Water Matters Day 2014

The Konza Rotary Club (Manhattan, Kansas) sponsors Water Matters Day every summer to highlight the plight of the billion people in the world who don’t have regular access to clean water. While we have enough to swim in it and dump it on our heads, it is a scarce resource in much of the world. Our aim is to inform and educate. A few photos from the event on Saturday. For more information, visit the club website here.

Photos by Clay Myers-Bowman and Frankie Hutchinson.

Begin…begynne…

It's going to be a great year! Photo by Clay Myers-Bowman.

It’s going to be a great year! Photo by Clay Myers-Bowman.

Exchange student.
Host brother.
Fast friends.

Vi elsker løftet om nye begynnelser!

And so starts another year of hosting with AFS-USA. After just a few days, we’re already enjoying Synne’s enthusiasm, openness, and honesty. I’m trying to document as much of the first week as possible because she’ll likely remember very little of it. Once the fatigue and jet lag subside, we’ll start the more mundane (but no less important) work of being a family day in and day out.

Rotary is changing the world.

Here are a few of my Rotary friends at a recent club event that brought attention to the plight of a billion people who don’t have regular access to clean water. Notice that they are young: not the usual perception of Rotarians. They are the future of Rotary and are changing the world one person at a time. Find a club near you (Club Finder) and check them out. With over 1.2 million of us, we CAN make a difference.

Photo by Clay Myers-Bowman.

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Our AFS year is winding down.

With only a few weeks to go, thousands of AFS students in the U.S. for the past 10 months are preparing to go home. Most are struggling with competing emotions: they feel sad at the thought of leaving the life they created here and at the same time are excited to be going home. We often say that the day our son or daughter leaves is the “worst” day of our year. And that’s true.

Here are photos of a few of the students and families we’ve come to know and love through AFS. If you’d like more information about hosting an exchange student, visit the AFS website here. Or send me a message and we can talk.

We really do believe that AFS is changing the world for the better: one student, one family at a time.

One Person at a Time Does it All!

Photos by Clay Myers-Bowman.

Get off your butt and visit your donors!

Handshake(Note: this is not meant to criticize either my fundraising consulting colleagues who provide wonderful support and advice to their clients, the fundraisers I know who are trying hard to raise more money, or the nonprofits who are trying to advance their missions. This is for organizations and projects that keep looking for the latest and greatest shortcut to raise more money.)

A successful fundraising strategy looks like this:

  1. Make a list of prospective donors.
  2. Start at the top of the list and personally invite each one to make a gift.
  3. Thank the people who make a gift AND the ones that don’t.
  4. Go back to #1 and repeat.

Over-simplified? Yes. On purpose. But it’s the basic framework for building relationships that last. Stop trying to find a shortcut or a a way to keep from meeting with your donors face-to-face. It won’t work. Promise.

If you want to significantly advance your mission (you do don’t you?) you have to engage more people in PERSONAL ways. Not through personalized (read my post on this here) or gimmicky products and methods. It’s something I learned decades ago and is still true today.

Be brave, step outside your comfort zone, get out from behind the desk, and talk to your donors face-to-face. Simple as that.

How do you motivate yourself to get out of your office chair?

The Queen is in the House!

For the first time ever I was able to get a photo of our queen. Actually, she’s our second queen. The first wore out after 4 years and the colony didn’t survive. The current queen moved into the hive with a few thousand of her ladies-in-waiting later that same spring (2013). While they struggled to survive last year, they made it through the winter at the moment they are THRIVING! Sadly, one of the workers lost her life when she got caught in my sleeve and in self-defense, stung me. Sorry sweetheart.