A few months ago, I wrote a column inviting readers to become contributors to New Voices of Philanthropy. The intention of this blog has always been to be a forum for the next generation of philanthropic leadership and I now have a column from one of those new voices, Christopher Scott. Christopher is not only a hopeless optimist, he is also a person that is able to get off the dime and make his idea come to life. He is also the creator of the Nonprofit Leadership, Innovation, and Change blog. From Christopher:
From Idea to Action
Have you ever had an idea on how to make a positive difference in the world? An idea on how to eliminate poverty, reduce suffering, and help raise the quality of life for hundreds, thousands, or millions of people. As nonprofit leaders we all have these ideas where we wonder, “What would happen if I could create this?” If you’re serious about turning your idea into something that will create positive change in the world I have few tips for you. The first tip is to set a goal, because this is key, because once your idea has a goal, it’s no longer an idea, it’s now a project with a deadline. It was Diana Scharf Hunt who said, “Dreams are goals with deadlines.”
The second tip is to take action. I know this sounds a too simple, but when I first had the idea of starting A Day of Hope I had no idea how I was going to do it. I was a broke college student without a job and no money. I knew I wanted to make a positive difference in my community and was determined to find a way to make it happen. So I set the goal to deliver 30 baskets of food and turkeys to 30 families for Thanksgiving. Then I started calling and emailing all of my friends and family to ask them to join me. The end result was that we delivered 48 baskets of food and turkeys to 48 families for Thanksgiving.
One of my all time favorite quotes is from Zig Ziglar, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start, to be great.” If you have an idea on how to make a positive difference in the world, start making it happen. Don’t wait until you get a 501(c)(3) number or receive a large grant. Just start now!
Christopher Scott is an AmeriCorps*VISTA Member working at United Way in Modesto, CA. He also helped to start A Day of Hope which is a student based organization that delivers baskets of food and turkeys to hundreds of families every Thanksgiving.