving strategies

Katherine’s bio:

Twitter: @katherinefife

Katherine is the founder and principal consultant at Philanthropy Matters, LLC. Wanting to make charitable giving more effective, efficient, and impactful, Katherine started this business after more than two decades of working in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors.

Previously, Katherine has served as the Director of Philanthropy for the Community Foundation of Utah, where she assisted hundreds of philanthropists with their charitable giving. Helping to deploy over $20 million into social good, Katherine has a comprehensive perspective on giving. In addition to working with donors of all types, Katherine has extensive experience working in the nonprofit sector, managing all aspects of a nonprofit organization, both on the programmatic side, as well as development. She has experience raising funds through various methods including grant writing, special events, capital campaigns, annual appeals, individual and major giving and more. In addition to consulting, Katherine also served as the Director of Marketing and Development with Make-A-Wish Foundation of Utah.

In a volunteer capacity, Katherine currently serves on the Planned Giving Advisory Council for Salt Lake Community College Foundation and is the Treasurer on the Advisory Board of the Sorenson Multi-Cultural Center. She also served as president of the Utah Society of Fund Raisers board of directors. Katherine earned her Master’s degree in family ecology from the University of Utah and her BA in sociology from Westminster College in Salt Lake. She is inspired by the opportunity to make positive change through partnerships with those who are committed to social good.

Never miss another interview! Join Devin here!

Devin is a journalist, author and 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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