Last week the Wellspring Living marketing team had a great opportunity to attend Plywood Presents with over 400 non-profit activists, creatives and innovators.  The evening kicked off with Activist and Executive Director at The National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Doug Shipman. He is the speaker I’d like to center on today, because he had great tangibles for our area of work.

Doug is currently building a Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, specifically to engage the generation under the age of 40 in human rights history. Being an organization that works every day to eradicate modern-day slavery, his lecture was very fitting. Here are some of the takeaways from his session:

  1. Embody the Effort. Shipman asks, “How are you part of the mission?” and encouraged activists to tap into their connection, whether it be a family connection, experiential tie, or a deep-rooted passion. This connects you to the issue you are working with on a deeper lever.
  2. Confront the Business Challenge: A lot of activists have a strong bong to the issue they are working in, and can sometimes let their passion for the issue outweigh the practical need for a business plan. Implement a sound business plan and set your foundation for fundraising and growth around that.
  3. Constantly Change and Sharpen the Pitch: We love our projects more than anyone else. He encourages us to change our pitch to hit the target and articulate clear boundaries. You are constantly changing and sharpening the pitch, but your foundational boundaries will stay the same.

Doug offered some great advice for any non-profit activist or new business leader. His insights and experiences gave us some great challenges as we move forward in our endeavors.