Basic “Boundaries 101” for the Holidays (and Advanced Boundaries): 2 Special Holiday Offers from RAISING CLARITY

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Cosmic soap bubbles. Image by woodleywonderworks, uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and Flikr, cropped by me, accessed via Creative Commons search of copyright-free images.

Do your boundaries get all confused and overlap other people’s?

Especially at the holidays?

Do you even know what boundaries are?

Our offer is a discounted coaching special:

 teaching & role-playing with you healthy boundaries for the holidays.

Boundaries have entered their most challenging season. The holidays are full of  people pushing our time-boundaries + cultural messages that people know how much we love them by how much money we spend on them.

I hope you already think that what counts are gifts you make yourself, gifts from the heart, gifts of experience. But if you don’t sincerely believe it, “cheap gifts” may be what your inner selves are hearing. This mis-translation can translate into gift-giving out of synch with your values and out of bounds with your budget, plus time-spending your heart knows is not its deep desire at this meant-to-be-quiet time of year (in our hemisphere).

Whether or not you take us up on our offers (see the end of this post for the second one),  here is our take-home message:

Get right within yourself FIRST.  Then decide how much money and time to spend.

If we can help you, please receive a session with us at just $1 per minute. (That’s almost 50% off our normal rate.) 30 minutes are plenty to use our custom dreamtime work to raise clarity on who’s talking inside you AND role-play role-play role-play the conversations that challenge you. Once you hear the words come out of your mouth in session with us, you’ll not just think or believe, you’ll trust your good boundaries out in the world.

Remain your healthy, wealthy self at the holidays. To schedule your session, contact us here.

ADVANCED BOUNDARIES OFFER: If you want more than our “Basic Boundaries 101” we extend our $1 per minute offer to Advanced Boundaries sessions to handle challenges of your choice if we have worked together before, or if you schedule a Basic Boundaries 101 session first.

PS: For more you can do on your own, try this post on building inner trust and these posts on working with your “council” of inner selves. I also have a personal blog and there I just posted on what happened when someone I love said “no” to ME.

Putting Your Money Where Your Anti-Racism Is: Post #27 in our Series, What One (White) Person Can Do

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This photo of a wall at the King Center is by my soul-colleague Michael Brickler.

If you read this blog, you know I see money as flow. It’s “just” flow and not more important than other kinds of flow. But it’s also not less important because we use money to symbolize and channel those other resources: our love, energy, and attention.

This Winter, you’re being asked to give again and again. The season of fundraising has begun. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about; as a fundraising consultant, I help my organizational clients pay close attention to using the energy of the season to generate generosity. As a money coach, I do the same for individuals. Giving is part of what Winter’s about.

This post thus gives you an abundance perspective on “what one (white) person can do” this Winter: I invite you to join me in directing your “just” flow to justice. Definitely, you can give to #BlackLivesMatter, Standing Rock, SURJ (Stand Up for Racial Justice) or other organizations I hope you’ve been hearing about recently. (Let me know if you need help finding them.)

But you might also give to a much older and more time-honored anti-racist solution: Reparations.

Reparations means money compensation for the effects of slavery on African-Americans. It’s controversial only because we don’t want to deal with it. There are no good reasons for not implementing it as law, as Michigan Congressman John Conyers has invited us to do for over 25 years–year after year, in his historic HB 40, named for the legendary “40 acres and a mule” which never materialized. Most of the economic advantage we enjoy as a “First World” nation originates in the forced, uncompensated labor of African-Americans.

Redressing this injustice with our “just” flow makes abundant sense to me. Reparations are not only feasible for us as a nation, they were recently declared owed by the United Nations.  The only question is how to do it.

Just because we don’t know how to do something perfectly doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.

If you are intrigued at the idea of setting things right by investing whatever you have to give, you can make a gift and subscribe to the newsletter of this beautiful organization, the Southern Reparations Loan Fund.*  They say,  “SRLF is a different kind of loan fund. We lend to democratically-governed enterprises that meet the needs and elevate the quality of life of African American, immigrant, and poor white communities in the US South.” Any and every amount is welcomed, and subscription to the newsletter is free. You can find out how to borrow/whom they lend to here.

If you enjoy a one-to-one approach, use this genius portal, whose motto is “there is something you can do.” It was created by a multi-media conceptual artist who says, “Reparations began as a social media experiment on Facebook on July 15, 2016.”
Reparations in every resource flow–love, energy, attention and money–are all that can be asked of us to heal the legacy of racism–and exactly right to be asked of us.

*I contacted SRLF’s investment officer to ask about investments. The minimum investment SLRF are set up to take now is $25,000. They hope in the next few years to be able to take smaller amounts. Here is how to invest.

Finding the Wealth in the Wound

 

raising-clarity-online-ad-150-percentHas your organization been through a fundraising crisis within the past year or so?

If so, I invite you to apply to be the organization I coach and consult to for one year (2017) at a 50% discount to find “the wealth in the wound.”

At 56, and after fundraising and organizing over half my life, I believe that the correct use of a crisis is to build power. I will start from this belief to build a program for one nonprofit that achieves this, at half-price, for one year.

Below are my criteria. I set them so that the organization and I have good conditions for success.

RAISING CLARITY’s “Wealth in the Wound” Reverse RFP

In most RFPs (requests for proposals), the consultant applies for consideration.
This one is “reversed” because the consultant is seeking organizations to apply.

Goal: To find one client who will work with me for 6-12 months fundraising in a contemplative, affirming program of discovery of the gift within the crisis.

Dates

Program starts Friday, January 27

Application deadline: December 31

Notification: January 7th

Selection criteria

  1. Clear, creative, yet convincing aims for use of the program year
  2. Strong case you can make use of RAISING CLARITY consulting and coaching to achieve your aims.
  3. Staff and Board unified strong desire to be selected
  4. Sincerity and clarity of emails from both Executive Director and Board chair/president attesting to #3.

Please submit this in a PDF of no more than 5 pages attached to an email. Let me know if you have questions, do not be afraid to ask them!

Fine print

  • I will consult to and executive-coach the staff and Board of the winning nonprofit organization throughout 2017 at the rate of $50/hour.
  • Payment will be expected at the end of each month as in any normal fundraising contract.
  • We will design together a program for organizational change that pilots fundraising for your organization that is
    • clear
    • thoughtful
    • kind
    • relaxed
    • mindful,
    • and achieves your targets while using your crisis to build power and income-generation.
  • Our program will have measurable benchmarks to help us assess progress toward goals we have set together throughout the year.
  • At the end of the year, the winning organization is welcome to continue consulting and coaching with me at our normal rates.

 

What Abundance with Clarity Looks Like Right Now

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I wrote this! I’m so proud.

90% of the nonprofits whose petitions I have signed for years and share on social media; whose newsletters I have read; and whom I’ve supported financially; are lately trying to inspire me to give out of fear and anger with the uncreative rationale is that “our work is needed now more than ever.”

People! We are not stupid!

But we are grieving. We are hurting. We are exhausted. 

My sanity is what is needed “now more than ever”–not your organization.

Right now,  two nonprofits who have refused to pander to fear and anger stand out:

who won my love by sending me a survey immediately after the election whose first question was: “How are you doing?

and NOT asking me for money in the same mailing. I will remember them when I have money set aside to give away! And

who sent a newsletter beginning and ending with how thankful they are for their members’ fabulous progress + a reminder to think of them on Giving Tuesday!*

Do you think for one minute they don’t know Trump was elected? I will think of them when I have money set aside to give away!

Notice I am not complaining about being asked to give. I am complaining about being treated without compassion and respect and being asked to give out of terror, scarcity, and rage. THIS IS NOT ABUNDANCE, PEOPLE. (But thank you for the counter-example.)

If YOU you plan to be fundraising anytime soon, think and remember.

Fundraising is friendship-building.

We are going to need each other especially fully in the next four years. Our thoughts about money should be full as well. Money, friendships and organizing that make a difference are not a quick buck or a flash in the pan.

To help you write inspiring fundraising copy, try this post on hunger porn and this post I’m proud to say inspired one of my national clients to shift their holiday appeal 180 degrees in an uplifting direction.

Of course you can ask us for a consulting scope of work session free, to find out if we can help you, how, and how much we think it will cost. And in closing, here is clarity about abundance. Here is how to put yourself back in the flow, which is what “abundance” means. For more totally amazing fundraising articles like ones we’ve published in their pages which you can download free on our website, subscribe to the Grassroots Fundraising Journal.  And if you want financial organizing or counseling, try our beloved guest-blogger West Beth–financial organizer and counselor Beth Crittenden of Love the Zeros. Her latest post is on how to tell if you are “financially medicating.” She can be especially supportive at the holidays.


*Giving Tuesday” is the national grassroots giving holiday that follows what we call “Thanksgiving.”

 

 

 

Using a Crisis to Build Power

This post was written days before the election. Devastation, like crisis, breaks us open. We can use that openness to acknowledge all the help we have and work it!  Note we are making ourselves more available than usual at this time with our devastation special.

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This is the famous “Chinese word for crisis,” which does not mean “danger + opportunity.” Image by and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Tomchen1989. The left character is wēi, the right is the unsimplified form of jī . I cropped this image to showcase the traditional form because I loved its intensity. Wēijī does mean “crisis.” It apparently means “danger + turning point,” as in English.

This post is for a group of beloved soul-colleagues experiencing a fundraising crisis and another looking at a deeply held dream through the far end of a tunnel, wondering how to walk through that tunnel and achieve that dream by raising the large funds needed. The individual’s not in crisis–except etymologically, as the word has historically meant “turning point.” You never see yourself the same after you have raised a large amount of money for your dream!

“Crisis” originally meant “decision,” and came to mean the point in an illness when an important change takes place (thank you, Google)  and there are only two outcomes: recovery, or death. It is difficult not to be motivated by death–not to focus, in other words, on fear–in a crisis. It is our challenge to use a crisis to build power.

The first thing to do is change how we see “recovery.” Recovery never looks backward; recovery does not care where you came from. Recovery is all about where you’re going. When your world breaks apart, the new you emerges: you had better pay attention.

Every crisis contains within itself the seeds of its healing.

Healing means wholeness.

Breaking apart means trusting a much larger wholeness–or death.

I do believe it is that simple. And you know if you read me very often that “simple” is code for very, very hard. Utterly demanding. A crisis demands everything we have, all hands on deck, and the invisible Hand helping. It doesn’t really matter if you believe in the invisible Hand, it just helps if you stay open to Its help.

Rumi compares our crying out for help in crisis to a baby crying for its mother’s milk. The help we receive is as inevitable as the infant’s mother’s physiological response of milk coming into breasts called “letdown.” Rumi also calls our need “burning.” (Thank you, Coleman Barks.) Christian and Jewish mystics have also written about this “crying out to G-d.” A secular word for it is “crowdfunding.” :)

Yes, there is paradox here: if we go running toward help, help comes running toward us. But only if we go running.

Help comes when we are burning for it.

When we have put nothing in between it and us. Because that was how we got into crisis: we put sooooo much in between ourselves and what was needed:

  • we got busy
  • we forgot
  • we were distracted
  • we were addicted
  • we were seduced
  • we were deluded

into believing we could get what we wanted by will, profit, secrecy, manipulation, abuse of power–or simply by ourselves. We cornered ourselves and then! our need grew too great. And we ended up in crisis.

So how do we access healing in a crisis?

  1. Ask for help.
  2. Ask repeatedly for help.
  3. Ask organizedly, structuredly for help: if people wanted to help you, could they? Make it easy, inviting, direct, humble. Analyze your pathways of outreach, support, recruitment, and marketing: are they easy to use? direct? clear? You can ask for our help with this.
  4. Clear away any and all obstacles within to help. Notice how hard it is to ask for help: where is it hard? what is hard, specifically? those are the places for healing
  5. Remember what you have done well. How have you built friendships? Use them. They will use your friendship in future: be there. Make a commitment to be there for your friends so you recover.
  6. Make sure every single person in your inner circle has given to support your recovery. Everyone. It doesn’t matter how much, it matters that it is a “significant amount” for each. That’s the language I use and teach.
  7. See how you are made bigger by your crisis: what new level is it calling you to? Do not fundraise for an emergency; fundraise for your new level. That bears repeating:

Do not fundraise for an emergency. Fundraise for your new level. Ask for help becoming the new you.


You don’t have to wait for a crisis to become the new you. You can invent one! I’m teasing, but you can dream a great big dream, like my individual soul-colleague, and go after it using the same principles in this post. For more on what we offer you as an individual, click here.

For our “devastation offer,” click here.

Stop Chasing and Start RAISING CLARITY: Here’s how much it will cost you

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Nuts. Image by fedcomite, uploaded to Flikr, accessed via Creative Commons search.

We are advised never to talk about what we charge. I think that’s nuts. Clarity about money and comfort with it are part of RAISING CLARITY! Our basic rate includes boatloads of free emailing, appointment-setting, and figuring out if we can help you, how, how much it will cost and how long it will take. We charge $25 for 15 minutes.

We work in 15-minute increments!

It costs less if you do more of the heavy lifting. And frankly it’s more effective for you if you do. With our support! So you can have a session with us for $25 and it will include all of our contemplative and professional expertise. In many cases, the most you can use is 30 minutes at any one time.

Think of it as clarity concentrate.

I pride myself on our work being incredibly fast and effective and long-lasting. You use what you gained with us for a long time. A soul-colleague who has worked with us in sessions long and short says,

“Beth has a singular way of helping me to direct energy into productive channels.” –JK, West Virginia

Because our work is concentrated and long-lasting, we can help a lot more people. We like that! And we’d like you to take us up on our “buy one, give one free” non-bogus BOGO offer.

Whatever length session you buy yourself you can gift for the holidays.

Here are more testimonials for our magic. And here’s what you can do with a session, the more challenging the better we like ’em:

Here’s detail on the leaps we help you take.

Remember: we will be honest about what it will take from you and from us to help you. If it can be done in 15 minutes, we will do it. If it can’t, we will say so.* So ask us about it already!


*If you’re strapped, see the links in the list or search on any word you like in the search bar at the top right on any page of the blog. This is a big part of what we offer: our contemplative and professional knowledge, in digestible bites, free.

Seeing Into Our Own Darkness & Post #26 in Our Series, What One (White) Person Can Do

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Dark Light. Image by and uploaded to Flikr by darkday, accessed via Creative Commons Search.

Simply acknowledging our own darkness is a step toward resolving it.

Not all darkness wants resolving. Much of it is mystery, perfectly fine.

Sometimes, however, we obfuscate: we cover up something that needs airing.

AirBnB recently had this happen. They are the online company that helps room-seekers find room-offerers to stay with when traveling. Some room-offerers use the AirBnB website to commit racism, for example saying “yes, we have a room” to prospective room-seekers, and then “no, we don’t” when the room-seeker turns out to be a person of color.  The company had not meant for this to happen, but they had made it possible, even easy.

So what did they do? Ignore it? Blame it on the individual room-offerers?

No, they saw into the situation and began doing some high-level things to change it. Here is a great description of what they’re doing.

Meanwhile, what does your darkness conceal? Mystery only? Or things that need airing? Now is a great season to see into your own darkness. If you want help, contact us.

 

 

Reminding

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“Both Oregon and Washington States led the nation in reducing driving speeds to conserve gasoline before Federal limits were passed. A speed limit sign [cropped from photo] and a reminder sign are shown along Interstate 5.” Image by Environmental Protection Agency, uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by David Falconer, Photographer (NARA record: 1427627), accessed via Creative Commons Search.

I recently estimated to a soul-colleague that sometimes up to a third of my work has been reminding people to do things they’ve agreed to do. Fundraisers reading this will nod. Mothers and fathers will nod. Many organized souls will simply nod.

Reminding is valuable work. Here are my top five tips:

  1. Keep Good Notes: Remember what they agreed to. Exactly. To remind, you have to remember!
  2. Be Brave: It’s easy enough to get agreement, especially in this overcommitted, over-informed, hyperactive, attention-deficit age. “Yes” = Go Away. So reminding someone when they said yes that they said yes, and it meant something can actually be quite challenging. It can require bravery.
  3. Be Persistent: Continue to remind them until it’s time to let it go, give up, and move on. (See #5.) You can use the same method over and over or you can alternate methods. Be simple, clear, consistent in your messaging, whatever method you use.
  4. Do NOT Apologize: Don’t take on their feeling bad they haven’t done what they said they’d do. Don’t even project that they feel bad. But if you feel bad reminding, it may be because your heart is not yet pure: maybe there is something you said you’d do! Do it, and you’ll feel better. Or renegotiate! That is totally legit. Then keep your word.
  5. Give Up When It’s Time: There comes a point–and you should determine it in advance and not in the throes of frustration–to give up, let go, and move on. Find another way, and do not look back. When I am raising funds by telephone (yes, that’s a thing, and a good thing), if I don’t catch my person, I leave a voicemail, like a normal human. I do the same a second time. On the third try, I also leave a voicemail informing the donor I will not call again. (And of course, I don’t!) I let them know (again, sincerely) how much we’d love them to give, and give them a way to reach me. I’ve been shocked at how many people call back.

If you liked our short list, you might like this long one, on Chunking Up a Big Project. Reminding is part of the skillset it teaches.

If you would like help reminding, chunking up a big task, or getting ninja-organized, please contact us? We’d genuinely enjoy helping. We eat this stuff for breakfast.

Liberating Capacity: A Guest Post with Joan Friedlander

crossroadsFor RAISING CLARITY and our soul-colleagues, capacity begins with what we can accomplish without degradation.  Joan Friedlander takes capacity to a whole new level: capacity is what we can accomplish with flowering, with enlivening. Joan is my soul-colleague. I met her when I begged her to be my marketing coach. She has become my friend. Here is my interview with her, conducted over email.

Capacity increases, in the sense of being and expressing exactly who we are, with nothing added or subtracted. We all have different innate capacities, pointing to both our gifts and our limitations (another view of this word, it is so rich and juicy).

There is nothing wrong with limitation. Every super hero has her superpowers. Conditioning and false ego says we have to improve what is weak and otherwise be everything to all people.

This starts early, at most jobs. You get a performance review, and more attention is paid to “developmental areas” than to your strengths. Ultimately, this serves to dilute us. You might say that these false notions are like kryptonite, robbing us of our superpowers.

My Capacities model can show us where our strengths and weaknesses are:

capacities-chartThere are three baseline essential capacities: mental, emotional and physical. These are universal in that they point to our ability to function in life, and give us a way to quickly assess where our foundation is strong, and where it is weak.

The three interactive capacities (middle of the chart) and the three leadership capacities at the top build on the layer I’m calling “essential.” The interactive and leadership capacities move us into our relationship with the world, with other humans and with our work.

It is not required that everyone function optimally in all 9 areas all of the time. It’s not even practical as a goal. I’ll share 2 examples, one generic and one specific:

1. Let’s look at the three leadership capacities: collaborative, vocal, and creative. Some people might naturally excel at vocal expression, which is all about the ability to take a stand and express it, even when that stand might be unpopular. To be effective in vocal expression requires the ability to modulate emotional response or what I call Emotional Capacity. It also requires the ability to be appropriate to a given situation or what I call Responsive Capacity.

For an individual, it can be important to develop Vocal Capacity if one is to be a fully realized individual. But, if it’s not a strong area, it is going to be important to wait for right timing and personal clarity before speaking up.

Now, on a team , one person might excel at Vocal Capacity, and another at Collaborative Capacity. Leaders of “strength-based” organizations would naturally look at this, and place people in roles where they excel.

2. I recently shared the 9 capacities with a friend, also a coach in business for herself. She self-identified as having diminished Collaborative Capacity; she noticed she energetically tripped over Collaborative Capacity.  To notice the discomfort in her body around it made her curious. She prefers to work independently, and is quite successful doing so. However, she is aware of a desire to take her business to another level, and she realizes that she might need to collaborate with others to do this, and so it might be important to expand her Collaborative Capacity.

Further investigation revealed that in order to collaborate, certain conditions of satisfaction would have to be in place:

A) she would need a sense that others would hold up their end of the bargain and

B) she could still work independently, meaning she would be able to work at her own pace, and focus on her part of the project

Let’s say this wasn’t her mission, or a need. Knowing that Collaborative Capacity is not her strong suit, and is not required for her to flourish, there would be nothing to do, only to be aware. We talked a little bit more about this, about the lure of being asked. An unaware person might jump in, excited to be asked, only to regret it later. An aware person, aware of her limitations in this area, would either decline, no matter how outwardly enticing, or take some time to investigate who is on the other side.

So the Capacities are an ideal, but they don’t suggest that any one human need operate at optimal capacity in all 9 areas to succeed. It’s much more about awareness, from which intelligent decisions can be made.


Joan Friedlander!

Joan has written Talking Points that detail her Capacity Model. The downloadable PDF is here.

To subscribe to Joan’s “Capacity Matters” newsletter, go here.

To see other guest posts by Joan in our blog, click here.

To work with Joan, go here!

 

Fundraising as Building Friendships

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Friends. Image by Jaume Ventura, Barcelona, Spain uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, accessed via Creative Commons Search.

As this is published, I am in Beverly, West Virginia at an historic preservation conference. My workshop is Any Place We Love Can Be Saved Fundraising as Building Preservation Friendships and if you click on that link, you’ll be able to download my detailed proposal for the workshop.

The purpose of this post is to advance the idea that

fundraising IS primarily the act of what those two women are doing in that photo: building friendship.

Primarily in the way they are doing it, too: Relating. Discussing. Considering. Responding. It’s such a subtle photo.

Fundraising is NOT primarily crowdfunding,  asking for grants or large amounts of money,

although we’ve posted (click and see) on how to do each of those things.

Those things are merely vehicles for people to pour money into your cause, project, organization. They will not build your friendships for you. Only humans can do that. Here’s an example as it applies to marketing.

Please remember this as you raise funds for your non-profit (or even investments in your for-profit).

If you’d like the agenda + handouts I designed for this workshop, they’re here. If you’d like me to design a workshop for you, just say the word. Here is a list of all the areas in which we have already designed workshops.

PS: Happy New Year! Today is the Fall Equinox.


*This post’s title was inspired by Alice Walker’s Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer’s Activism.