CONSULTING FOR ACTIVISM
I have built my career around philanthropy and that has shaped my eye and work as a creator. I founded and built two successful nonprofits from scratch that changed thousands of lives, and I have consulted with and highlighted the work of dozens of other nonprofits and activists over the last 15 years. Today, in addition to capturing the great work these organizations do, I also consult to help them grow their vision of making the world a better place.
Contact me to talk about your organization and hiring me.
How did you get into the philanthropic world and what inspired you to start your own nonprofits?
I believe we can all do something to make a considerable difference in the world. It is unacceptable to simply sit by, complain, and watch things that are damaging to our environment and the beings who inhabit it. There are also gaps in our own communities on where and how people, animals, and the earth need help. For me, it's always been a matter of keeping my eyes open and when I spot an opportunity or a need, I don't wait around and hope someone else will do something.
How did this translate into your creative career with photography and writing?
Photography is such a powerful way to tell a story. As a young photographer, I used to look for all the "pretty" shots -- the ones that get the most likes, if you will. But now, I look for ways to create images that capture a moment while communicating a message. The best photos, in my opinion, first ask, "What do you want to say?" before pressing the shutter button. Same with writing. I spent many years in the journalism and media fields. These industries have morphed so much over the last decade with true reporting and storytelling taking a backseat to "clickbait" and biased media now that often focuses on such minute, inconsequential subjects that the bigger picture and important stories about our world are often buried or missing all together. I do my best to close that gap.
What advice would you give to others on starting a nonprofit?
Find something that really gets to you emotionally as wrong or in need, and then do something around that. You have to be emotionally invested in your cause and willing to work day and night to stand up for it and do something about it. Then surround yourself with people who share that same passion.
Do you have to create or work for a nonprofit to make a considerable difference?
Of course not. You can be an activist by volunteering with any one of your local nonprofits or simply taking initiative to pick up trash on the beach every morning or researching where your food comes from and the impact it makes on the environment before reaching you.
What is the biggest mistake nonprofits make?
There are so many. A big one is becoming too corporate and losing the personal approach it takes to create and sustain their mission. There are thousands of nonprofits people can choose from to volunteer and donate. People will be attracted to yours because they like you, know you, and believe in your approach to making things happen. Don't waste money or time on needless overhead or bureaucracy. Don't spend time in meetings when you can be out having coffee with your volunteers or making personal phone calls to thank donors. You have to be super efficient because you won't have a big staff or budget. Nonprofit leaders that don't get all of this will not make it.
Can our organization hire you to consult and help us reach our goals?
Yes. I remotely consult with nonprofits around the country to help them get organized when starting out, help them reach their fundraising and other goals, or help them restructure how they operate for more success. My approach is very efficient and very direct. I do not waste my time or yours, and I will be very upfront with you on what you are doing right, wrong, and what you need to do to change or grow. Trust me, having built and run two of my own nonprofits in the last 15 years, I understand all of the ins and outs of this industry. Contact me.
What tips do you have for someone running a nonprofit?
Stay focused on the people, animals, or places you serve. They will keep you energized and should always be the focus of your social media and marketing -- not you, not your founder, not your board, etc. It's all about who or what you are serving. Tell their story.