Category Archives: Engage

Tips and tricks how to be engaged, volunteering, internship, career, featuring orgs from UG

Love: Vulnerability Balanced with Courage

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 “I have learned about love. Love should be easy, free in connection; work, wonderfully so, as in investment; vulnerability balanced with courage, and always undergirded with trust. It should be grace, graced and grateful. It should uplift you.”

Love – we feel it, we know it, we believe in it. And I think it truly is indispensable.. we can’t live without it. As we peel away the layers of love… one I’d like to cover today is:

Vulnerability Balanced with Courage.

Love isn’t always easy for we must be open.  Are you willing to love even if you are hurt?

Because a relationship didn’t work the way you’d prefer… or a church committee member spoke harshly to you… your idea got shot down at work or a precious pet ascended to heaven…

I know… it hurts… of course it does…

So be gentle with yourself, first.

But dear leader – we have to have the courage to soften our hearts, stay receptive, and be open to love at all times.  And yes, that is at home and work.

This allows us to give the most to the world, and to ourselves.

Yes, at all times.

I know that might be hard to hear… Hang in there…

So there may be something that shut you down recently. Well, it’s time to unshutter the door and open back up. Take your heart out of the basement, or release your self-imposed sequestration in the attic. 🙂

Let’s be those loving, beautiful individuals, who deserve to receive and give love. And other people need it too!

Remember, to receive the benefit of love, we have to have courage.

“Love is Vulnerability Balanced with Courage.”

–Sunday, November 29th, 1998. 10:20pm.

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Pamela Hawley is the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving, an award-winning nonprofit helping people to donate and volunteer with top-performing, vetted organizations all over the world. Unique to UniversalGiving, 100% of all donations go directly to the cause.

Pamela is a winner of the Jefferson Award (the Nobel Prize in Community Service) and has been invited three times to the White House. Pamela was a finalist for Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and is an Expert Blogger for Fast Company and CSRWire. She is a philanthropy expert for the new TV show, Billions Rising.

Pamela is also an accomplished actress, improviser, dancer, and singer with over 100 performances in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. She is trained by The Groundlings, a graduate of Upright Citizens Brigade, at advanced level Second City Los Angeles, and a BATS improv player. Pamela donates a portion of every show’s proceeds to UniversalGiving.

“You have to get people talking the same language before you get them around the table” – Pakzan Dastoor

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“You have to get people talking the same language before you get them around the table” – Pakzan Dastoor

What a wonderful insight from the Dasra Foundation!

Dasra is an innovative foundation working on extreme social change in India.  I just heard them speak at an amazing conference at Stanford focusing on Indian philanthropy. Local Indians and Silicon Valley Indian entrepreneurs gathered together to discuss how to give intelligently.

Dasra’s strategic approach to social problems has dramatically increased the impact and scale of social change in India.  They helped take nearly 1000 nonprofits and socially conscious businesses to the next level. They have more than 28 research reports ranging from adolescent girls’ empowerment to child malnutrition and sports for development.

And Pakzan is right.   The Advisory Leader of Dasra knows that we need to collaborate, listen, and support one another in order to achieve true success.

So the “right language” is not really about a dialect.  It’s about our motivations.

Before we come to the table, we need to be on the same page.   That means our motives and aspirations are aligned.   Then we are really listening!  And the conversation builds to higher levels to serve the world, our communities and our partnerships.

Are you facing a challenge in philanthropy today? Or how about your own life?

We can take Pakzan’s advice.   Let’s slow down. We can make sure we are listening.   Are we speaking the same language? You might both be speaking Hindi.  But if you don’t have the same values, your words will blow right one another.

To truly scale we must have the same values.      

We can be great social innovators, communicators and doers by speaking the same language: Listen, love and support your partner.


As India’s leading strategic philanthropy foundation, Dasra actively shapes the process of social change by forming powerful partnerships with funders and social enterprises. In the past 15 years, Dasra has been working towards building a ‘thriving ecosystem’ that enables knowledge creation, capacity building, strategic funding, and collaboration in order to touch and transform the lives of 800 million Indians. 

Want to Volunteer? Three Things To Ask

How do you pick the right volunteer experience for you? It’s important to be diligent in your choice of organizations when volunteering. Ask yourself the following questions to determine which experience best fits your goals.

  1. What cause is important to you?

Identify your greatest passions. What is a problem you want to solve? Who are people you want to connect with? If you don’t have answers to those questions, don’t worry. Sometimes you know, and sometimes not! That’s where you just have to try, learn more about the cause, and see if it engages your mind and emotions.

This is why volunteering is so great. You can always try it, commit for a reasonable time, and then try something different. Start with an area about which you are curious, such as education, the environment, or health care. Interested in animal conservation? Volunteer with Pandas International to assist conservationists in caring for pandas. That raises another point: You can use volunteering to explore another part of the world. Working with Globe Aware in Peru, for example, will allow you to engage in a way much beyond that of a tourist.

  1. What is the organization like?

The nonprofit sector continues to grow, with new organizations popping up daily. Understanding the organizational structure is critical to a positive volunteer experience. Would you like to work in a larger organization that might have more resources but is more rigid? Or a smaller, entrepreneurial organization that has less fiscal support but multiple opportunities to serve?

You also need to consider the leadership structure. Are they friendly, open, willing to give you opportunities? Do you see yourself enjoying your day working with them? If you answer yes, then most likely you will have a positive relationship. They will want to see you grow and develop, and you will want to help them. It’s a “win-win” for everyone. Try to meet with the leader or volunteer manager prior to starting to ensure it’s a good fit.

  1. How much time can you dedicate?

Be realistic about the amount of time you can spend volunteering. Often, volunteers comment that they benefit from investing a lot of time becoming a part of the “nonprofit family.” You can learn the ins and outs of the organization and gain greater expertise.

However, you may have time only to help on weekends every now and then. That’s great, too. It’s just a different kind of experience. Volunteering one time to help a soup kitchen pack meals for families for the holidays is a good example. You’ve helped fill a need, and your heart is filled, too!

You’ve got a heart to give. Now, take the time to think about how you want to volunteer. By being thoughtful, you’ll use your time well and get the most out of your experience. (It also helps the nonprofit!) No matter what, you’ll be a better person. And the world will be better, too.

Visit Duke University’s website where Pamela can answer your questions on social innovations and nonprofits here! 

The Days of Linear Giving Are Over

The days of “linear giving” are over — what I mean is, it’s not “I give you this, you give me that.”   That’s Linear Giving and it doesn’t always happen.

 

First, you can’t truly give with the expectation that you are going to get something in return.  It’s just not the right motivation.  And it will upset the balance of giving, turning it into something it’s not…

We need to give because we sincerely want to. Because it’s the right thing to do. It’s helpful, kind, nourishing to the world. And ultimately it does help ourselves… we feel nourished and uplifted by the mere act of being generous.

And it won’t stop there. More good will continue to come to you, in ways you never expected.  From different places, different sources, and in unique ways!  It’s truly quite exciting…to see good unfold, when we let it go.

So let’s not give and expect back. It’s not A gives to B, and B to gives to A.

It’s A gives to B.  And then A gives to C and D.  Then X, M, Q and V give back to A at different times and ways in the future.

It’s circular, spherical, timeless, unbound, everconnecting giving… which is taking place, and always has been.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Words of Wisdom

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I am always searching for ways to grow as an individual.  Great authors I love are Bill George & Stephen Covey; great leaders I love are Desmond Tutu and Mother Teresa. \ I came across this inspiring brief film by Andrew Zuckerman, cataloguing what many of our leaders across different sectors, thought about wisdom. I hope you enjoy: http://www.wisdombook.org/.

Stay inspired and true.

Love for the Team

 

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Yesterday, I brought in Chinese food for the UniversalGiving team. It was so nice to have the team together and to bond over good food and good conversation. I’m so grateful for all of the work that each and every team member does to contribute to our mission, our values, and our community.

Reverse Trick-Or-Treating

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We all know Halloween is around the corner. No, not because of the multi-colored leaves, the smell of firewood, or the calendar on the kitchen fridge, but because every time we walk into the grocery store, our eyes are overwhelmed with visions of fat, round pumpkins, fake spiders and ghosts, and shelves stocked full of Kit-Kats, Snickers, and Swedish Fish. According to the History Channel, this now secular and commercial holiday originated from the ideas of giving to the poor, dressing up in costumes to trick “ghosts” who were believed to have come back from the dead, and honoring the deceased. Today, many kids don’t understand the joy of giving candy and are instead only focused on taking. Somewhere along the way, we have forgotten that the holiday was based on giving to others. We have somehow started to feel entitled to candy! And there’s nothing wrong with candy. But is there another lesson we can emphasize? This year, UniversalGiving wants you to consider this question:

What would Halloween look like if you gave instead of took?

This question aligns with the new movement called “Reverse Trick-or-Treating.” In this article from Disney’s Babble, the writer explains that this event entails going around from house to house and giving candy to people in the houses instead of taking their candy (see original idea here)UniversalGiving wants to expand on this concept to include other events that save you money and a trip to the dentist for all those candy cavities!

Here is a quick list that we put together to help you get started with ideas:

  1. Give someone a call to ask how they’re doing
  2. Give advice to a friend in need
  3. Give time volunteering at a soup kitchen or helping to cook a hot meal
  4. Give help to a younger sibling with homework or give them an hour of your time to play their favorite board game
  5. Give a donation all of those clothes that you don’t wear anymore to GoodWill
  6. Give someone random a high-five, a hug, or a smile

 

When we use a wider approach to giving and brainstorm all the ways we can give, the list is endless. Instead of a picture of your most creative costume, we challenge you to send us your most creative giving idea for this Halloween season! Remember to tag @UniversalGiving and use the #reversetrickortreating to get your post noticed. Happy Giving!