Tag Archives: sustainability

The Pamela Positive: “Make of Your Life an Affirmation”

“Make of your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others. Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level.” –Alexander Haig

Alexander Haig was a four-star general in the United States Army, as well as Chief of Staff under President Nixon and President Ford, and Secretary of State under President Reagan.

How Can You Use, and Reuse, Paper?

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We can live consciously and thoughtfully about how we use paper.  When you write a note, could you also reuse it again, and use the other side?  When you receive a card, is there a portion of it that’s not written on, that could be used for a casual note to a roommate, spouse or friend?  Or perhaps you could even use it for a to-do list.  When you receive a box of a recent book or item of clothing, you can save it for holiday gifts.  Let’s think creatively about our trees…

I Envision a World Without Salt Packets

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There are so many things that are packaged within paper, and the waste can be enormous.  I think about the time, manufacturing costs, the transport, and the packaging when I look at individual salt packets.  My guess is, forty granules of salt are contained within a tiny salt packet.  And we’ve got to enclose it with paper, and then put it in another big package to transport it.  There are so many ways that we use paper that are not allowing us to be effective stewards of our environment.

There was an interesting write-up of editorial letters in the Chronicle the other day.  In it, one might think people were against plastic bags, and they were.  But they were also against paper bags.  All of the letters pointed towards using canvas.  And many of them even stated we should feel guilty for using trees to transport our lunches, groceries, or other sundries.  We’re facing quite a revolution here in being thoughtful about how and when we use our natural resources.

We can live consciously and thoughtfully about how we use paper.  When you write a note, could you also reuse it again, and use the other side?  When you receive a card, is there a portion of it that’s not written on, that could be used for a casual note to a roommate, spouse or friend?  Or perhaps you could even use it for a to-do list.  When you receive a box containing a recent book or item of clothing, you can save it for holiday gifts.  Let’s think creatively about our trees.

I remember my very astute four year old niece, when I took her to the restroom, after we had gotten brunch.  With two young nephews waiting in the restaurant, age 8 and 10, and as the sole aunt caretaker, I hurriedly pulled out two paper towels and dried my hands.  “Shame on you, Aunt Pamela.  They teach us in school that that’s a tree.  You’re not supposed to do that.”  Lindsey was absolutely right.

What if every time you picked up, or used a piece of paper, you envisioned a beautiful evergreen, redwood, or eucalyptus tree?  Would we then be so quick to crumple it up?  Would you crumple up a cherry blossom tree?

The New Luxury – Water

In many emerging nations, children are starving and dying due to lack of clean water.  As a “developed” nation, it certainly doesn’t seem that advanced for us to be getting water for free.   Meanwhile, two million people in the developing world are dying every year because they can’t access clean water.

Maybe we won’t have water fountains in the future.

It doesn’t make sense.   If there is a limited, precious resource, why should it flow freely to those who have the most access to it? And at the same time, be so costly to others who need it most?

I think we should have to buy our water, bottled or fountain.  It’s a cherished, expensive and rare commodity. Quite soon, and even by certain nations, water already is the new diamond.

The diamonds which are jewels are high end commodities, which are optional.  Yet water is not a “high-end commodity” that we can go without.

Our society is now realizing that the most prized and honored possessions in our world are things that we actually cannot possess…  Water is used, captured again, recycled in nature, and used again.  Unlike diamonds, it can’t fit in our jewelry box, where we take it out whenever we so desire.  Its beauty rests in its necessary part of our day to day.

Its beauty rests in the continuation of life.

 

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Let’s do all we can today to conserve water or donate to make water available for someone else.

Leadership Trends

This week, Forbes published the article “Six Leadership Trends That Are Impacting The Nonprofit World” where I, along with other members of the Forbes Nonprofit Council, give advice based on lessons learned. Enjoy!

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5. Building Sustainable Revenue

Nonprofits need to think about how they can generate funds while still following their mission, so any product or service you offer must be in line with your brand. Include your board and employees in brainstorming what you’re good at and how you can monetize it. Build diverse funding streams including donors, grants, corporate grants and corporate revenue. This fosters true financial stability. – Pamela HawleyUniversalGiving 

Goodnet: How to Donate Your Time and Money to the Right Cause Part III

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This is Part III of our series from Goodnet, a socially conscious magazine, with an article on “How to Donate Your Time and Money to the Right Cause.”

Missed earlier installments? Read Part I and Part II here!

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7. How do you measure success within your organization?

First, we set “hard” goals and objectives in order to quantify our impact. These goals include: the number of donors and volunteers working with our NGO partners, aggregated annual volunteer hours, the number of corporate clients we work with, and our client retention rate. The more data we have on our work, the more we can continue to enhance our services moving forward. Second, we truly believe in setting and achieving “soft” goals. These include creating a positive team culture, encouraging UniversalGiving’s core values in everything we do, and developing a sense of leadership in our team members. We believe that all of these quantitative and qualitative objectives are critical for running a successful organization, especially in social entrepreneurship.

8. Facebook or Twitter?

Both Facebook and Twitter are so useful in getting the word out about exciting opportunities with our NGO partners, new UniversalGiving initiatives, highlighting our marketing partnerships, and connecting with our supporters. If I had to choose one, I would use Facebook for the greater diversity in content that you can feature, event invites – and certainly photos! A photo can move your heart more than the letter of an alphabet. Get people’s hearts moving, and their giving, will too. I also see so much value in unique social media platforms like Snapchat and Pinterest. Do something different, test it out, and find out what works!  

9. What do you want Goodnet users to know about your organization?

Goodnet users should know that at UniversalGiving we are always innovating. We’re stretching the boundaries of what’s possible in the social impact sphere. We do this through our website innovations, and also ensuring we are a model of sustainability through our corporate service. UniversalGiving Corporate helps manage global Corporate Social Responsibility for companies, including the strategy, operations and NGO Vetting. Showing you can bring in revenue and providing financial sustainability for your organization is important for social entrepreneurs everywhere.

10. How can people get involved?

You can get involved by giving $25 to provide a month of meals to a child in Haiti or volunteering with migrant children in Beijing for a month. Both of these opportunities will have an enormous impact on the people you’re serving – and on yourself.  We’re not just changing other people’s lives – we’re being changed into more compassionate people, too.

Please remember, we are all “philanthropists” every day. Philanthropy isn’t just about giving money or doing a service project overseas, it’s about the love of people. You can start at home. Find someone who needs your help and begin.

Goodnet: How to Donate Your Time and Money to the Right Cause Part II

This is Part II of our series from Goodnet, a socially conscious magazine, with an article on “How to Donate Your Time and Money to the Right Cause.”

Missed Part I? Read it here!

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4. What inspires you?

Every day I’m inspired by stories of individuals’ and communities’ incredible resilience in the face of adversity. Two things especially inspire me. First, I’m “causeless.” Someone goes without a meal.  A little girl doesn’t have a roof over her head. Maybe there’s a natural disaster. Whatever the situation, we want people to live happy, peaceful, “whole” lives, in every meaning of that word. They should have homes, food, education, and health… the ability to choose the jobs they want, their partners in life, and essentially to be loved and have love in their lives. Therefore we care about every cause.

Secondly, I really believe in local leaders on the ground. That’s why we know that the work that UniversalGiving’s partner organizations do to serve communities is invaluable. The Rural Development Center aims to improve food security in rural households in Cameroon by developing and teaching an environmentally-friendly approach to agriculture and health. BiblioWorks builds and maintains libraries in communities in Bolivia in order to develop long-term literacy among children. By really listening to the people of the community, they are able to make a meaningful impact.

5. Who’s your favorite good doer figure?

I have to give an honest answer – it’s my mom.  She’s just a tireless figure for good. I don’t mean in all the time she spends volunteering. It’s simply in being a kind, giving person; it’s in her gracious demeanor, her kind heart, and her presence.  Almost every time I call, she picks up. You know she is there for you!

Another woman with an incredible story is Olga Murray, founder and CEO of the Nepal Youth Foundation. Olga founded the organization in 1990, she experienced first-hand the poverty facing Nepali youth. Each year she expanded the organization’s services until they were providing a full range of services: housing for impoverished children and orphans, educational scholarships, medical care, and daily meals. Now the organization even intervenes to help young girls from being sold into bonded servitude by their impoverished families. That’s a great, on-the-ground leader.

6. What is the best part about your job?

Every day I am so grateful for all of the wonderful people I have the opportunity to work with. That’s really it. You have to have a great team, board, and clients. Our people truly believe in and live our mission. One of my favorites is staying in touch with our UniversalGiving Ambassadors. These are people who have “graduated” from UniversalGiving – they worked for us, interned, or volunteered – and still want to stay in touch and help. What a community we have.

Another UniversalGiving partner, GVN Foundation

Another UniversalGiving partner, GVN Foundation, inspires learning, innovation and action in international communities (UniversalGiving)

 

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Be on the lookout for our next installment this Friday! 

Can’t wait? See the full article here.