It was one of those weeks. I have written about them before. One of those weeks that leaves my head spinning and my heart whirling until I feel like I’m going to explode or lift right up off of the ground like Dorothy and Toto in The Wizard of Oz. So what exactly happened last week? You better get comfortable, because this is going to take awhile.
My week started when 20 wonderful people gathered for a Fearless FUNdraising retreat I hosted in my hometown of Park City, Utah. Our facilitator was Kathy LeMay, a person you can only describe in one way: extraordinary. For an entire day she shared her stories and had us share our own to help us discover how we could more fully step into our capacity, to inhabit our authentic selves, and to champion resources for the issues and organizations we care most about. As donors and board members to non-profits, I strongly feel that we have an obligation to help these organizations raise money. The goal of this retreat was to help each of us figure out how to do this with passion, with authenticity, without judgment, and most importantly, to have fun doing it. Mission accomplished!
So what did we discover to be the key to successful fundraising? Sincere listening, exceptional relationship skills, the ability to clearly communicate your own story, and finally, the willingness to take the leap and actually make the ask. It…
(Originally published on Politico on December 3, 2103)
Mitchell is the truest definition of a trailblazer, the author writes. | AP Photo
By JACQUELYN ZEHNER | 12/3/13 5:08 AM EST
The following essay is part of a series in which dozens of women will reveal what women they most admire. The series is part of “Women Rule,” a unique effort this fall by POLITICO, Google and The Tory Burch Foundation exploring how women are leading change in politics, policy and their communities. See more essays here.
I started my professional career as a bond trader at Goldman Sachs, and for a decade and a half, my world was finance. During this time, I was very fortunate to have been mentored and supported by some incredible women partners of the firm. And when I left Goldman Sachs in 2002, I actively sought the community and the friendship of other such women who were trailblazers in their own industries. All roads led to one truly incredible woman: Pat Mitchell.
Pat is the truest definition of a trailblazer, and through her long career in media, she has proved to be an unfailing champion for the power of media to enact social change, while being a steadfast advocate for the advancement of women and girls. She has masterfully blended the two, and in doing so, she has changed the world for all of us.
In 2008, amid the historic election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, Marianne Schnall’s eight year old daughter asked her mom a question: “Why haven’t we ever had a woman president?” It’s a fair question. Countries all over the world have or have had female leaders, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iceland, Ukraine, Norway, Liberia, Thailand, Argentina, Peru, and Denmark, and therefore it makes sense that a little girl in the United States would want to know why her country has never elected a woman for its leader. This question prompted Schnall to take a good look at the issue, and to delve deep into the myriad of reasons why a woman has never been the President of the United States. Her research has produced a book, titled What Will It Take To Make A Woman President?, and it was released earlier this week on November 5th, a timely date given that it coincided with a day of elections for many Americans.
An accomplished writer and interviewer, Schnall is no stranger to the challenges facing women today, as she is the founder and Executive Director of Feminist.com, one of the web’s leading sites for women. Acting as a resource guide and informational tool to help promote awareness, educate, and advocate for women worldwide, Feminist.com began…