Helping the Homeless on Skid Row: SRO Housing Celebrates 30 Years of Service

As Single Room Occupancy Housing (SRO) celebrates its 30 years of service, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Ervin R. Munro, M.S., the Director of Social Services, for the organization. Mr. Munro immediately exuded the warmth, intelligence, and passion that have allowed him to have a long and inspirational career serving others. This has also contributed to SRO Housing’s continued growth and position as the largest provider of affordable housing for homeless and low-income individuals in the Western United States.

SRO Housing provides homes for the homeless in the section of downtown Los Angeles most commonly known as “Skid Row”, and they are the only organization in Los Angeles that offers a complete range of housing from emergency to permanent as well as significant supportive SROservices. As the man in charge of the Social Services Division of SRO Housing, Mr. Munro has a long history of working in the social services field. His professional journey began with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and a Master’s degree in School Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

He has worked for over 30 years in a variety of social service positions, including as a licensed school psychologist, educator, director of social services, case manager, operations manager, and private consultant and trainer. He has also worked in a variety of settings with diverse populations including homeless, elderly, immigrants, runaway/throwaway youth, substance users/abusers, people with mental illnesses, and persons affected by HIV/AIDS. Some of his accomplishments during this time include Co-founder and first Acting Executive Director of AIDS Project Los Angeles as well as Co-founder and Co-chair of the Case Management Task Force of Los Angeles County.

His responsibilities include overseeing and directing the daily operations and management of all supportive housing social services programs. These programs include case management for homeless and low-income individuals who reside in SRO Housing’s 29 properties throughout the Skid Row area, as well as special services for those individuals with disabilities, HIV/AIDS, veterans, individuals with mental illnesses and/or substance issues, and the elderly. Some of these services include congregate meals and home-delivered meals, transportation, money management, socialization/recreational activities, special events, community activities, and more.

Mr. Munro has been responsible for the development of many programs, trainings, and workshops during his illustrious career, one of which he was kind enough to share with me called “Basic Communication Skills and Problem-Solving Techniques”. It was developed for and is required to be completed by all employees of SRO Housing before beginning work. The basic premise of which is to learn to communicate and problem solve effectively with others so they’ll best be able to serve the individuals they’ll work with. SRO encourages all of its employees to remain open-minded and discover what their clients need rather than make assumptions. This training has been so effective within the organization that Mr. Munro is often asked by outside organizations to train their employees in it.

This program is just one example of the ways in which Mr. Munro and the rest of SRO Housing strive to be a model for client-centered services. They truly understand what their community needs and are responsive to those needs. As a part of this integration into the community, SRO Housing does its best to hire individuals who may have been in SRO Housing’s programs and/or are directly from the community. A college degree is required for most positions within the Social Services Division.

Employees are highly supportive of their clients’ goals and work hard with them to turn dreams into reality. It is this effort to immerse themselves into the community and look for holistic solutions to issues to homelessness which makes this program an exemplar model. On a personal level, there are not enough words to express the admiration I have for and the inspiration gained from having interacted with Mr. Munro and SRO Housing.

Ms. Anita U. Nelson, MBA, SRO Housing’s CEO, had this to say about Mr. Munro, “Erv has a wealth of knowledge and experience that has significantly contributed to SRO Housing’s development and to Skid Row as a whole. He touches everyone’s area; he’s a true team player and clients are always at the forefront. He’s committed and it’s a part of him. He loves his job so much I feel funny calling it a job. He’ll be difficult to replace.”

As we wish a happy 30th Anniversary to SRO Housing and many more years of service, we’d also like to wish the same to Mr. Munro, along with much joy and success in his next venture, which happens to be retirement.

Fueling the Political Machine: Kristie Holmes on Campaign Finance Reforms

There is something very special about a social worker in public office. As social workers, we are bound to an ethical code to uphold social justice, provide service to others, bolster the dignity and self-worth of all people, understand human relationships and communities, and act with competence and integrity in all our endeavors. When considering how these core values shape social workers’ singular objective to make the world a better place for everyone, I think most people can agree that these are the kinds of people we want representing us in government. That is exactly what Kristie Holmes is planning to do in her campaign for Congress representing California’s 33rd district.

Kristie Holmes (right) at United Nations

Kristie Holmes is a breath of fresh air for Los Angeles County. Unlike her top opponents, Holmes has not been a participant in the troubled public administration in her region. Rather, Kristie has been fighting at the front lines as a case worker, community organizer, and social policy scholar. As a social work professor at the University of Southern California and small business owner in Los Angeles, Holmes is in touch with the people in her community and is raising quite a following among younger voters, who are sick of establishment politicians and nepotism.

So what’s the problem? Why isn’t her name up in lights with the best of them?

Sadly, along with her virtuous political agenda and clean slate comes a major shortcoming: Money or as she refers to it in her blog, “Trial by Fundraising!” And while we all know campaigns always require money, Kristie Holmes has been exposing political financial requirements to that will make your stomach ache. According to the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, the average congressional campaign costs over $1 million per candidate and the average senate campaign costs $4.3 million (while many go as high as $10 million and 15 million).

This leads many concerned citizens to ask, who has that kind of money? Certainly not the families and citizens politicians are supposedly “representing.”  These unprecedented financial requirements not only distract elected officials from their primary role as lawmakers, but paves a clear path for encouraging special interests in politics. As Kristie explains:

“When it is all over, what do we have to show for it?  How much have we collectively spent- on what exactly?  It certainly doesn’t go to those who need it.  In fact, it goes to funding things that voters clearly despise.”

As a determined, trail-blazing social worker, Kristie Holmes is standing up to the political establishment. She is running her campaign on policy, not politics and financial deal-making. With her hard earned, modest budget, Holmes is inspiring awe as she unwavering fights for a seat at the table. As fellow social workers, we are very proud. In her campaign blog, title “Kristie’s Adventures in Running for Congress in the Wild West” Holmes documents the process of running an honest campaign amidst a corrupt landscape of Super-PACs and sneaky political loopholes:

Money & PoliticsTo begin the process, there is a $1,740 non-refundable fee to get your name on the ballot. Okay, steep but do-able.  But wait, it doesn’t stop there. In order the get your name and 250-word blurb printed in the voting guide (the sample ballot given to all voters before they cast their vote) candidates must pay an additional $8,600.

If you want this available in Spanish (which is spoken by about half of L.A. residents) it costs another $17,200! Further fees are required for each additional language. Just the fact that there is a language fee at all, from a social justice perspective, is ethically questionable considering the US Census reports 56.8% of L.A. residents do not speak English at home. So, all in all, it actually costs a whopping $18,940 just to have a meager presence at the ballot box.

Now, comes the campaign. There is the usual stuff: yard signs, door-hangers, TV commercials, etc. These are the kind of cost most people expect from campaigns and millions of dollars can also go into funding these. Luckily, there are low-costs alternatives to raising political awareness such as relying heavily of social media and people power in the community- the tactics Kristie Holmes is well versed in as a macro social worker.There are countless, nearly insurmountable hidden costs all along the way. Just last week, for example, Kristie was denied invitation to a candidate debate forum because the organizers required candidates to have raised over $100,000 in order to attend. 

Seriously? Television commercials are one thing; denying candidates a right to speak at political debates- that is another. Requirements such as these are normal; they are a part of a regime to perpetuate the political status quo, stifle real social progress, and represent the interests of the few over the many. According to the LA Times, the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club created the requirement (which was possibly as high as $200,000) to allow only “viable” candidates to participate, as not to “dilute the session… by including candidates with little or no chance of winning.” Yet, isn’t is also true that barring these candidates from the debate is directly contributing to their poor chances of winning?

Kristie also points out that candidates for California’s 33rd congressional district only found out about the current congressman’s retirement in late January. Established candidates with an existing FEC number had less than three months to acquire their current campaign funds. However, the time frame was much shorter for new candidates who needed to apply for a FEC number before fundraising could begin. As Holmes speculates, “Perhaps a candidate has a long line of wealthy, waiting funders ready to go when they announce (due to fame or personal fortune).” Whatever the funding sources or tactics are, one this is clear: our current political system is designed to pander to wealth and power.

When a real candidate “of the people, for the people” emerges, the powers that be quickly shut them down. In such a climate, it is not a surprise that our congress looks like a Hampton country club full of white men shaking hands. As social workers and citizens, we cannot sit quietly as the political machine attempts to push aside highly qualified candidates like Kristie Holmes. The system will not fix itself. It is up to us, as voters and social change leaders, to demand better and to put people in office with integrity. We must support Kristie Holmes and raise awareness for her campaign.

As a congresswoman, Kristie pledges to fight for open government and to put an end to fraud and corruption in her district. She will fight for gender equality, equal access to education, improved care for veterans, and to put an end to the war on drug through the decriminalization of marijuana. As a social worker, she will fight for all socioeconomic groups but most importantly, those who are most in need.

Why can’t we have a Congresswoman like Kristie Holmes? I believe we can.

Learn more about Kristie Holmes and how you can support her campaign. Follow Kristie’s blog, “Kristie’s Adventures in Running for Congress in the Wild West

Follow Kristie on Twitter @DrKristie

Advocate or Vacate: LAUSD Students Protest for Science Teacher

LAUSD Student Protest
LAUSD Student Protest

Some things simply aren’t written into our public school curriculum. There aren’t established standards for compassion, integrity, authenticity, and standing up for what you believe in. However, this doesn’t mean opportunities for such teachable moments do not present themselves, but they’re often avoided due to fear or retaliation. Fear of offending someone, fear of negative consequences, fear of judgment are several ways in which fear manifest. During the time of human development when we are the most impressionable, most creative, and most in touch with our core selves and passions, we are often robbed of those traits in order to adhere to fear-driven preset standards that create conformity.

Fortunately, teachable moments have a way of unexpectedly inserting themselves into our lives creating standards for morals and conformity is wholly disregarded. I had the pleasure this week of personally witnessing such a moment. On my morning commute, I observed students outside a Los Angeles public school protesting what they deemed to be the unjust removal of a beloved science teacher. Seeing these students passionately picketing for something they believed in, in order to help someone they believed in, almost moved me to tears.

According to KTLA,

Greg Schiller was suspended from the Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts (map) in February when another employee raised concerns that two of Schiller’s students made projects that looked like weapons, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The projects, which were designed to launch small projectiles, have been confiscated by LAUSD as evidence, one parent told the Times. Schiller said he did not get a chance to grade the students’ work. Read Full Article

The lump in my throat signified how inspired I was by these students standing up for themselves and their beliefs. It is so easy at any age to simply sit back, complain, and not lift a finger in effort toward that which is right. Yet, here were high school students who are taught daily to respect authority and their decisions. Often by remaining silent and doing what they’re told, they adhere to the set standard. However, in this instance, they took a risk and fully expressing themselves. The protest also occurred one day after another LAUSD student-led protest, in which the students were successful in securing their desired student position on the school board.

It was a moment of personal and universal reflection for me. As a therapist it’s my job to advocate for my clients and motivate them to advocate for themselves, yet I frequently struggle with that both professionally and personally. There are moments every day where I-we-have the opportunity to speak up for ourselves and others in an effort to create a more kind and just world. Yet, we often shrink back out of fear and the opportunity passes. We may not always be right. There may be an infinite amount of opinions. It may not even make a measurable difference. However, if we remain silent and still for too long we’ll never know. We’ll never have the opportunity to be a part of the many tiny or humungous steps that do create a difference. If Freedom Fighters hadn’t made the first move to literally climb steps onto buses, the Civil Rights movement may have been quite different.

We are blessed to live in a world where opportunities continue to present themselves until we learn from them. I’d like to think I learned a little something from these youth and the next time I’m presented with the choice to remain silent or advocate, I remember them and choose the latter. I hope that the next time they’re presented with the choice they’ll continue to have that same courage I witnessed, and I hope that everyone who reads this has that same courage. If you have to fear anything in life, fear silence and immobility not compassionate action.

Kristie Holmes is Running for Congress Despite Hurdles

There are seven social workers in the U.S. House of Representatives. Kristie Holmes wants to be the eighth. An adjunct associate professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Social Work, she is one of 21 candidates who will compete in the June 3rd primary to replace the venerable Henry Waxman as the Democratic candidate for California’s 33rd Congressional District. She is 39 years old with an MSW from USC and a Ph.D. in community social work.

Kristie is facing formidable hurdles including two strong opponents in Wendy Gruel who ran for mayor in Los Angeles last year and State Senator Ted Lieu. Yet, she has chosen to spend her time and money in an uphill run for Congress. Social workers should support her because we need more social workers in Congress and other legislative offices. A strong showing of support for Kristi will encourage others to run. In this day and age, policies matter, but politics perhaps more. I got the opportunity to talk to Kristie about her improbable run and why she is willing to take risks to win a seat in Congress.

How did you get the idea to run for Congress?

I was talking to friends and it occurred to me that I seem to have hit a wall when it comes to making change. It’s not happening because we’re not in the places we need to be. I said maybe I should run for Congress or something. I didn’t mean it seriously but they said it was a great idea and I should do it. Then I got a text message that Waxman was retiring and his seat was open. I have been talking to students in my class about making change for years. And with the opportunity to be at the UN and watch how organizational change is made in the world made me even more interested in how our government works. I was probably among the more apathetic social workers when it came to politics other than voting and signing petitions. I had no interest in getting involved politics.

When did you get serious about running?

Kristie Holmes
Kristie Holmes

We talked about the vacant House seat in my policy class and someone said we should go to the pre-endorsement conference in Norfolk. I posted it on Facebook and suggested that someone should run. So I decided to attend the conference to see what the process was like. It was confusing but I stayed and made a two-minute speech. When I went back to class there was great interest and then I had to make the decision to file as a candidate. I decided to pay the nonrefundable $1740 filing fee because I figured that’s about how much I would pay to go to a conference. Next I was told that I would have to file forty to sixty signed petitions and that they were due by 5:00 p.m. that day and had to be collected in the district in Los Angeles.

I was an hour and forty minutes from the district but discovered candidates had five additional days to file if the incumbent was not running. After I turned in the petitions I was told there was another fee of $18,940 if I wanted to have a blurb with my information as well as my name printed on the sample ballot in English and Spanish and it would cost more if I wanted the blurb printed in additional languages. It was Monday when I turned in the ballot and I had to hop a plane to New York City for a conference at the UN. While in session I got a call that only 38 out of 60 of my petitions were valid. My husband was able to get the additional signatures to the office and I was officially on the ballot.

What is your strategy for winning the primary?

I realize there is going to be an incredible of money spent on stuffing mailboxes. I suppose Ted Lieu and Wendy Gruel are going to spend a lot of money on television advertising. My idea is to mobilize younger voters who are more electronically connected, especially social workers. We can make a huge difference and that doesn’t cost much money or time. I have students and we have campus full of students. I know I have to raise money but we can do a lot with eighty to a hundred thousand dollars. I have many talented friends and supporters who are good with things like creating online videos. We do need to raise some money to do thing like targeted mailings and I have friends who are willing to help.

So are you beyond the point of no return . . . fully committed?

Even my father was not very happy about the idea at first. He was worried about the bad things that can happen in politics. But he’s come around and says he’s proud of me and that I shouldn’t jump off the moving train. My colleagues are very excited about it and want to be helpful. They are introducing me to their networks. There’s no turning back now.

What are your expectations?

I’m worried that if I start making headway in the race, my opponents will come after me. I’ve seen what’s happened in past races and it makes me nervous. I don’t want to expose my family to any grief. One of my opponents hired a very scary guy and that gives me concern. I would not want to reciprocate but the truth is I cannot afford to go there so I have to do something else. People are weary of negative politics. The one thing I can do is research and I know traditional methods of outreach like TV advertising are reaching a smaller percentage of voters. One thing that motivates me is that only eighteen percent of the members of Congress are women and there are few members under the age of fifty years old.

Do you see your candidacy as inspirational to other social workers?

That is the hope. That is truly the thing that is driving me because of the apathy I’m seeing. I want to see more social workers doing this at a younger age. I have nothing against older people but we need a variety of ages and perspectives. It’s hard to get young people to be politically active unless they see other young people involved. I am more surprised than anyone that I am doing this. It took me paying the filing fee and taking a look at the process to make me realize there is a whole other well that impacts our clients that needs to be addressed.

It’s Called Community Policing Not “Hug A Thug”

Earlier this month, a 14-year-old Venzel Richardson was shot to death on the South Side of Chicago. After the shooting one of the commanding officers in the district asked for a list of all gang leaders in the surrounding area. After receiving that list, he visited their homes requesting they stop the shootings.

Chicago PD Superintendent Garry McCarthy

While other news outlets have referred to this strategy as “Hug a Thug”, officers are stating that this strategy is an intervention which consists of officers who visit gang members, referred to as custom notifications, to persuade them to stop the violence while providing positive resources.

They give contacts for jobs, social services referrals, and they also try to speak to family members too as well as encouraging the gang members to stay out of trouble.

According to the National Gang Center,

  • From 2007 through 2011, a sizeable majority (more than 80 percent) of respondents provided data on gang-related homicides in their jurisdictions.
  • Highly populated areas accounted for the vast majority of gang homicides: nearly 70 percent occurred in cities with populations over 100,000, and 19 percent occurred in suburban counties in 2011.
  • The number of gang-related homicides increased approximately 10 percent from 2009 to 2010 and then declined slightly (2 percent) from 2010 to 2011 in cities with populations over 100,000.
  • In a typical year in the so-called “gang capitals” of Chicago and Los Angeles, around half of all homicides are gang-related; these two cities alone accounted for approximately one in five gang homicides recorded in the NYGS from 2010 to 2011.

I believe that this intervention could work because community policing is a widely held best practice model. However, since 9/11, police departments have moved away from the community policing model which allocates funding to preventive programs in favor of militarization. As a result of increased funding from Homeland Security, police departments started purchasing tanks, armored cars, and more firepower while decreasing funding to community policing prevention programs. According to the Community Policing Dispatch website by the US Department of Justice, community policing should be one prong of a two-prong approach acting as counter balance to enforcement.

Rather than responding to crime only after it occurs, community policing encourages agencies to work proactively in developing solutions to the immediate underlying conditions contributing to public safety problems. Rather than addressing root causes, police and their partners should focus on factors that are within their reach, such as limiting criminal opportunities and access to victims, increasing guardianship, and associating risk with unwanted behavior. Read More

As a result of the increase militarization of police departments, police officers have a great deal of trust to gain within these communities, but community policing and events such as National Night Out can help to begin the process. The reputation of law enforcement officers have left many communities in fear of the public servants who are tasked with protecting them for various reasons such as racial profiling, police corruption, and unlawful shootings.

I believe police departments should be expanding their community policing models and hiring social workers to work in those Agencies to help design prevention programs based on their community practice expertise. After officers are able to regain the trust of not just gang members, but the community at large, I am convinced this model can make a different in all our lives. They may also be able to help facilitate the formation of support groups that could bring in other former gang members as mentors within the communities.

Whatever critics may think, it appears to be working:


Social Workers Respond to the LA County Social Workers Strike

LA Social Workers Strike
Social Workers Strike in front of the LA County Department of Children and Family Services

For social workers with the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Friday marked their second day on the picket line with no progress being reported towards reaching an agreement with the County. Social Workers initiated the strike due to low pay and high caseloads which prevents them from properly investigating reports of abuse, neglect, and dependency as well as providing other emergency services. The strike is being led by Bob Schoonover, president, of the local Services Employees International Union (SEIU) 721 which represents approximately 3,500 social workers.

As a former child welfare investigator, I fully support the efforts of the L.A. social worker’s strike, and I hope it will help elevate the plight of public sector social workers from their current invisible status. As a result of the Great Recession and self-imposed austerity measures from all levels of government, public sector social workers have silently shouldered the burden of responding to the increased need for services despite having resources and manpower levels less than they were before the recession.

Public Sector social workers lack the national lobbying power of teachers, law enforcement, fire fighters, and nurses which often leaves us out of any legislation protecting educators and first responders from cuts. Social Services agencies are also not required to maintain any accreditation standards like schools, hospitals, and police departments which means administrators and government officials are unregulated in their policy making. In this case, if the union is unsuccessful in negotiating reduced caseloads for the workers, there is no other body of government to seek redress.

The federal government only monitors outcomes and whether a social worker completes cases within the allotted time frames. It does not take into consideration how many cases the social worker has on his/her caseload. Every day, social workers are forced to maneuver a broken system while trying to restore hope to children and families in need of help, but what happens when the social worker’s hope is gone?

Social workers and other key stakeholders who have taken an interest in the LA social workers strike have been quite vocal in either their support or opposition. According to a post from a social work forum against the strike, Annette Mahoney-Cross an administrator with a New York Child Welfare agency stated,

“So I have to comment on the strike of public child welfare workers in LA. I finally had time to read articles from other media outlets and I cannot support this work action. I am an administrator at one of the largest public child welfare agencies in the country in a suburb of New York City. I am also a union leader who sits on the board of directors of my union.

In NY public employees are prohibited from striking as per the Taylor Law, with good valid reason. There appear to have been other options available to staff and in fact two union delegates stepped down because they felt intimidated by union officials, Yes it is abundantly clear they more staff need to be hired, but why has the union not directed a work action before a full on strike? Workers refuse new cases, get written up and then use the grievance process. Involve the Child Welfare League of America to discuss recommended caseloads? These are only a few options which could have been explored, but SEIU does seem to like to strike first to try to force management’s hand. Sadly the only ones to suffer will be the families.” via Facebook

In my opinion, I believe the above stated view is limited in its thought process while failing to take into consideration the larger picture. In this country, Red states have the highest poverty rates, reliance on social welfare programs, and the poorest outcomes for children living in America, and social workers in these states are barred from unionizing as a result of Right to Work legislation. By continuing with the strike, LA social workers are not only exposing systems failures preventing social workers from providing quality care to children and families, but they have the ability to become the voice for other social workers who have been silenced.

Despite outcries of opposition, support appears to be growing for the social workers’ strike and is evidenced by the comments on the SEIU Local 721 Facebook Fanpage. You can also stay up to date with SEIU 721 on Twitter @seiu721using the hashtag #721strike.

Photo Credit: SEIU 721 Facebook Page

Interview with Gary Wexler: Former Ad Executive Turn Nonprofit Activist

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Gary Wexler who is a former Ad Executive that has helped to create television commercials for products such as Apple and Coca-cola. Now, Gary uses his powers for good to help nonprofit agencies maximize their marketing strategies instead of wasting donor dollars on ineffective tactics. Also, Gary Wexler is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California teaching marketing in the Annenberg School of Communication. Later in the article, you will also be able to view a short video on “Way Beyond Branding” by Gary Wexler who possesses a wealth of knowledge, and I would like to share with you our conversation.

SWH: Tell me a bit about your background and your passion for the Nonprofit Sector.

Gary: I became involved with nonprofit causes in high school joining a student club where we traveled as tutors, working with grade school kids in poverty areas of Los Angeles. It captured my soul and began a lifelong involvement with the sector as an activist, volunteer, board member, donor, and finally as a professional. In my 40s, I left my career as a successful ad agency copywriter and creative director, creating award winning television commercials for Apple Computer and Coca Cola because I realized my passion was with the nonprofit sector. My passion for the sector lies in the fact that the nonprofit sector holds the soul of our society.

SWH: How do you define Nonprofit Revolution Now and what is it mission?

Gary: The world has changed. We are living in a new era, dominated by new thinking.  Yet, the nonprofit sector is in many cases stuck in old-thinking and fearful of making the drastic changes needed in order to survive and thrive. The Revolution is leading the way for these new changes and methodologies using what we call “Seize the Conversation” marketing as the engine of positive disruption within the sector. Seize the Conversation is integrated with Human Centered Design Thinking which is a way to bring people into collaboration to create the big new ideas that will give the sector a powerful verve. This is the purpose, goal, and methodology of the Revolution.

For the organizations who read the Revolution, the other purpose is to lead them to realize that nonprofit marketing is about helping create three results—fundraising, advocacy and participation. It’s results are not a branding or social marketing campaign. Those are mere tactics, along with many others, in the battle. But, this is a battle for ideas that penetrate the hearts and minds of the donors, activists and participants.

SWH: How did this new project come about, and what types of issues do you focus your writing?

Gary: It came about from my teaching. I am the Professor of both Nonprofit Marketing as well as Advertising in the Masters in Communications Management program at USC/Annenberg. In nonprofit marketing, my students were sent out to work with real nonprofit clients, armed with knowledge they gained in class on how to focus and ask invasive questions and then bring the client participants into consensus.

When they return to class each semester after meeting their clients, the students all say the exact same thing. “You taught us how to focus, ask questions and bring consensus and these nonprofits can’t do it.” That’s when I knew I had to begin writing about the issues of the sector and what I believe the solutions are. The focus of the writing is on big ideas as solutions created through Seize the Conversation strategies.

SWH: What is the Nonprofit Revolution Now Manifesto?

Gary: The Manifesto is the weekly blog…soon to be called the “Blog-ifesto.” The new site will be up in the next few weeks which will be exciting, powerful, informational and controversial.

SWH: What kind of information and content do you highlight on the blog?

Gary: I grab the most important conversations that need to be circulating in the nonprofit sector and then translate them into how to create results using big ideas to deliver the goals of fundraising, advocacy and participation.

SWH: How does someone become a part of the Revolution?

Two ways. Either sign up for the blog. Or bring us in to create the Revolution within your organization, helping you reach your fundraising, advocacy, or participation goals.

Wanting more of Gary Wexler? You can visit him at or Nonprofit Revolution Now. You may also want to follow him on Twitter at @garywexler.




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