Happy July 4th! It is the day we celebrate the birth of the United States as an independent nation. After years of frustration with the British government, the new Americans celebrated with fireworks, bonfires and even a mock funeral of King George III. Today, we come together as a nation by setting aside our differences and celebrating our democracy through fireworks, concerts and lots of food! With Fourth of July celebrations in full swing this week, we thought we’d share Social TrendSpotters’ favorite blog posts through our annual tradition, Summer Superlatives. In case you’ve missed some of the top blogs from this year, do not fear: your fellow TrendSpotters have cast their votes. As you kick back this week, reminisce with us on a few reads that have been this year’s favorites:

Hottest Topic:
Organizational Culture
Our first post of the year – Words to Know in the New Year 2019 – shared our word of the year – mindset – and introduced the social sector’s version of the Iceberg Effect and Benefit Mindset. It helped explain why so many social issues are difficult to change and how to address root causes and make forward strides. Dozens of readers sent us notes afterward saying this was “just the blog they needed to start the year.”

Most Popular Blog Post:
Are You Elevator-Ready? The 6 C’s for a Dynamite Nonprofit Pitch
“Most people see the elevator pitch as a sales-driven rather than relationship-driven process. And that perspective can be scary for the social sector, which is mission-driven.” If you have a summer goal of improving your elevator pitch, this is a great read guaranteed to improve your chances.

Most Popular Guest Blog Post:
5 Leadership Lessons from Coach K
Anyone who knows me well knows I’m a fan of all things Duke, which of course includes Duke basketball and its leader, Coach K. I was privileged to hear Coach K’s leadership lessons directly from him during my studies at Duke. Recently, Sanyin Siang, Executive Director for the Coach K Leadership & Ethics Center, a leader in her own right, wrote them down for all of us to benefit. I find his lessons learned so refreshing, because they are real and actionable.

Best Blog for Your Summer Beach Reading Listening List:
Hot Topics in the Social Sector, Podcast-style
This summer more people will consume content by listening rather than reading. Staying on trend, we recently did a podcast with our good friend, Michael Clements, who kept me on my toes by asking a wide array of questions – from leadership advice and millennials to KPIs and the technology revolution. Read our abridged version or listen to the full podcast, and tell me how I did!

Most Likely to Succeed – #WayBackWeekendBlog:
(Almost) Free Talent: Building a Next-Generation Workforce with Internships
“If talent is the great multiplier for the social sector, experience is the currency that drives many high school, college and graduate students to seek internships.” In this favorite blog, we talk about best practices of hiring and ensuring internships are a win-win. If you have interns now, take a peek and learn how to dazzle them this summer.

Favorite TrendSpotter:
Bridge Out of Poverty Series
Last week, I had the privilege of meeting with members of the leadership team at aha! Process – the company started by Ruby Payne, PhD. Ruby has redefined how we think and talk about poverty with her landmark book, Bridges Out of Poverty. This year, aha! Process gets the TrendSpotter Award for not only for being ahead of its time with amazing work in multiple disciplines based on research and action, but also for its ethos of lifting others up. The folks at aha! Process consistently share my blog with their followers, and I am deeply grateful for their support of my work. We covered them in 2016 and want to share their timeless work once again. If you haven’t seen it, run – don’t walk – to these links (communitiescustomer’s shoes and employees & community) and prepare for many “aha!” moments.

Favorite Quote:
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
– Leo Tolstoy

I often joke with our clients that as a consultant to their organization, I’m half mechanic and half therapist. Now, that I’m celebrating my 10th year as CEO of Social Impact Architects and 20th year as a consultant, this is even truer today than it once was. Leo Tolstoy was right – if you want to change the world, you have to be a constant work in progress – learning and growing as an individual. We couldn’t be more pleased to be part of your journey.

Favorite Quote Pic:

Rising Strong Quote Pic small

6 Resolutions to Rise Strong in the Social Sector

Top Tweet:
“Realize the potential power of #OpportunityZones by convening task forces to strategically guide development that balances social impact with wealth creation” – Suzanne Smith – follow us on Twitter now for daily trends! 

Most Talked About Video:
Changemaker Interactive’s course on Storytelling
I was inspired to create an eLearning platform for the social sector two years ago after I learned that a nonprofit CEO traveled three hours to see my presentation in Cincinnati. I knew there had to be a better way to give access to high-quality content to everyone in the social sector – no matter where they lived. To me, this was the ultimate equity question for the sector. Out of that revelation came my eighth start-up, Changemaker Interactive. Moving beyond hour-long videos and boring webinars, we unlocked a way to gamify learning and provide it at an economical price. We launched last month and have had so much great feedback on the experience. This month, we are offering it to TrendSpotters for $99 – with the code IMPACT100. Go online and check it out!

Favorite Reader Comment:
“Bless you for your worthy site. As a small nonprofit, it is very hard to survive and do good at the same time. It is agencies like yours that keep us afloat, with vital timely information, and services and survival referrals.”
– Minister Dr. Ms. Lorna Shuford, Little River HC&EDC
Free Stuff for Nonprofits

It is our privilege to come to your inbox every Thursday with new and engaging content that sparks action. We hope our posts help propel us all forward on our collective mission to create a better world. If you enjoy our work, please help us spread the word by forwarding this newsletter to your colleagues and follow us on social media. We showcase trends every day on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter. This 4th of July we hope you take a moment to reflect and relish all you have done this past year to touch the lives of others.


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