Monday, October 5, 2015

Your Video Storytelling Journey (Maximizing the Mileage)

By guest blogger Rachel Jellinek who led a Socializing for Justice ProfDev (professional development) training called Your Video Storytelling Journey (Maximizing the Mileage). SoJust is a cross-cultural, cross-issue progressive community, network and movement in Boston based on the philosophies of abundance and radical inclusion. Learn more and get connected at 

When thinking about how to tell your organization’s story, there are several key considerations to keep in mind:

1) What do you want people to know?
2) What do you want people to feel?
3) What do you want people to do?

When pondering what you want people to know, it is important to note any myths or misperceptions about your organization or the field that you are in that should be addressed. For example, are there particular FAQs that make sense to tackle head on? Has your organization’s identity ever been confused with another’s? If yes, why? Being proactive, instead of reactive, about clearing up confusion is crucial.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The downside to being a unicorn

Let’s say for a moment you could be a unicorn. [click to tweet] What would your day be like? Are you picturing rainbows and sunny skies? More likely you’d spend your day hearing, “Wow! A unicorn. I’ve never met a unicorn. What’s it like to…” followed by lots of curious questions.
Many of us have had this experience. We’ve walked into a room of strangers feeling awkward and out of place. We’ve felt like we’re the “only ____” in the room, different from everyone else is some important way. We are momentarily grateful when a stranger approaches us and begins a conversation. We’ve been saved from standing by ourselves! We begin to second guess how fortunate we are when out of the gate, one of their first comments is...
  • “Wow! You’re so tall. How tall are you?” [click to tweet]
  • “You hair is so… can I touch it?” [Hand already entangled in your hair]
  • “You’ve got such great skin. Beautiful mocha color. So lucky.”
  • “I’ve never heard of anyone with your name. So exotic.”
These all seem like compliments, but in practice they are calling out difference. The result is you are more likely to feel “othered” than welcomed. Especially if the feature (height, hair, skin color, accent, name) that they just commented on, is the same feature that always gets commented on by strangers.
If you were a unicorn you’d have people touching your horn all the time without more than a cursory request for permission. It doesn’t even have to be a rare feature for someone to want to move into your personal space. This touching without permission happens to pregnant women quite often and pregnancy is far from rare - or we wouldn’t all be here.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Socially Responsible Investing?

The following is a guest blog by Joby Gelbspan, who has led ProfDev trainings on Socially Responsible Investing hosted by Socializing for Justice. SoJust is a grassroots, cross-cultural, cross-issue progressive community, network and movement in Boston based on the philosophies of abundance and radical inclusion.

SoJust draw progressives of all stripes that share common progressive values but may work on different issues. We create social spaces in Boston that allow for the possibility of cross-issue connections and run a monthly ProfDev Series, hosted by The NonProfit Center, which provides affordable professional development trainings to increase our individual capacity for movement building. I co-founded SoJust in 2006, our 9th anniversary party is on September 17th. Learn more and RSVP at

Socially Responsible Investing?
Here is Joby's PowerPoint from her 2014 presentation.
A life immersed in activism and movement-building has blessed me with an abundance of friends who are smart, thoughtful, and committed to making the world a more just and safer place. From employment decisions to daily purchases, most of them understand that their economic choices have important social consequences. But I am frequently surprised by how few progressives and activists feel empowered when it comes to savings and investment – to building wealth.

Whether it’s the intimidating jargon or feeling overwhelmed, or an understandable mistrust of Wall Street, the temptation to check out and keep one’s money under the proverbial mattress is all too common. But the mattress will, of course, not even keep up with inflation. Sustaining a movement requires that we support ourselves and those who depend on us. Refusing to invest is not necessarily the most constructive choice for building a sustainable future personally, or for advancing your vision more broadly.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Professional Home Studio Podcast Set-up

I'm excited to announce that I'm launching a podcast called "On the Schmooze." I interview people about their thoughts on leadership, building community, and adding value. I'm highlighting people who have been successful so we may incorporate some of their philosophies into our lives and our work. Some of these stories will also be featured in a book I'm working on about networking for social good.

Want to know when this podcast goes live? Join my mailing list.

As I was setting up my home studio, I struggled to find a comprehensive equipment list for a professional sounding podcast. So, because I believe in the philosophy of abundance I’m sharing what I decided to purchase after many hours/days of research.
Inspiration for this podcast set-up came from Pat Flynn’s How to Start a Podcast Podcasting Tutorial. I highly recommend watching his videos and listening to his podcast, Smart Passive Income.

I first considered purchasing the Blue Snowball Microphone. It plugs right into a USB on my computer and the total cost of set-up would have been under $100.

After listening to various video comparisons, I decided to go with the Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone. I knew the sound would be much more professional, although the set-up would be more expensive and technical. I couldn’t find a simple list of items to purchase so it took some time to get all the pieces. I have watched many Youtube videos to figure out how it all connects to each other and to my Mac.

The end result looks really good and since my studio is in my living room, it’s nice that I don’t have to worry about soundproofing the room to get a great quality sound. I also like how the boom mic stand can swing back behind my large Mac computer screen and be out of the way - without taking up a lot of space on the desk. The Behringer Xenyx 1002FX is smaller than I thought and fits on the corner of my desk in space that wasn’t well utilized.

Friday, July 10, 2015

8 Steps for Successful Networking

Forming and cultivating relationships is at the heart of any successful fundraising campaign, volunteer drive, committee effort or community building activity. Foster and grow new networks with these practical tips and best practices to engage someone in a conversation, keep it rolling, exchange information and wrap up. Attend my Art of the Schmooze training for an interactive fast-paced and fun tutorial.
1. Say hello. Shake hands, say your name and affiliation.

Has the following happened to you? You've done your homework and know a particular bigwig connector, funder, donor, etc. will be at a networking event. You see them and freeze. What had you planned to say? Were you thanking them? Soliciting them? As your brain tries to put together a coherent sentence, they move out of view and the opportunity has passed. Let's keep this simple. Just shake hands and say, "Hello, my name is (insert your name here)." The rest of your elevator pitch can come later, but to build a relationship, you need to start by making the connection.

2. Ask questions. People like to talk about themselves.

Now that you have their attention, follow up with an open-ended question. Why open-ended? You're looking for them to share a story, which won't happen if your question can be answered with a yes or no response. Follow Dale Carnegie's timeless advice in "How to Win Friends & Influence People" and "allow the other person to do a great deal of the talking." In other words, make fewer statements and ask more questions. For example, "How did you hear about this event?" or follow up with
"How did you end up in your line of work?" 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Got Networks? The Power of Relationships (guest blog)

QPR: Suicide Prevention Training for Community Leaders* was presented by Robbie Samuels at a Socializing for Justice ProfDev (monthly low-cost professional development series). SoJust is a cross-cultural, cross-issue progressive community and network in Boston based on the philosophies of abundance and radical inclusion. Learn more and get connected at

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for help. Caring individuals are ready to help.
The Beatles were right: we do indeed get by with a little help from our friends.
Strong personal relationships and feeling connected to community aren’t just nice ideas – they have a real impact on the quality of our lives. People who have close friends and confidants, friendly neighbors and supportive co-workers are less likely to experience sadness, loneliness and low self-esteem, and have fewer problems related to eating and sleeping.
Most of us experience stress from time to time. We’re busy people juggling many responsibilities and challenges. In these times of stress, the number and quality of social ties that we have directly impact our ability to successfully handle that stress. That’s because close and supportive interpersonal relationships help discourage negative coping behaviors like substance use, self-harm and violence, and in turn, encourage positive coping behaviors, like exercise, writing, and talking about problems.   
Networks 1Robert D. Putnam expressed this idea in his groundbreaking book Bowling Alone that “…Happiness is best predicted by the breadth & depth of one’s social connections.” This level of “connectedness” takes many forms in many different spheres of life, including our families, peer relationships, neighborhood, schools, workplaces and organizations.   

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

ABCs of Sustainable Time Management

ABCs of Sustainable Time Management presented by Pam Kristan at a Socializing for Justice ProfDev (low-cost professional development). SoJust is a cross-cultural, cross-issue progressive community and network in Boston based on the philosophies of abundance and radical inclusion. Learn more and get connected at

In modern America, intense time pressure permeates the atmosphere. The speedy electronic devices that mediate so much of our experience leave us feeling wired, overwhelmed, and forever behind. Expectations are through the roof and there's a tsunami of information to process.

What to do? We can try the latest time management tips, yet they often feel like just more items on our To-Do list. Instead, let's get down to the root causes of time troubles — issues of attention, boundaries, and choices — the ABCs of sustainable time management.

The first concept to really get in your bones is that it's impossible to do it all — period! — despite our expectations, hopes, and desires. For some, this is sad news (you mean I can’t do all?); for others, it’s liberating (you mean I don’t have to do it all!) In fact, no one does it all. De facto, we make choices about what to do and what not to do all the time. The key is to make those choices consciously. The ABCs can help.

Save up to 80% on custom printed products at Vistaprint. Order today!

Copyright 2010-2011 by Robbie Samuels. Contact me Robbie @ Creative Commons License is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.