What’s in a Name

I’m often asked how my company came to be and why the name “Move Your Mission” was chosen.  The truth is I didn’t seek a consulting career;  it found me.   Growing up, my mom always said to do what I love, and the work will come. And she was spot on.  Helping organizations grow sets my soul on fire, and it’s a natural fit blending my business acumen skills and my love for energizing causes.

Professionally, most people know of my work as a sales ninja in telecommunications.  I’m often asked how I ended up working with non-profit organizations.  Volunteerism has always been important to me.  I was raised to help others at a very young age.  In high school, I took Russian and was an exchange student at the end of the Cold War.  I had a chance to witness poverty and other cultures at an impressionable age.  After retiring from a very successful telecom career, I was given the gift of time and became heavily involved with philanthropy and fundraising.

One of my favorite fundraising projects was Co-Chairing Navy Elementary’s Silent Auction Gala to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the school.  We put on an elegant upscale event and raised more than $21,000 in one night.  This was the most successful event of this kind that the school had ever seen.  We gleaned donations from American Girl Doll, Disney, and many local businesses.  The event was highly visible and when word traveled of our success, I began being asked to consult non-profits on fundraising, building communities, board development, and more.   Each engagement was a bit different, but the common theme was that these organizations had the desire to expand, grow and take their mission to the next level through thought leadership.

One of these organizations, Ironheart Foundation, which encourages victims of heart disease to thrive by leading a healthy lifestyle and doing something epic through sport, had a particular impact on me.  In looking at how we could spread inspiration for the Foundation, I co-created a campaign called “The Stories Project,” where we gathered and shared on social media motivational stories of members thriving with heart disease.  This resulted in a growth in membership and increased donations and personal fundraising.

What I wasn’t expecting was that my involvement in this project would motivate me to take ownership of my own health.  A new journey began, and I started running with a goal of running the Army Ten Miler that fall.  That then lead me to try triathlons.  Now, several years later I just completed my first Ironman 70.3 triathlon which includes a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run.

The actual name “Move Your Mission” was, in fact, conceived while I was out for a long run on a beautiful spring day.  I’d been searching for the perfect business name, and triathlon training gave me a lot of time by myself to process, create, plan, and cultivate.  Those quiet miles allowed me to generate my most energetic, powerful ideas.  As I ran, I processed the question, “What does your company do?”  My answer, “I find creative ways to help organizations move their mission forward.”  That was an “ah-ha’ moment and the name was born.  Fortunately, the domain name was available too!

“Move Your Mission” is an organic organization.  We’ve grown with zero marketing on good vibes and recognized success.  It’s been an incredible journey so far, and I’m extraordinarily grateful to those clients who have trusted me to guide and grow their business.   The most successful clients have adopted MYM’s approach that non-profits need to think of themselves in sales organization … selling their mission.  (And, I will elaborate on that another blog article very soon.)

MYM’s business plan has continued to expand with corporate clients taking me back to my sales roots.  I’ve been afforded the opportunity to travel for clients, meet some incredible people, had articles published several times in various outlets.  It gives me an incredible amount of gratification knowing that my work is making a difference.  I’m excited to see where they take me next!

Curious about working together or want to hire MYM for an assignment?   Shoot me email at hello@moveyourmission.com.



Founder and Change Maker

Make the Ask and Don’t Apologize

Non-profit leaders are phenomenal people.  In fact, they are some of the most inspirational people that I know.  They volunteer their time and talents unselfishly to their chosen organization.  Many of these leaders found themselves involved with that organization because of a personal connection, passion, or tragedy.  Their charity work is a labor of love.

Throughout the years of working with non-profit leaders preparing for #givingtuesday and end-of-year giving campaigns, a common theme has resonated.  Many organizations are just not comfortable asking for donations.  Sound familiar?  

Wait!  Let me get this straight.  Your organization is a 501(c)3 sanctioned to carry out a specific mission on a tax-exempt basis.  The only way to keep the lights on and do more good is to build a sustainable donor base and capture donations.  But the organization is uncomfortable asking for support.  If the organization isn’t asking for support then how in the world do they expect to receive it?   How else exactly do you expect to stay in the green?   

Fund development in philanthropy is the key to success.  Every member of the team must be personally involved in fundraising and be a voice for the organization.

If leaders aren’t comfortable asking for money, the organization’s messaging and mission statement might need sprucing.  So let’s talk about that.   What does the mission statement currently say?   Simply stated, it should encapsulate who you are, who are serve and how you serve that group.   A strong mission statement should be clear and concise not filled with fluff.  It should announce to the world why you exist.  Nail it with simplicity and one that rolls off the tongue easily.  A strong mission statement should be concise, memorable and inspiring.  Your programs should then align with your mission.  

If you tweak your organization’s messaging and get bold and confident, that is the first step.  The second step is that everyone in the organization needs to buy in to evangelizing the message as an ambassador; don’t expect everyone to embrace the change.  Expect some shakeout.  Some employees and volunteers may leave.  Let them.  Find new enthusiastic employees and volunteers who will buy into your mission, your goals and your vision.   Stay the course and have the confidence to lead.   The results will follow.  

Success starts with making an ask.  In the Bible in Mathew 7:7 refers to making an ask.   “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Repeat after me … We are a 501(c)3, and starting today I will stop apologizing.  I will ask for your time, talent, or treasury because I believe in this cause and our impact.  I will not eat humble pie.  

So, how do you make the ask?  

Powerful questions that you can use to garner support are:   Can we count on your support?   Will you help us?  Use them!  I stole “Can we count on your support?” from “In The Bag.”  In The Bag raises $145,000 in a one-day purse auction event that benefits the National Capital Region of the American Red Cross.  The group of amazing ladies pictured in red dresses ask and ask and ask unapologetically for support.   

When you ask nicely, it makes it hard for people to say “no.”  So be brave and never apologize for doing good!  People are giving to some organization because they were asked.  It might as well be yours!