Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Professional Home Studio Podcast Set-up

I'm excited to announce that I'm launching a podcast called "Networking for Social Good." 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 [photo to be posted] 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 www.sojust.org

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 www.sojust.org.

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.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Personal Budgets: From Debt to Financial Freedom (guest post)

Personal Budgets: From Debt to Financial Freedom was presented by Julie Morgenlender at a Socializing for Justice ProfDev (professional development) Training. SoJust is a cross-cultural, cross-issue progressive community, network and movement based on the philosophies of abundance and radical inclusion. Learn more and get connected at www.sojust.org.

Some people find budgeting a bit daunting, but just remember: you have choices. They might not be easy or fun or even good choices, but they're choices and they're yours to make. Today you can choose to get your financial house in order.

I always say the best place to start is with your goals. It's one thing to know you want to “save money”, but it's very different to know why you're saving money. Keeping your goals in mind provides motivation and allows you to see concrete progress. You probably have some goals in mind already, and that's why you're here. Some goals I often hear are buying a house, taking a trip overseas, paying off debt, having children, exercising more, giving more money to charity, not living paycheck-to-paycheck anymore, paying for a wedding, buying a car, and retiring at a certain age. These are other people's goals. What are yours? List them all out, then choose 2-5 to focus on first. (Hint: if you have debt other than a mortgage, paying that off should be one of your first priorities.)

After you set your goals, the next step is to figure out where you stand now financially. You know where you want to go, so first you have to determine where you are. Download this worksheet into Excel as a starting point. (There are instructions on the first tab, then use the second tab to figure out what you own and owe, and use the third tab to figure out what you earn and spend.) Add in more categories that apply to you. Figure out exactly how much you have and how much you owe.

Now that you know what you have and what you want to have, the question is, how do you get from one place to the other? If you want to pay down debt or increase your savings, the answer is simple: you have to spend less than you earn and save the difference. There are two ways to do it: spend less or save more.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

RootsCamp MA - 2-day progressive unconference

**Socializing for Justice is a proud Gold Sponsor of this collaborative, community building event, and our co-founder, Robbie Samuels, is one of the Lead Organizers.**
The weekend of April 25-26, progressive organizers from across the region will gather in Boston to share lessons learned, discuss best practices, and move our movement forward. This “unconference” builds on the success of RootsCamp MA in 2013 and 2010, and annual RootsCamps in DC since 2006. 
RootsCamp MA shakes up the traditional conference model. Workshop proposals are not submitted far in advance. Instead everyone present decides the agenda each morning of the unconference. This allows participants to have meaningful and in-the-moment conversations about their work. 
Learn more and register at www.RootsCampMA.org.Tickets are $20 and include breakfast, lunch, and snacks for two days. A limited number of $10 tickets are available. Sponsorship opportunities available at $500, $250, and $100. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

6 Fundraising Truths

Fundraising: Getting Past the Fear of Asking was presented by Robbie Samuels at a Socializing for Justice ProfDev (professional development) Training.

I always start my trainings by asking the audience to share a word or two response to the question, "How do you feel about soliciting - asking for money?". Invariably a majority of responses are along the lines of "hate it,” "nervous," "like I'm begging," and "it depends on the cause." This kind of angsty response is what you'd expect from a group that chose to attend a session called "Fundraising: Getting Past the Fear of Asking." 

But then I ask them, "How do you feel when you write a check to your favorite organization?". This is money they've set aside for charity - not their lunch money or fun money. The organization is one they've gotten to know and respect - and the cause is one they care deeply about. They're about to write the check, or more likely filling out a form on a website, how do they feel now? The room immediately lightens up and the responses include "great," "engaged," "making difference," "good," and "wish I could do more."

Interesting. Asking for money makes people feel anxious, but donating makes them feel awesome. Let's reflect on that for a moment. Asking = bad, giving = good.

What's the number one reason people don't give? They are not asked. That's right, people don't give if they're not asked, and they're more likely to give if someone they know and trust asks them. So if you don't get past your fear of asking you are denying your friends the ability to feel like they're making a difference - the ability to be truly engaged with a cause they care about. You are keeping your friends from feeling great. 

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