A Syllabus for Innovators

When aviator Ben Kohlmann set out to build a culture of nonconformity in the U.S. Navy, he found inspiration in many sources. This blog post includes a sampling of the items he recommends to people who want to think more creatively, along with his comment on how they’ve influences. This information is sourced from the article, How to Build a Culture of Originality from the March 2016 issue Harvard Business Review (HBR) magazine.

SPEECHES

“Lead like the Great Conductors” – TED Talk by Itay Talgam – Much can be learned from professions we have no understanding of. People are people- and recognizing the commonalities is useful.

“How Great Leaders Inspire Action” – TED Talk by Simon Sinek – Sinek cracks the code of influence: Deep-seated desire is what inspires followers and builds movements.

FICTION

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – This novel illustrates how tactical and strategic teams can be adaptable- and how genius can emerge at a young age. It’s especially apropos reading in the military, where we promote on seniority and not merit.

Dune by Frank Herbert – A compelling story about insurgency and taking on established powers, Dune explores the ambiguous nature of messianic saviors.

NONFICTION

Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz  – We’re wrong a lot, and yet we almost never admit it. Schulz helped me critically evaluate my own biases and better understand how people view and portray themselves.

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz  – Horowitz doesn’t merely talk about how to lead; he’s actually lived it. And who doesn’t love a guy who starts his chapters with rap lyrics?

The (Mis)behavior of Markets by Benoit Mandelbrot – Mandelbrot is the father of fractal theory, and his insight into how that plays into the stock market transformed Kohlmann’s understanding of luck’s role in managerial successes and failures.

Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War by Robert Coram – Kohlmann says when he read this book in college, he realized that, “those who don’t toe the party line often have the most impact.”

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck – Dweck argues that intelligence is not fixed. Kohlmann says his world opened up once he discovered that we can grow into what we want to be.

Letters to a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens – Kohlmann says, “I’m a person of fait, but I appreciate the way Hitchens incisively questions everything, even faith. I’ve used his methods many a time to develop contrarian positions and win debates.”

TV SHOWS

Sherlock (BCC Series) – Each episode is pure fun–but yields lots of learning at the same time.

Source: https://hbr.org/2016/03/how-to-build-a-culture-of-originality

Robin Roberts: 8 Rules to Live By

Robin Roberts 8 Rules to Live By blog post by Carole Argo Robin Roberts, the immensely popular co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America, called the first edition of her memoir From the Heart: Seven Rules to Live By.

Three months after it was published, it was a New York Times best seller- and Robin was diagnosed with breast cancer. She decided to “go public” with the news, talking about it on the air and adding an eighth rule and a new chapter to this book, Make Your Mess Your Message.

In it, she reveals her determination to turn her illness into her mission: to help others facing the same situation, and to focus attention on the importance of early detection. But, as Robin says, cancer is only one chapter in her life, adding to the wisdom already gained from her experiences. Together, all eight “rules” reflect the fundamental values she’s relied on to keep her on track throughout the twists and turns of her life.

1. Position yourself to take the shot. Roberts says she learned how to put herself in position for good things to happen to her. Even when she felt outmatched or afraid, she made sure she was ready to grab the ball when it came her way.

2. Dream big, but focus small. When Roberts was young she has big dreams, and her parents, teachers, and coaches encouraged her. But they also helped her to see what she had to have her feet planted in reality. Dreams are vague and far away. Goals are tangible and achievable. Roberts says she learned that being true to herself meant figuring out what was right for her, and then pursuing it.

3. If at first you don’t succeed, dive back in. Here’s a secret, Roberts says. It isn’t always the smartest, most talented, prettiest, or most charismatic person who has the most success. That’s true whether you’re talking about a great job, a great achievement, or great marriage. More often, the people who succeed are those who don’t let setbacks and rejections stop them cold.

4. Never play the race, gender, or any other card. Roberts says the most valuable lesson her parents taught her was that there is no excuse for not being the best you can be. When you fail, don’t look for fault in others; find the areas you need to improve in yourself. And don’t be too thin-skinned. Learn to laugh at your frailties. We all have them.

5. Venture outside your comfort zone. To stop growing is to stop living. Roberts parents taught her this lesson by taking new chances late in their lives. When you look at your life as a work in progress every day, nothing is impossible.

6. Focus on the solution, not the problem. We all have problems, and it’s easy to let them drag you down. The key to lifting yourself up is to focus on what action you can take to solve them. You may be taking baby steps, but they move you forward.

7. Keep faith, family, and friends close to your heart. Roberts says her life has been filled with blessings– a deep faith, strong family ties, and a core group of friends who support and challenge her. Her faith, family, and friends are the foundation upon which everything else rests. True success cannot be measured by the fleeting facades of fame and money, but only by the underlying security of a life well lived.

Source: Roberts, R. (2008). From the heart: Eight rules to live by. New York: Hyperion Books.

Charities Lend Tips for 2016 World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day launched in 2000 and is celebrated every year on 4th February. This year’s key message, #WeCanICan, reminds people that while cancer can have a very personal impact, it’s also a global killer, effecting literally everyone in the world. Today, the Guardian tweeted, “charities need to set egos aside and collaborate #WorldCancerDay.”  Since then, its had over nearly 700 retweets.

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According to The World Cancer Day website, the movement aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action.  The website says, currently, 8.2 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years).

The World Cancer Society’s website says, It can be hard to talk about cancer, even with the people you love. Learning you have cancer can stir many feelings, such as sadness, anger, and fear. Sometimes it’s hard to know how you’re feeling, much less talk to others about it.  Your loved ones may also have a hard time talking about cancer. It’s not easy for them to know what to say to help you or make you feel better.  

Here are some tips to help you and your loved ones deal with cancer:

  1. Tell your family and friends about your cancer as soon as you feel up to it. Sooner or later, they’ll all know you have cancer. They might feel hurt or left out if they haven’t heard about it from you.
  2. When you talk to them, explain what kind of cancer you have and how it will be treated. Let them know that no one can catch it from you.
  3. Allow friends and family to help you, and tell them what kind of help you need. If you need a ride to the doctor’s office or hospital, let them know. If you need help around the house, let them know that, too. There may be times when you’re not sure what you need. That’s OK. Just let them know you aren’t sure, but you’ll let them know when you are.
  4. Tell the people who are closest to you how you feel. This may not be easy, but it can be a very important way to get the support you need when you need it most. If you have trouble talking about your feelings, you might find a support group or a mental health counselor to help you.
  5. If you have friends or family who tell you to “cheer up” when you’re not feeling good, it’s OK to ask them to just listen, and not tell you what to do. Sometimes you need to talk about what’s going on without getting advice in return.
  6. If some people are not OK with talking about your feelings, don’t be upset. Try talking to others who might listen.
  7. You may not be able to do things you were doing before you got cancer. If that’s true, let your family and friends know.
  8. It’s best for your family and friends to keep doing the things they did before you had cancer. They should not feel guilty about doing this.

Want to get involved in #WorldCancerDay? Join the #TalkingHands campaign and spread supportive #WeCanICan messages! [upload your picture or insert link to www.worldcancerday.org/TalkingHandsCampaign] All pictures shared on social media using the hashtags #WorldCancerDay AND #WeCanICan will be featured on the Wall of Support, on www.worldcancerday.org. Visit the website regularly to check out the new pictures posted and see the WCD Talking Hands worldwide!

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Top 5 Characteristics For New Hires in 2016

New Hire Employee Traits Carole Argo Professional Business BlogRecently, Inc. magazine published an article including “10 Things to Look For in a New Hire in 2016”.  The article was written by successful business investor, John Rampton, whom is best known as an entrepreneur and connector. According to Inc., John was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur magazine and well as a marketing expert by Time.  After having successfully launched several companies in his career, John uses his experience to list the top 10 things he has learned to look for in new hires.  In an effort to make these points easier to remember, this blog post narrows down the list. Here are the Top 5 Traits Managers Should Seek in New Hires for the new year:

#5. Previous Experience: This is a given, especially when looking for someone with a specific set of skills, such as a graphic designer or computer programmer. The author says he wants to be 100% that they can handle the tasks that he assigns them.  That’s not to say that someone with limited work experience, such as a recent grad, isn’t qualified to work for my company. In that case, he says he would find out if they had any internships that has given them at least some sort of real-world experience.

#4. Ambition: What business owner wouldn’t want an employee who is going to go above and beyond for the company? Ambitious people aren’t just hard workers, they’ve motivated and driven to make the business run more efficiently and constantly looking for ways to make it stronger. They’re also resilient and will find ways to overcome challenges.

It may be difficult to spot ambition in an applicant, but as Kristi Hedges points out in Forbes, you can look at:

  • The applicant’s previous work history. Did they move up the chain? Were they there for a long time?
  • What are their outside interests? If they dedicated to marathons or learning a new trait, they’re probably a driven individual.
  • How they responded to failure? What obstacles have they overcome?
  • References that weren’t on the record, such as LinkedIn connection.

#3. Committed to My Company: No company wants to have a high turnover rate with employees. Most management leaders want people who want to become a part of their team for the long-haul. Not someone just bouncing from job to job until they find something better. That’s why the author says he pays close attention to an applicant’s previous job history. If there’s a pattern of constantly moving from job to job, that may be someone who isn’t committed to the company.

The author urges to ask the following questions: Is this someone that you can trust? Are they honest, responsible, and have integrity? Do they work well with others? These are all signs that the applicant has a strong character. And that’s definitely someone you want on your team.

#2. Are They On The Quirky Side?: Author, John Rampton says, “I am not looking for a ‘yes’ man or woman. I want someone who is going to think outside of the box and push boundaries.” When a new hire walks through the door or contacts you and seems a bit on the quirky side, it’s a sign that this could be someone who is going to bring a lot of creative and unique ideas to your business. Be open-minded.

#1. Shares My Passion: This is one of the most important qualities to look for in a new hire. While this doesn’t always mean that they are the biggest fans of your work or services; they at least need to be enthusiastic and share your vision for where the business is headed.

This is something that even iconic entrepreneurs like Richard Branson look for as well. Branson has said that “the key to finding the right people to hire is to look for those who are energized by your passion, want to add to your ideas and aren’t afraid to suggest ways to improve them.”

To read the original article click here

Women’s Equality Moments: Best of 2015

Women’s Economic Security Policy Agendas Gain Steam Across the CountryAccording to US Aid, Women account for one-half of the potential human capital in any economy. More than half a billion women have joined the world’s work force over the past 30 years, and they make up 40 percent of the agriculture labor force. According to the World Bank, countries with greater gender equality are more prosperous and competitive.

Recently, Equal Rights Advocates, a national civil rights nonprofit organization published an article including the Top 20 Moments for Women’s Equality in 2015.  The article mentions, the persistent barriers to equality and economic security faced by women and girls are numerous and they are urgent. The organization stands with advocates, legislators, businesses, and community members to address them in 2016.

This blog post narrows down that list and includes the Top 3 Moments highlighting Women’s Equality in 2015. Let’s gain inspiration from the 2015 wins! 

#3. Women’s Economic Security Policy Agendas Gain Steam Across the Country

In states across the country and at the federal level, issues important to women, men, and families were front and center in 2015 policy agendas driving reform to improve economic security. The Minnesota Women’s Economic Security Agenda, the Stronger Calif♀rnia Agenda, the Pennsylvania Agenda for Women’s Health, and the New York Women’s Equality Agenda were just some of the policy reform agendas calling for fair pay, better access to childcare, anti-poverty measures, better protections for working families, access to reproductive health care, and other reforms critical to improving the lives of millions across the country. The federal When Women Succeed Agenda, introduced by House Democrats in 2013, was an early inspiration for these state efforts.

#2. Patricia Arquette’s Oscar Winning Speech and Hollywood’s Feminist Agenda
Actress Patricia Arquette used the national stage at the 2015 Academy Awards to condemn the persistent gender wage gap as she accepted an Oscar for her riveting role as a struggling mother in Boyhood. Patricia continued to speak out on the challenges facing working women throughout the year and partnered with Equal Rights Advocates and other advocates to promote fair pay. Arquette’s speech came on the heels of a hacker incident at Sony Pictures that revealed widespread gender bias in pay among actors and top executives. The scandal prompted great feminist shout-outs by many Hollywood stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Laverne Cox, Lena Dunham, Rosario Dawson, Geena Davis, Meryl Streep, Sharon Stone, and Emily Watson.

1. Signing of the California Fair Pay Act

In a move we hope will be followed by other states and at the federal level, California passed in 2015 the California Fair Pay Act as the strongest equal pay law in the country. Sponsored by Equal Rights Advocates and partners, the law was endorsed by the California Chamber of Commerce and received nearly unanimous bipartisan support from the California Legislature.

The law addresses pay secrecy practices that allow pay discrimination to persist by strengthening protections for employees who talk about pay. It requires equal pay for “substantially similar” work, potentially across different facilities of an employer. It also clarifies employer defenses to pay claims to ensure that sex-based reasons do not drive pay decisions.

To read the original article, click here

Best Way to Give Back During The Holidays

Carole Argo Charity Blog

When you think of the holidays, a few thoughts may come to mind such as spending time with family, shopping for presents, enjoying good food and more. The one thought that should come to mind, when you think about the holidays is finding a way to give back to people less fortunate.  The best way to go about that is giving back to charities. So, I have decided to come up with a small list of different suggestions that you could donate to a charity.

1) The SOccket

Does a soccer ball that generates electricity sound possible? No, but The SOccket can be used as a soccer ball and will generate enough electricity to charge an LED lamp, cell phone or water purifier. This invention came about in May 2011 to help countries who don’t have the luxury of unlimited electricity like most Americans.The SOccket has already been distributed to 3,000 plus individuals in countries such as Mexico and South Africa. The SOccket does go for $75 dollars, which may seem like too much money to certain people but just imagine how much help you are providing for that person or family who need a source for electricity.

2) School Supplies  

As an American citizen the importance of going to school and receiving an education is one of the most important goals to accomplish in this country. Now, imagine if you or a child wasn’t given the opportunity to attend school, due to not being able to afford school supplies for class. By sending school supplies to charities and nonprofit organizations, this is giving someone the chance to better their situation for not only themselves but their family. This could be a cheap and easy way to make a difference for someone.

3) Volunteer

Volunteer Carole Argo Charity Blog

Sometimes giving back to the less fortunate doesn’t always mean spending money or giving away anything, it could be as simple as taking a couple hours out of your normal life routines. You could make a difference by talking to someone and letting them know you are there to support them through these hard times in life. Moral support could sometimes be the best gift and it cost absolutely no money.

Of course these are not all or the only way to go about giving back to a charity but these are definitely a good start to making a difference in someone’s life during the holidays. Now take these tips and let your friends and family know how to make a difference during the holidays.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/pictures/efik45femfd/1-the-soccket/

3 Common Traits of Business Leaders

professional work and business industry news Carole Argo BlogWith the uprising of start-up companies, more business leaders have been high in demand. Now, many individuals think they have the qualities and traits to be an alpha dog in their line of business. However, to become the top business leader, it takes more than being very intellectual and educated. There are certain traits that are very vital to have to take on this role and I have created a short list of three key traits I think every business leader should have to be successful.

1) Staying Tenacious

Things don’t always workout the way you plan the first time, but you have to stay positive and look for other opportunities to overcome these obstacles. The creation of Stub Hub came about through two entrepreneurs Jeff Fluhr and Eric Baker. These two thought their method of purchasing tickets was an idea that could really be a game changer but when sitting down with the CEO of Ticketmaster Fred Rosen, their dreams were shot down. Rosen, didn’t think the vision would reach the goals Fluhr and Baker had in mind. Although, they were turned down by Fred Rosen, they kept up with their business and ended up selling the company for over $300 million to e-bay.

2) Utilize The Talent Around You

Talent-Development- Carole Argo Business BlogWhen you are playing the role as the business leader, you may not be able to pay attention to the qualities and assets that your employees have around you. The best asset to developing your company could be an intern and in some rare cases your intern could become your CEO. An instance like this came about when CEO Patrick Ambron of BrandYourself, was handed the position because Co-Founders Pete Kistler and Evan Watson thought Patrick would be the best fit to take the company to the next level. Now this doesn’t mean every business leader should take an approach like this but this does show that you are paying attention to the talent around you.

3) Owning up to Your Mistakes

Owning Up to Mistakes Carole Argo Business BlogThis particular trait may not be any business leader’s favorite, but it is something that you should implement to your traits. With the use of social media being utilized by most businesses and major companies, mistakes tend to happen everyday. Singapore fashion clothing brand “SuperGurl” had owned up to their mistakes because they received so much backlash for having a button on their website that read “Rape us now”. Once this news came to light, social networks had a lot to say about this button. Once, SuperGurl took notice to the backlash they quickly sent out apologies on their social networks. If SuperGurl, didn’t own up to their mistakes this incident could of ruined the future of their business.

Of course these three traits aren’t the only traits a business leader should have, but these could be used as a good foundation to start with as a leader. If you are looking for any other key traits, you should check them out using google tools and follow me on Twitter.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/michakaufman/2014/09/05/10-traits-of-great-business-leaders/http://www.gaaaccounting.com/2020-foresight-business-leaders-who-succeed-despite-the-odds/

IBM: How Information Technology Has Evolved

Over one hundred years ago, the company that would become IBM took its first steps into an unknown future.  In celebration of IBM’s 100th year anniversary as a corporation, three journalists did extensive research to explore IBM’s impact on technology, on the evolving role of the modern corporation and on the way our world literally works.  Their work is published in IBM’s book, ‘Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped A Century and A Company‘.

In the first section, “Pioneering the Science of Information”, author, Kevin Maney discusses how information technology has literally changed the way we think.  He says,

“Many interconnected individuals have access to the same wealth of information at nearly the same time and work on it together with the help of machines.  We’re creating a humming hive of knowledge, people and computers, all feeding one another.  Ultimately, the goal of this symbiotic relationship is to make the world work better.  We are constantly creating systems that raise the level of existence on our planet.”

“The story of how we got here begins in 1911 with crude punched card machines and charges into the future with technology that can deliver supercomputer-like simulations to handheld devices through a cloud computer network and embed computer computing and networking into the very fabric of business and life.  The details of that journey can be understood by examining the breakthroughs in six pillars of how information technology has evolved.”

Carole Argo1. Sensing: the mechanisms for getting information from people and events into computers.

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2. Memory: The way computers store and access information.

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3. Processing: The core speed and capabilities of computers.

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4. Logic: The software and languages that let computers do work.

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5. Connecting: The ways computers talk to people and machines.

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6. Architecture: The changing nature of computing and of the way we think about information.

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According to Maney, these pillars mesh and make up the modern computing environment.  Additionally, the stories behind the development of the pillars have heroes from all over the world.  They worked at Bell Labs, Machines Bull, Cray Research, Intel, Xerox PARC, Sony, Apple and other companies and entities.  IBM has played a significant role throughout the story of computing, through every decade of the past 100 years.

Maney concludes, “From his start in 1914, Thomas Watson Sr., former Chairman and CEO of IBM, introduced the iconic slogan “Think.”  And since then, his company has played a lead role in reinventing thought.

Powerful Women in the Labor Movement

Did you know? In 1890, when the government first tracked workers’ hours, the average workweek for full-time manufacturing employees was 100 hours and 102 hours for building tradesmen.  Organized labor is the backbone of our country and has been for a long time. It is the only thing that keeps us from being slaves to corporations.

For example, a master strategist and tireless activist, Bayard Rustin is best remembered as the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, one of the largest nonviolent protests ever held in the United States. He brought Gandhi’s protest techniques to the American civil rights movement, and helped mold Martin Luther King, Jr. into an international symbol of peace and nonviolence.

There have been countless other protests since Rustin. Particularly, this blog post serves to honor women in history who protested for labor rights even when it wasn’t easy like Bayard Rustin did.

Here are 12 powerful images of women in the labor movement:

1. May Day March, 1909

Carole Argo
These women, marching on May 1, 1909 in New York, wear signs reading “Abolish Child Slavery” in English and Yiddish. Jewish workers in the US began forming unions in the 1880s, and the Jewish labor movement experienced a turning point in the 1930s as Jewish workers turned away from Communism and began to respond to growing anti-Semitism worldwide.

2. New York Shirtwaist Strike, 1910

source: cdn.dipity.com

Women working in shirtwaist factories went on strike from late 1909 until early 1910. Management eventually met their demands for better wages and working conditions, but the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911 showed that workplace safety standards still had a ways to go.

3. Women in the Puerto Rican Labor Movement, early 20th century

source: chnm.gmu.edu

Women played an important part in the Puerto Rican labor movement, protesting against forced sterilization and economic inequality.

4. Amalgamated Clothing Workers Strike, 1915

source: jwa.org

Women from the Amalgamated Clothing Workers union went on strike in 1915 to protest sweatshop conditions and excessively long workdays.

5. Women’s Employment Poster, WWI

source: depts.washington.edu

While women’s factory work during World War II is better-known, women also took factory jobs while men were fighting overseas in World War I. The wage inequality they faced during this time inspired many to join unions.

6. London Protest, 1935

source: kids.britannica.com

These women were protesting wage cuts outside Britain’s House of Commons.

7. Corset Workers’ Strike, 1937

source: coolrevolution.net

As part of their strike, these members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union marched in their corsets

8. “Rosie the Riveter” Poster, 1943

source: floridatoday.com

Rosie the Riveter has become a symbol of women’s rights in the workplace — but that’s not what this famous poster was originally supposed to convey (and in fact, the name “Rosie the Riveter” wasn’t associated with the image until later). Sociologists Gwen Sharp and Lisa Wade write, “Ironically, the iconic image that we now imagine as an early example of girl-power marketing served not to empower women to leave the domestic sphere and join the paid workforce, but to contain labor unrest and discourage the growth of the labor movement.” It was actually meant to encourage Westinghouse employees to work hard and be loyal to the company.

9. Bakery, Confectionary and Tobacco Union Protest, 1984

source: lennygreen.com

Members of the union came together in Atlanta on International Women’s Day to protest Ronald Reagan’s policies.

10. Labour Party Pakistan Demonstration, 2008

source: chicago.platypus1917.org

Women participate in a protest in the city of Lahore.

11. Coalition of Labor Union Women March, 2011

source: cluw.org

Members of the Coalition of Labor Union Women march in favor of equal pay.

12. Kenya Health Workers’ Strike, 2012

source: SIMON MAINA / Getty Images

Nurses in Nairobi, Kenya, march for better pay.

7 Ways to Maximize Your Philanthropic Impact

Carole ArgoAccording to the latest report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), there are seven great ways givers can support grassroots efforts all across the country tackling the most entrenched injustices in our society.

This blog post outlines those 7 tips and recommendations shared in a NCRP webinar earlier this year:

#1Support the leadership of people most affected by the issues they’re trying to solve. Though it’s vastly underfunded, the most cutting edge work today is being done by intersectional movements of people standing up to oppression. That includes people of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, undocumented persons, low-income individuals, people with disabilities and the formerly incarcerated.

#2Recognize that these efforts may look different than standard ways of doing things in the nonprofit sector – and that’s okay! Traditional nonprofit spaces can be inaccessible or downright alienating for people who have been disenfranchised. The Movement for Black Lives, for example, has no annual fundraising galas, rigid hierarchy or even a physical office space, but has fundamentally transformed our national conversation around race, justice and policing.

#3Remember that civic engagement is the bedrock of effective social change. From community organizing and policy advocacy to litigation and leadership development, it focuses on changing the systems of power that lock people out of opportunity, rather than chipping away at their byproducts. This work is 100 percent legal for nonprofits, as the Alliance for Justice’s Philanthropy Advocacy PlaybookIt’s also messy and courageous. Listen, and be willing to support new and untested ideas.

#4Give multi-year funding and general operating support. (Yes, that means overhead.) Such funds give leaders the stability and flexibility they need to act nimbly and strategically. Disappointingly, however, only 22 percent of the donors The Chronicle of Philanthropy surveyed prefer to support long-term goals. In fact, according to NCRP’s analysis of Foundation Center data through their “The Philanthropic Landscape” series, only 21 percent of all grant dollars in 2012 went to general operating support, and just 13 percent to multi-year funding.

#5Don’t get obsessed with number crunching. It’s notoriously difficult to quantify the value of advocacy, even though it’s the most effective long-term work you can engage in. When NCRP did measure, they found that the return on investment for advocacy and civic engagement was a whopping $115 for every $1 invested. Many groups allied with marginalized communities, however, aren’t going to have the capacity to show those numbers, and privileging the ones that can perpetuates a vicious cycle that keeps those communities under-resourced.

#6If you have an application process, keep it simple. Does the organization applying have to fill out 10 questions, five forms, three budgets and speak English fluently to have a chance to access the funds? If so, rethink the process.

#7Last but not least, remember that support can be more than financial. You can help make a difference by speaking out for equity, educating your peers and holding people accountable within the institutions and relationships you are a part of. For examples, check out the nearly 200 funders that have made that commitment explicit by signing on to Philanthropy’s Promise.