This is our final installment of Nonprofit 2.0 keynotes. In the last couple of weeks, we were able to recap Majora Carter and Craig Newmark. And we finally have the workshop session notes up for you to check out.
Michael Smith, the Director of the White House's Social Innovation Fund, spoke to the Unconference after lunch. His topic? Be Fearless. He encouraged every nonprofit and strategist to embrace being fearless.
Michael stressed the need for social change in our country. He had some really important points:
- Make big bets, experiment often, make failure matter, get out of your bubble, and let urgency conquer fear. Be a fearless changemaker.
- It's imperative to make failures matter. Don't be afraid to fail. Learn from your mistakes.
- Nonprofits need to cultivate a culture of evaluation, to learn what is working and what is not.
- 1 in 8 nonprofits devote $0 to evaluation. That needs to change ASAP. It's imperative to evaluate your impact.
- Nonprofit innovation and disruption is less about being fearless, and more about having the courage to move forward in spite of fear. Let your urgency conquer your fear.
- If we are going to get the right solutions, we need the right people in the room, not just the elite. A room full of decision makers must include a representation of the demographic being served.
- “We need to be cathedral builders” - that is, we are part of a greater story that will long outlast us.
- We need to get rid of 1/3 of nonprofits. It’s turned into the Hunger Games. Most of the time, what we don't need is another nonprofit.
Michael's advice can be applied to both nonprofits and individual social change makers. It's important to innovate, disrupt, and evaluate to reach our goals and objectives. What inspires you to lead fearlessly?