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As I close out 2020 and hope for a better 2021, I’m finding the process of planning for the year cathartic. Here is what I’m thinking about…

Theme

I usually do a one word theme for a new year, but this year I have three. Plan. Execute. Repeat. This theme will help to counterbalance some of my tendencies, like moving too fast, skipping the details, and jumping from one thing to another too quickly.

Goals

This year my goal is to create two new streams of income that are not modeled on trading time for money. One might be monetizing TogetherLetters, writing a book, creating a course, etc. This is something I have wanted to do for a long time and have put off. …


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Photo by Kevin Bhagat on Unsplash

Nonprofit friends, it’s time to rethink your website. It’s probably been on your list for a while now, but it’s daunting, so it gets delayed. Websites are easy to set and forget, thinking they are helping, when in fact, they are hurting the organization day by day, visit by visit. Let’s start to fix that.

What’s the problem with nonprofit websites?

Nonprofits do a lot of good in the world, congrats on that my friends! But, the amount of good nonprofits do, can also become their downfall when it comes to a website.

Bad storytelling

Often nonprofit websites are so concerned about telling all the things they do, that they lose the story about why they do it. Stories sell. That’s why authors are famous, and there are a million Marvel movies. People love stories, specifically stories they can become wrapped up in, becoming a part of them. …


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Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash

It’s the same story each time. I get asked to look at a nonprofit’s social media and give them some feedback. I look, holding my breath in hopes it will be different this time. Then, as I open the page, my lungs deflate along with my hopes. It’s the same thing as last time and the time before that. The same mistakes. The same well-intentioned, but self-centered approach. It’s a lot of effort, and it doesn’t work.

Why do people follow a nonprofit on social media?

Most nonprofits think of social media as a platform to distribute their message. It’s like an email newsletter, a mailer, or a website page. They use it to promote the next event, giving campaign, program, success story, or team member. They think, “we have followers; they followed us because they like us; let’s tell them more about us.” …


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Photo by whoislimos on Unsplash

My white friends, we don’t fully understand the pain of our black friends. We haven’t lived their pain. So, now is the time for empathy and listening. If we are quiet, there is a lot we can learn from our friends of color.

With that in mind, let me ask you:

  • What would you do if you grew up in a system that worked against you, fearing authorities and the police in particular?
  • What would you do if you raised children, and as a part of parenting them had to teach them what to do when they are pulled over for no reason?
  • What would you do if a part of raising your son was explaining to him that he will be detained or arrested by the police at some point in his life, even if he didn’t do anything to deserve it? …


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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

We are in the process of adopting from China for a second time. Before Covid-19, we hoped to bring him home before his next birthday. Last week he turned 11, and now we hope to bring him home this year. This sucks.

Adoption is a wonderful, but weird experience. You go from knowing about a kid to choosing to add him to your family, to feeling like your family is incomplete without him. Every holiday and family gathering becomes a celebration tinged with sadness he isn’t there.

We missed another birthday, another milestone. Our son spent another birthday in an orphanage. …


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Photo by pan xiaozhen on Unsplash

Esmer worked at Garrett Middle School. He was an older man with stark white hair, a kind smile, and a slow gate as he meandered down the halls. Everyone in the school knew him. Everyone loved him. He had a way of making you feel at home and telling stories that were entertaining, endearing, and often a little too long.

When I met him, he had been married for a lifetime, lost his wife, retired from a lifelong career, and now spent his time cleaning up a school. Only, he wasn’t JUST cleaning up a school. …


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Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

With my life up-ended and my time at home, I’m thinking about getting back to normal. But, as I think about it, I’m not sure I can or want to get back to normal as it was. After this quarantine, we will have to find a new normal. I will have to find a new normal. So, here are a few things I want from my new normal.

A mix of working out and in

I have worked exclusively from home. I have worked exclusively from an office. Both those extremes can be a little much. …


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Photo by Phil Hearing on Unsplash

If you know me at all, you know I have five (almost six), kids. You know I wear hats and love to be around people. Right now, I’m writing this from my kitchen table, locked in a house with my wife and five kids, and loving it.

Yes, this time is stressful with the virus, stay at home orders, and all that stuff. But, this time is also glorious is so many ways. My oldest kid is a freshman in high school. She will be out of our house in three short years. This intense time we have at home is the most concentrated time I will have with her for the rest of my life. That’s worth repeating. This is the most concentrated time I will ever have with her. …


Scrabble tiles that spell “investment”
Scrabble tiles that spell “investment”
Photo by Precondo CA on Unsplash

As the world has been on lock-down, I’ve been thinking about our time at home. It’s a burden, but can it also be an opportunity? Sure, it’s an opportunity to spend time with family, most of us got that on day one. But, I wonder, is this an opportunity for more? Let’s consider a quick thought experiment.

The average commute to work in the US is 26.1 minutes. Most of us spend around an hour a day in our car. But we aren’t right now! …


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Photo by Tim Trad on Unsplash

The moment I met real fear

There is one moment in my life when fear washed over me more powerfully than ever before. It was a phone call I will never forget.

A few months before, my wife and I had started a church in Decatur, GA. We wanted to start something that could serve and love the community in a new way. As a part of that process, we had to raise support. In our support raising, several months earlier, we found Molly (not her real name, but close ;) ).

Molly popped up out of the blue. She found my blog and started emailing me questions, which I was happy to answer. Then, she asked how she might support our church plant. I didn’t have a good answer, so I gave her a link to my Amazon wish list, which included books on church planting. Molly bought me every book on the list, more than $500 worth. …

About

Adam Walker

Husband. Father of six. Wearer of fedoras. Startup co-founder (with exit). Nonprofit co-founder & CMO. I write about personal growth and nonprofit marketing.

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