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    Citi’s​Voice – How A Former Shoe Salesman Supports Microbusiness In The Developing World

Citi’s​Voice – How A Former Shoe Salesman Supports Microbusiness In The Developing World

By James O’Brien

Wayne Elsey had been a shoe man almost all his life. From humble beginnings as a stock boy in a shoe store, Elsey went on to hold leadership roles at a number of shoe companies. And he might have stayed in the shoe business if he hadn’t turned on the television one day in 2004.

The ocean floor off the coast of Sumatra had shattered, sending massive waves ashore. ​Villages, towns and cities were destroyed. Nearly a quarter of a million people lost their lives. But amid the destruction, a lone image gave Elsey an idea that would change the lives of thousands of survivors and eventually create thousands of small businesses in developing nations.

“I saw this single shoe wash up on the shore,” Elsey said. “And it just rocked my world.”

For Elsey, the lone shoe was a sign. Leveraging his business experience, corporate resources, and the advice of logistics experts, Elsey created Soles4Souls, a non-profit that would send 250,000 shoes to communities struck by the waves.

Since its founding in 2004, Soles4Souls has distributed more than ​19 million pairs of shoes to those affected by natural [...]

Progress in Haiti ignites Hope

A good day for the average person may come in the form of a bonus at work, a bouquet of flowers or a free meal from your favorite restaurant.
For someone in Haiti, it means finally moving out of a tent.
 A story from The Huffington Post said that more than 1.5 million Haitians were living in camps after the January 2010 disaster. But now that number is down to 320,000, thanks to help from government and aid groups that provide rent subsidies to camp residents. The average subsidy given to camp residents was $500, about a year’s worth of rent, as well as an additional $150 for other expenses.
Compared to what we have in the United States, they’re nothing fancy, and many are the size of a tiny hotel room. But wrapped inside a home that’s less than 350 square feet is hope.
The Miami Herald reports that the Haitian government has also opened a state university and industrial park, in addition to a new asphalt runway to accommodate large aircraft carriers that would bring aid and supplies. Roads are being built, [...]

Nonprofits embrace importance of branding

Not too long ago, a friend of mine downloaded an app on her phone called “Logo Quiz.” It requires users to guess the brand name that’s associated with the logo, but to make it challenging, part of the logo is compromised.
Many of the logos were easily recognizable, despite missing letters or symbols. After years of being exposed to commercials, print ads and billboards, several were pretty easy to identify.
When someone thinks about the cause associated with your organization, is your name the first one that comes to mind?

A recent article from the Sun Sentinel said that nonprofits have put a greater focus on branding following the Great Recession. Businesses aren’t the only organizations that are affected by the weak economy; nonprofits have taken a hit as well, and many are discovering that they need to implement similar marketing strategies that mirror corporations.
Here are a few things to think about:
• What is the mission of your organization?
• What are the benefits of the services or products that you offer?
• Do you know what your customers and/or potential customers think [...]

By |August 23rd, 2013|Blogging|0 Comments|

Share your talents and Raise Funds for your organization

Blonde ringlets of hair bounced up and down as 9-year-old Kylie asked me the one thing I had been putting off all week.
“Will you teach me how to dance?”
I know some adults who would rather go to the dentist than try to dance, much less teach someone else. But Kylie had seen me goofing off to a song on the radio earlier that week, and apparently she was impressed.
So, I figured I would show her a few things before MTV got to her. Perhaps the Electric Slide would be more age-appropriate than the “Dougie.”
I turned off my phone, shut down my computer and put all of my electronic devices aside. I wanted her to know she had my full attention so she could make the most out of her lesson.
But little did I realize that it was me learning a lesson.
I spent about 30 minutes showing Kylie line dances, hip hop dances and free-style dances. Not only did she catch on quickly, but I saw a light in her eyes that had been ignited, all because I shared [...]

3 Steps to developing your teaching style

If you are a teacher, you need to know how to improve and develop your teaching style over time to better suit the changing pedagogical environment around you. Being a teacher is not always easy. A love for kids is the utmost important factor when you consider to become a teacher. If your kids are causing troubles for you, maybe these tips will help you solve the problem and improve your teaching style at the same time.
Personal Appearance
Believe it or not, personal appearance does have a say here. Even though you are armed with a profound knowledge of the subject your are teaching, if you dress in a messy way, you will find it hard to get the message across to your pupils. Since you are their teacher, you need them to respect you. There is no better way to impress your students than to dress up decently and have proper postures.

Again, knowledge is everything when it comes to being a teacher. You need to constantly improve your knowledge, not only in your subject matter, but in other aspects in life [...]

Joy of Giving

Last weekend I was driving through the city, when I saw a young girl trying to sell flowers on the roadside. I stopped my car and asked her for two tulips and one red rose. She just gave them to me, smiled, and ran away. I was confused and started looking for her so that I can pay her for the flowers. But soon I got my answer. She wasn’t trying to sell but offering flowers to people for them to feel happy. I was perplexed, and couldn’t believe what had just happened. I parked my car on the side and started thinking!

The joys of life are varied and unending, but there is something which can’t be compared – this is the joy of giving. Throughout my career in corporate I met thousands of very well meaning executives who want to do good things for others, and really believe in the ‘joy of giving’. At the same time there were thousands who just said it but didn’t turn it into action. On the other hand, there are a distinct breed who won’t even tell [...]

Advice for Graduating Seniors

It’s hard to believe it’s almost that time of year again. My own daughter is graduated from college, working full time and now going to be mom! It’s hard to believe that much time has already past. I remember her first day of school like it was yesterday. (I know every parent says that, but it’s true.)

I’m not giving a keynote for any graduation ceremonies this year, but I was talking to someone recently who was. He was sharing with me his ideas about what he thought he might say. It made me think about what I would say if I were given the same opportunity:Your first job is just that…your first job. Don’t expect too much because you won’t be there long.

Listen carefully. Listen to yourself. Listen to the people you agree with. Listen to those you don’t.
Give everyone a chance. You might get hurt every now and then, but it’s a much better way to live.
Be open to new things. The job you will have in five years hasn’t even been created yet. Don’t box yourself in by thinking you’ll be [...]

The Way We Think About Charity Needs To Change!

In the world of nonprofit leaders and people who make a difference in our world, Dan Pallotta is a true rock star and I am very proud to call him my friend. Dan is best known for creating the multi-day charitable event industry, and a new generation of citizen philanthropists with the AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer 3-Day events, which has raised $582 million in just nine years. He is president of Advertising for Humanity, which helps foundations and philanthropists transform the growth potential of their favorite grantees and the author of Uncharitable and Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up For Itself and Really Change the World – two important books that I urge every nonprofit leader to read.
Dan has long been a champion of changing the way we view the nonprofit sector. As he wrote in the preface of my book, Almost Isn’t Good Enough, the current ethic that we have about nonprofits “… seriously undermines our ability to create meaningful change in the world. This ethic encourages cultures of deprivation in charity and discourages charities from doing all [...]

Funds2Orgs Helps Nonprofits Raise Funds…

Funds2Orgs helps nonprofits raise funds, supports micro-enterprise in developing nations & dramatically reduces post consumer waste.
Wayne Elsey launches new company, Funds2Orgs, to help non-profits create powerful events that engage volunteers, raise funds and make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities.
Orlando, FL, (April 3, 2013): Wayne Elsey, Founder and former CEO of the charitable organization, Soles4Souls and current CEO of Wayne Elsey Enterprises, today announced the launch of Funds2Orgs. The new company will help U.S. nonprofits raise funds by holding events that collect gently used or discarded items such as shoes, clothing, purses, mattresses, cell phones and other electronic goods. Participating nonprofits are paid for what they collect and the articles are then distributed to support and sustain micro-enterprise ventures by low-income entrepreneurs in disadvantaged countries.

“I am very excited to launch Funds2Orgs because my experience over the past few years of working with charitable organizations has shown that the overwhelming majority of the more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations registered in the U.S. are unable to sustain the revenues they need to carry out their mission. Compounding the [...]

the Half Fund guest blog, Finding Nemo in your Charity…

My wife and I have two young children, which means we are abundantly affluent in all things Pixar and Dreamworks. We have seen (or heard in the car) Shrek, Over the Hedge, and The Incredibles so often that I dream about them sometimes.
Some we like more than others. Madagascar 3 is the funniest film I’ve seen since Anchorman, and I misted a little at the end of Wreck-It Ralph. But, by far, my absolute favorite animated film of the last twenty-five years is Finding Nemo. It’s the one kids-movie that I stop to watch every time it’s on…even if our children are asleep.
It affects me so much that I once said to a friend without children, “I try to run our charitable mission by imitating the lessons found in the last twenty minutes of Finding Nemo.”
My friend looked at me like I had two lazy eyes and a meth problem, but I was dead serious. For those who haven’t seen it or may have forgotten it, I’ll give you a brief synopsis:
Marlin, a clown-fish, has just crossed the ocean in [...]