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Need a New #NonProfit Board Member? Want to Join a Board? Announcing @LinkedIn’s Board Connect

17 Sep

When you think of LinkedIn, you may think of cultivating stronger business contacts, connecting after meeting someone smart at a conference or event, or finding a former colleague or business connection at a new venture.

LinkedIn: All sorts of helpful treats for nonprofits and people who love helping. Photo courtesy of Nan Palmero, Flickr

LinkedIn is certainly good for all of those things, along with keeping up with business news.  They also do a tremendous amount for nonprofits, and offer numerous tools to make finding people who are passionate for social good and causes easier.

One of these things is the newly-announced Board Connects.  For years now, LinkedIn has been a deep well of talented, resourceful, skilled individuals from which to draw.  These same people can make outstanding board members.  And now what was once a popular yet informal use — finding new nonprofit board members — has a helpful, structured tool kit to make it simple.

It’s no secret I am one of LinkedIn’s biggest fans because of the tools and resources they offer non-profits, as Head of Social Impact Meg Garlinghouse  outlined in her Social Good Stars feature in The Huffington PostBryan Breckinridge, LinkedIn’s Nonprofit Success Enabler, also noted how many different, positive things LinkedIn can do for charities and causes in his interview for this blog.

Board Connects takes this grassroots momentum for Good and transforms it into a process that streamlines finding and hiring new nonprofit board members.

Board Connects can also make finding a seat on a nonprofit board easier, which Meg points out, has many benefits:

• Builds your skill set: Hone the skills you currently possess while serving on a board whether you work in marketing, human resources or finance, and learn new skills that you can add to your LinkedIn profile.
• Grows your network: Meet and collaborate with other passionate and talented professionals while serving on a board and make key contacts for the future.
• Builds your brand and the nonprofit’s brand: Not only will your professional brand get a boost from serving as a board member, but you can build awareness and endorsements for that nonprofit through your participation.
• Makes you feel good for doing good: Building social capital will give you that burst of professional and personal inspiration you may be looking for, and there is nothing better than the feeling that you can put your skills to good use.

As Meg explains, “If you are interested in joining a nonprofit board, be sure to add the Volunteer Experience & Causes section to your LinkedIn profile. Expressing the causes you care about and the organizations you support will enable your network to connect you with the right opportunity.”

To learn more and sign up for the program, you can visit LinkedIn’s new LinkedIn for Nonprofits resource page.

Head of Social Impact at LinkedIn, Meg Garlinghouse (@Megarling).

To read more about the Board Connects program details and the inspiration behind it, read Meg’s interview with Forbes here.

Green Cleveland Tweetup #GreenCLEtweetup 9/14 4pm @TheGreenhouse

6 Sep

Cleveland #Green ‘Tweetup’ – #GreenCLEtweetup

(If you love #Eco, tickets to the EcoWatch Green Gala at the Rock Hall 7-10pm following the event are still available: http://ecowatch.org/2012/green-gala-sept-14/ )

September 14, 2012 4:00-6:00 pm at The Greenhouse Tavern, downtown Cleveland

Ready to have some great food and meet some Twitter friends IRL?  Join me, @CharityIdeas, and @KariMatsko at @TheGreenhouse Tavern (the first certified green restaurant in Ohio!) for a pre- @EcoWatch Green Gala Tweetup!

Date/Time:

September 14, 2012 – 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Location

The Greenhouse Tavern 2038 E 4th Street

Cleveland, OH

Please join us for fun- food – drinks while learning more about sustainability – twitter connections – and the impacts of ‘fracking’ in Ohio!

Discounted food and drinks are cash bar

Directions & Details: http://thegreenhousetavern.com/

About Us : www.ohiogasdrilling.com

Don’t forget the ECOWATCH Green Gala following! http://ecowatch.org/2012/green-gala-sept-14/

The #GreenCLETweetup is presented by:

People’s Oil & Gas Collaborative- Ohio (POGCO– aka NEOGAP)

Amy Neumann’s (@CharityIdeas) NEW book, “Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude…” #Gratitude #Quotes

5 Sep

Yay!

“Amy Neumann’s new book, “Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation” is here!” 

My new book, “Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation” is here! 150+ of my personal favorite quotes on gratitude, kindness, and social good.

At last!  I am so excited to share 150+ of my favorite quotes to inspire and show gratitude.  My new book is here!  On paperback, or eBook version.  Makes a great little “Thank You!” 😀

More details here!

Whether you’re a business or nonprofit professional, or simply like to feel inspired and share your positive outlook with others, this handy book provides quotes to help show your gratitude, compassion, and bright view of the world.  

To follow up after a great client meeting, interview, or event, or as an anytime thank you to colleagues, donors, customers, family, or friends, this book has the perfect inspiring quote for the occasion.

This book is a lot like life:  open it up anywhere, and be amazed at the serendipity!

Thank YOU so much for being you!

Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation By Amy Neumann

Paperback: $8.88
Ships in 3-5 business days
Whether you’re a business or nonprofit professional, or simply like to feel inspired and share your positive outlook with others, this handy book provides quotes to help show your gratitude,… More >
Uplifting Quotes on Gratitude and Goodness to Show Appreciation – Downloadable By Amy Neumann

eBook (ePub): $1.88
Download immediately.
Whether you’re a business or nonprofit professional, or simply like to feel inspired and share your positive outlook with others, this handy book provides quotes to help show your gratitude,… More >
© 2012 Amy Neumann, Good Plus Tech LLC.
This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – CC 3.0
ISBN:   978-1-300-16079-3

Unleash Your Happiness – 10 Tips on How To Be Happier!

9 Aug

This post originally appears in The Huffington Post

Unleash Your Happiness

This post was co-written by Lotay Yang and Mahei Foliaki.

“Think,” “believe,” “dream,” “dare”… these four words represent the foundation of Walt Disney’s inspiring legacy. But, they can also assist in creating the conditions for one’s lasting happiness. This is true. Consider this phrase: Think and visualize it. Believe it’s possible. Dream big. Dare yourself to make it happen.

All of the writers on this post are dedicated to promoting and living a positive life, so we understand just how powerful those words can be. Humanity has been on a perpetual search for the ideas and realities that help us navigate around anything blocking our progress. And no matter how long that takes to achieve, happiness is (and will always be) a non-stop journey.

It is also “an inside job.” Yes, it starts with how you feel about yourself. A spoken word, a favorite recipe, and a road trip are among the millions of things that can spark the fire within us that says, “I am worthy.” We must build on that feeling, and let our light shine, brightly and consistently. As the advocates of optimism remind us, happy people make others happy.

Readers will notice that each of our tips are complemented by the colorful, eclectic artwork of international artist and designer Isa Zapata. Indeed, her artistic brilliance gives vision and voice to our words. So feast your eyes, continue to celebrate the good, and unleash your happiness!

Smile more
1  of  11
And why not?! Make your smile authentic, and give the world a window into your positive thoughts. As an Oprah Magazine articleby Jennifer Margulis points out:

When someone smiles out of genuine delight, a facial muscle called the orbicularius oculi involuntarily contracts, crinkling the skin around the eyes. Most of us are incapable of deliberately moving this muscle, which means that when a person fakes a smile, [the] orbicularius oculi likely won’t budge.

So be real! As your life can be your message, your smile can be your signature.

Posted: 08/09/2012 10:26 am

Art , Happiness , Inspiration , Love , Happiness Tips , Finding Happiness , Happiness Advice , Joy , Kindness , Positive Outlook , Positive Thinking , Self Esteem , Self-Improvement , Photo Galleries , Smile , Healthy Living News

For more by @2morrowknight, click here.

Follow Amy on Twitter @CharityIdeas & check out her other site, GoodPlusTech.com!

Gratitude: 77 Things To Make You Smile

18 Jul

Recently, driving in the glorious Ohio countryside on a very hot, sparkly, sunshiny day, I started thinking about all the wonderful things there are to smile about.  Here are 77 to start with, and if you have more to add, please do!  The things that make us smile are limitless.  Next time something makes you smile, think about how amazing that is, and smile a second time.

77  Random Things to Smile About

  1. Sunshine
  2. That happy feeling of love
  3. Giggles
  4. Ice Cream cones
  5. Traveling somewhere you don’t speak the language and being able to communicate anyway with something akin to charades or Pictionary, proving we’re all human and love the same things
  6. Helping a nonprofit for a few minutes online with Sparked
  7. Cozy thunderstorms
  8. Uplifting quotes
  9. Smiling at a stranger and them smiling back
  10. Donating miles or rewards points with Kula Causes
  11. An elderly lady lovingly tending her garden
  12. Driving on a barren stretch of highway where you can see rolling hills for miles
  13. Old-fashioned town squares
  14. Funny road signs
  15. Fireworks
  16. Jumping into the deep end of a cold swimming pool – 30 seconds later
  17. Tofurkey. Just saying it.
  18. Cows
  19. Dollar store treasures
  20. Babies laughing
  21. Hawks gliding like kites in the air
  22. The smell of Play-Doh
  23. Bubbles. All manner of bubbles.
  24. Dogs who look like they’re smiling
  25. Bacon
  26. The impact a $25 microloan on Kiva makes in changing someone’s life
  27. Finding a four-leaf clover
  28. The first sip of ice-cold water on a scorching-hot day
  29. That pucker face you make when you bite a lemon (or maybe a pickle)
  30. Real hand-written letters in the mail
  31. The friends you make on Twitter
  32. That moment when you smell something that evokes some very pleasant memory, but you can’t quite place it, but then later you remember it fondly
  33. Doing something you thought was “impossible”
  34. Empathy
  35. Laughing fits that make your eyes water and your stomach muscles hurt
  36. Realizing how lucky you are
  37. Serendipity
  38. An America flag with the sun shining behind it so it’s almost glowing
  39. Rainbows
  40. The mesmerizing colors and flight of hummingbirds and dragonflies
  41. Stand-up comedy
  42. Getting lost and stumbling on an adventure
  43. Walking barefoot on grass, or soft sand
  44. Compassion
  45. Doing something good for the environment
  46. Being prepared for anything
  47. Describing to any 10-year-old that we didn’t have the internet, or even cell phones, when we were their age
  48. Family
  49. Running into someone you know in a big city you don’t live in
  50. 30 Rock
  51. Really cool bugs — as long as they’re not on you
  52. Picnics on a whim
  53. Frozen lemonade
  54. Trying to stay clean when it’s muddy, then finally getting a little muddy, then what the heck, just going for it and getting all mud-licious
  55. Smelling roses when they’re warm in the sun
  56. Venice Beach
  57. Curiosity
  58. Optimism
  59. The sound of rain hitting a tent or maybe a window if it’s really quiet
  60. Festivals
  61. Food items presented on sticks
  62. “Puffy clouds”
  63. Walking in the rain, splashing in puddles, and getting soaking wet even though you don’t have spare clothes
  64. Learning a new language so you can eavesdrop in cafes in other countries
  65. Wagging tails
  66. Any moment when you think, “Life is good.”
  67. Farmer’s markets
  68. Walking in the woods
  69. Hearing from a long-lost friend
  70. Quirky little factoids you never knew
  71. Whistling in a store, then hearing someone else start whistling, and knowing they’ll shortly wonder why they just started whistling
  72. Helping a nonprofit for a few months with Taproot or Catchafire
  73. Spotting unexpected wildlife
  74. Sparkly things, especially disco balls
  75. Smartphones
  76. People
  77. Adding your own  smile-inducing things to this list in the comments 😀

 

Positive Belief Energy – The Inspiration of @LinkedIn’s Bryan Breckenridge

5 Jul

“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”

~ W. Clement Stone

Being around positive and optimistic people, in person or online, is something that inspires me on a regular basis.  People like Sean Gardner (@2morrowknight) with his Awesome Blog, Ann Tran (@AnnTran_) with her inspiring blog, and countless others.  One of those people is Bryan Breckenridge, whom I first came to know through his amazing social good work with LinkedIn as their “Nonprofit Success Enabler.”  LinkedIn has long been a favorite and often-used site for me, which you can learn more about here.

BeliefEnergy.com is all about positive energy, optimism, and uplifting ideas and stories.                          Photo by Amy Neumann.

Bryan (@BGBreck) spends a lot of time figuring out positive ways to make the world a better place, and shares it on his blog, BeliefEnergy.com, as well as on LinkedIn, where you can find helpful articles like Why Volunteering Is Good For Your Career.  I had a chance to talk with him in a little more detail about Belief Energy, how people can leverage LinkedIn for Good (and business), and how the two complement each other and provide continuous sources of ideas back and forth.

Bryan sees the world through an energetic enabler’s eyes.  In his career, Bryan has helped thousands of nonprofits operate better using online platforms.  Bryan is also helping people from all over the globe experience more optimal living.  In 2011, Bryan joined LinkedIn to launch their LinkedIn Nonprofit Solutions  program.  Bryan also launched his personal development think tank at that time, Belief Energy .  Belief Energy, LLC is committed to helping people experience more optimal living.  Thousands of people from around the world have joined the Belief Energy conversation on facebook.

Your vibrant energy and passion for positive change also extends to your personal life.  Can you talk about your site Belief Energy and how your work at LinkedIn and your personal mission intertwine?

Yes, I bring all of myself to work.  It’s not work for me, it’s a calling.  I intentionally integrate my professional and personal life.  It improves both in my experience.  Especially if I follow a surge and rest approach.  Nobody can go 110% all-out in all categories forever.

Belief Energy, LLC is a personal development think tank that I created in March 2011 after reaching a personal plateau in my personal and professional life.  I knew I could live a more optimal life and roll a significant career upgrade into it, as well.  I’d done it before.  Here’s a video I created for more context on Belief Energy and my quick personal and professional reflection on 2011:

I would not have written the LinkedIn Nonprofit Solutions program business plan if Belief Energy didn’t exist.  I knew what I did next in my career had to enable the enablers.  I knew what I did had to tap into my inner and outer life (my soul/belief and action/energy selves).  When I interviewed with executives at LinkedIn at the beginning of last year I could have sworn many of them were reading entries from the Belief Energy blog word for word.  I couldn’t believe it.  They let me pitch my passion infused business plan for nonprofits.  They loved it and have supported it from the start.  LinkedIn has been 100% supportive of my Belief Energy work, as well.  LinkedIn supports personal and professional transformation more than any company I’ve ever been a part of.  In fact, I plan to host a global Belief Energy workshop in LinkedIn’s global meeting rooms this year.

LinkedIn is a great place to share your volunteering and giving passion. Photo courtesy of Nan Palmero (Flickr).

Your passion for helping your community professionally started in the mid-90s and led to helping nonprofits on one of the world’s largest social networks:  LinkedIn.  Last  year you helped launch the new “Volunteer Experiences & Causes” profile feature.  Do you have a couple tips on how individuals can leverage this?

The “Volunteer Experience & Causes” profile section was one of our most requested Profile enhancements.  It became available to all our members in September 2011.  Everyone knows that volunteerism is good for the world. But according to a recent LinkedIn survey, we now know that volunteer experience also can make candidates more employable. Intrigued?  Consider this:

·           41%* of professionals surveyed state that when evaluating candidates, they consider volunteer work equally as valuable as paid experience.

·           20%* of hiring managers say they have made a hiring decision based on a candidate’s volunteer work experience.

·           *Based on a U.S. audience.

What you can do to help spread the word?

1.       For starters, please complete the Volunteer Experience and Causes section on your LinkedIn profile with past/current volunteer experience, causes you care about, and organizations you support.

2.       Share the new section with your network and encourage your connections to update their profiles too. You can also point them to our blog post for more information.

3.       Finally, ask the nonprofits you support or work for to encourage their support base to do the same.  Some organizations like Green Peace, The Nature Conservancy, Samaritan’s Purse and may more are asking their LinkedIn Followers to populate the section and highlight their organizations.

What resources are available for individuals and nonprofits who want to make the most of LinkedIn?

Two excellent resources:  Our nonprofit YouTube channel and a group I’d invite everyone to join called, “Nonprofits In Success.”

To learn more about how LinkedIn can help your nonprofit or cause here are 7 short videos about using LinkedIn for Non-Profits.

2011-12-29-BryanBreckeridgepic.jpg

Bryan Breckenridge

You can learn more about Bryan at BeliefEnergy.com or on LinkedIn, and follow him on Twitter @BGBreck.

“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.”

~ Henry Ward Beecher

How To Become a Creative Warrior

12 Jun
This post originally appears in The Huffington Post.
Amy Neumann

Writer, Speaker; Social Media Consultant

Becoming a Creative Warrior

Posted: 06/09/2012 7:00 am

This post was co-authored by Eliza Wing.

You must do the thing you think you cannot do. — Eleanor Roosevelt

So many of us who wish to find a more creative approach to our lives struggle with motivation, self-criticism and doubt. We wonder: How can we produce high-quality work? How can we manifest the creative impulse we feel? Too often a creative drive that we experience can spark but then fizzle out because of our lack of confidence.

We worry. How can what I produce be valuable when there is so much that is beautiful and intelligent around me? We want to know. How can I, as an artist, writer, business leader, develop a productive, meaningful path to creativity?

Chogyam Trungpa‘s seminal book, Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, describes a potential path for those interested in spiritual development, including meditative and loving-kindness practices. His words are also apt inspiration for those of us exploring our creative dimension.

Trungpa advises us to “feel that you are not special, but ordinary, extra-ordinary.” His advice seems contradictory, especially when we apply it to the creative urge. We’ve been trained by history and society to believe that the “true” creative must be special, different, even elevated. But living with the ordinary as Trongpa suggests helps us see that this is not so. Instead, we can begin our journey by adopting some of these “ordinary” tenets inspired by his teachings:

Notice that goodness is all around us. Begin to notice the brief, beautiful moments that your interaction with the world brings you. The sound of a bird’s wings as it moves from branch to branch, the flash of sun coming from behind a cloud, your child’s hug (no matter how quick and rare). This appreciation allows you to see just how lovely the ordinary is. In the words of acclaimed painting instructor Charles Hawthorne: “Anything under the sun is beautiful if you have the vision — it is the seeing of the thing that makes it so.”

2012-06-07-FlyingAtSpeedcreativecommonsFlickrSteveh6104110128_30fb915734.jpg

The beauty of a moment captured – photo courtesy of Steve-H on Flickr
Acknowledge that you are fearful. Let’s face it. Creating is daunting. Living is difficult. How much of your day do you spend masking the fear (which can manifest in all sorts of ways) — are you neglecting writing that book, starting a painting, crafting a business idea? Are you instead tweeting (too much), checking email, having a little more wine than is useful for clear creative expression? All distractions. If you can stay with your fear, letting yourself experience rather than avoid it, you may find other feelings within the fear. There might be sadness, anger or anxiety. Or all three! In any case, your goal here is to be gentle with yourself. Now is not the time to add to the fear by piling on criticism. Be tender with yourself. Forgive yourself for perceived lapses and inadequacies. You will find yourself much more able to free up your creative flow.

Be simple. The most effective works get the basic stuff right. Whether it is composition, narrative structure or the moving crescendo of a speech, remember the essentials and get them right. How easy it is to over-complicate things and to stray from our core idea! If you can capture what it is that inspired you to begin your project in the first place and keep referring back to it as you move along, you will help yourself immensely. This is not to say that things don’t evolve as you develop them. It is merely that we can fall through one rabbit hole after another until we are past the point of no return.

“Before you can think out of the box, you have to start with a box.” — Twyla Tharp, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life

Chaos. It’s everywhere. And there’s nothing wrong with letting it nudge you out of complacency. So, while you keep it simple, you play at the edges. Think of any practice that you are working to perfect. It isn’t static. Instead, once you have mastered one element, you realize that there is more to learn. In Trongpa’s tradition, the closest corollary is coming back to the breath in meditation. We sit and our mind wanders. And we bring it back, acknowledging that our mind has strayed and appreciating that we can return again and again to our foundation, our idea.

As long as I tell the truth, I feel that nobody can touch me. — Henry Rollins

Be true to yourself. At base, Trongpa’s message is to be truthful and kind — advice that applies directly to our creative selves. It is not about the labels you give yourself or your work, no matter what your work may be. It is, in the end, you and an ordinary white canvas, a blank page, an expectant audience. If you can gaze at the empty space and connect with your common, ordinary human impulse you will see that you are no more special than the rest of humanity. And that is okay. As you connect to your work and your audience with humility and honesty, the impact of your desire to connect will feed you and will inspire others.

It is you, extra-ordinary in your ordinary approach to what inspires, that will produce the most truthful, moving work.

Eliza Wing, the former president and CEO of Cleveland.com and president of Sideways, now runs Wing Consulting. Wing, who is also a writer and a painter, brings extensive online editorial and digital expertise to her clients. She strives to integrate creativity and creative thought into all that she does.

Amy Neumann is a social entrepreneur, writer, speaker and consultant on social good marketing. Check out her CharityIdeasBlog and follow her on Twitter @CharityIdeas.

For more by Amy Neumann, click here.

For more on mindfulness, click here.

Follow Amy Neumann on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharityIdeas

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