Why I'm Joining Chicago Cares' Serve-A-Thon 2015

Volunteering can be a challenge – our time is taken up by family, friends, work, and other activities. In fact, my own time has been busy with consulting work, other writing commitments, and keeping current with the state of social good in Chicago. So when I was invited to join Chicago Cares’ Serve-a-Thon on June... Read more »

The "Leverage Social Media Advocacy" Job

This past week, I was lucky enough to participate in the Chicago Nerd Social Club’s Leverage 101 panel. Now, admittedly, as CNSC board member I might have been obligated to attend. As a nonprofit communications professional, I think the 2008 – 2012 series has a strong sense of social justice, beginning with its opening narration:... Read more »

Improvisation & Play in Nonprofit Technology

 Things have been quite busy for me lately: between increased consulting work (including a brand new project), attending a Second City ETC revue for my personal blog, and attending C2E2, my schedule has been rather hectic. But these few weeks have also reminded me about the importance of improvisation – and play – in nonprofit/social... Read more »
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Placing Community Conversations "On the Table" [Meet Your Neighbor]

“Community” is a word that gets used quite frequently in conversation….and we all wish to strengthen our home communities. But quite often, it can get mired into very high-end thinking with little action. In celebrating its hundredth year, the Chicago Community Trust is putting on a year-long celebration of community-based philanthropy, and on May 12th,... Read more »

The Chicago Mayoral Election & The "Digital Divide"

The Chicago Mayoral Election & The "Digital Divide"
With the Chicago Mayoral election coming up next week, I’ve been thinking about a question from the first debate between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. One of the questions was about the “digital divide”, and both candidates seemed to struggle with the concept: Garcia made an initially fumbling, but articulate discussion of the... Read more »

The Best (Zen-Flavored) Advice I Ever Received

The Best (Zen-Flavored) Advice I Ever Received
Eight years ago this week, I “celebrated” my return to Chicago after living in St. Louis, Missouri for several years. (I don’t remember the exact date, to be quite honest – it’s been a bit of a blur). However, in reflecting back on that time in terms of my own nonprofit career, I remember a... Read more »
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Addendum: Chicago Mayoral Election Judge

A few weeks ago, I wrote about serving as election judge in the February primary. As a first-time judge, I had some questions and observations, and was fortunate to discuss these matters via e-mail with Jim Allen at the Board of Elections. With a Chicago mayoral election just a few weeks away, I thought this... Read more »

Leonard Nimoy, Diversity and Social Change

With Leonard Nimoy’s passing, I have found myself reflecting back both personally and professionally. Growing up watching Star Trek, I was strongly influenced both by Nimoy’s performance…but also with the show’s focus on diversity, tolerance, and acceptance. In recent months, I have had some experiences that have me reflecting on those values as they apply... Read more »

I Served As Judge for the Chicago Primary Election

For many, this past Tuesday’s Chicago primary election were about selecting their mayoral and aldermanic candidates of choice. For me, it was a very unique challenge….as I served as election judge for the 13th Ward. What motivated me to such an action? The previous election – more specifically, the use of robocalling to disrupt voting-... Read more »
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Jeff We Can: Lessons in Mission-Driven Marketing

It’s one of the little white lies that many of us in the nonprofit/social venture field tell ourselves: if we only had more money/time/resources, we could market our missions more effectively. Mission-driven marketing is always a challenge in a media environment with multiple channels, various worthy causes, and ever-decreasing resources. (Chicago-area nonprofits and social ventures... Read more »