Self-Kindness vs. Kindness Toward Others: A Non-Battle

This is what you look like when you try to save the world on no sleep.

Ever feel bad rejecting someone? Saying no to working on the weekend? Telling a friend you don’t have time to hang out simply because you’d rather be doing something else? Does doing nice things for yourself make you feel guilty? Why do we feel so bad about neglecting other people’s needs, but not our own? Too often, we think of kindness toward ourselves and kindness toward others as conflicting interests, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, self-kindness puts us in the right state of mind to better support the people around us. Here’s how: Continue reading

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Introducing: Goodness News!

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One thing that I really believe in is the power of listening to other people. Listening stimulates empathy and increases your knowledge and understanding of the world around you. One of the downsides I’ve found of churning out blog content every week is that it actually has been cutting down on the amount of time I am able to spend listening to other voices in the field and catching up on the news and information flowing around me. In short, I feel like I’ve been spending too much of my time and energy on talking, and not enough on listening, and it is for this reason that I have decided to dedicate every other week to highlighting writing and reporting from experts other than myself. Continue reading

Understanding Nonprofit Data: The Basics

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So, you’ve made sure that the charity you are interested donating to is actually a legitimate charity, but how do you know if they are actually making a positive impact in your community or the world? There’s a lot of talk about nonprofits becoming more “data-driven” or responsive to metrics, but in a world where you are continually bombarded with shiny imagery and smooth-talking infographics, how can you tell which charities are doing good, and which are just doing marketing? This post explores the different types of program impact data you’ll see nonprofits sharing, and how to sort out what it all means. Let’s start with the basics: Continue reading

Kindness is a Strength, not a Weakness

Father and Daughter Playing Together at the Beach at Sunset. Happy Fun Smiling Lifestyle

Too often, being kind to others is equated with weakness. People talk about being too easy on children when they misbehave, justice leaders are accused of being “soft on crime,” and activists are accused of being “oversensitive.” These perspectives aren’t terribly informed – studies show that harsh punishment do not make children behave better (and corporal punishment/abuse can be extremely damaging), locking criminals up makes them more likely to re-offend, and name-calling activists goes against the wave of social progress. While there is no such thing as being too kind, there is such a thing as being too self-sacrificing, ill-informed, or cowardly. Today’s post explores how these negative qualities are confused with kindness, and how to stop equating them. Continue reading

More than a Warrior: The Social Justice Hero

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I will be honest, I have some difficulty wrapping my head around how “social justice warrior” became an insult. After all, doesn’t our society typically reserve some respect for warriors, particularly when they are fighting for a noble cause such as justice? That said, there’s a big difference between fighting for justice, and winning that fight. Today’s post will center on what it means to be a social justice “hero” as opposed to a “warrior.” Continue reading

No More Excuses: Striving to be a Better Person

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“I don’t give to charity, because too many of them are scams,” “I didn’t give to that homeless person because she will just spend it on drugs anyway,” “I didn’t comfort that crying person because he should toughen up!” Too often, we make excuses for not doing the most we can to help others. As human beings, we are not always able to help everyone who needs help, but much of the time, making excuses like this do even more harm that doing nothing at all. Today, I am exploring these different excuses, their effect, and what you can do instead. Continue reading

Give to Charity, Not Scams

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News broke this week that four cancer charities were charged with fraud for raising over $187 million in donations through deceptive means. This is awful news for the nonprofit sector, which already struggles with debunking myths and misperceptions (including the much talked about Overhead Myth). Many would-be donors struggle with how to give to charity without worrying about their donations falling into the wrong hands. My advice: don’t let a few bad apples stand between you and the causes you care about, but do learn your lesson about checking a charity’s legitimacy before you give. Here’s how: Continue reading

How stigma hurts (and how to fight it!)

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Stigmatizing members of our community who are already at risk is, sadly, extremely common. When you see someone in need, sometimes it is easier to suppress your compassion than to offer help. You might even think that this will help to make them more resilient or encourage them to work harder or become more independent, but in truth, perpetuating stigma against marginalized groups makes life worse for them and for the health of our community. This week I am going to explore how stigma hurts and how you can help fight it. Continue reading

Businesses with Standards: What is The B Impact Assessment?

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I’ve recently discussed the way that social good is quickly becoming far more measurable, but many of us (myself included) are still trying to wrap our heads around what it means for a business to be truly ethical, and how that can be measured. Today I had the chance to talk to Dan Osusky, Standards Development Manager at B Lab, who gave me some insight into what the B Impact Assessment can tell us, not only about a company’s values, but about the real, measurable impact that they are having on our community and environment.

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Tips for Partying with a Purpose

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Being kind isn’t easy, but sometimes it can be a lot of fun! One of the best ways to have fun and help others at the same time is to host a “Party with a Purpose” – in other words, a party that raises awareness and/or funds for a charity or cause. You can throw a high-end party or throw one together easily and cheaply. You can incorporate giving into a major life event (like a wedding or birthday), or you can throw for the sole purpose of supporting your cause. The possibilities are endless! Continue reading