Stay Safe In The Cloud

Non-Profits Need to Think More Like For-Profits…

Nonprofits…it’s a business! Those of you who know me know that I’m a proponent of change. And, for this blog post, I will stand on my soapbox and shout that it’s time for the nonprofit sector to heed this advice. Why? Because the way nonprofits are working isn’t working smart enough.

Too many nonprofits are required to be frugal at the expense of what they are able to accomplish. Nonprofits need to take cues from big corporations. Why does that statement make a lot of nonprofit supporters squirm? Do they believe that “thinking like a for-profit” means that the greater good of the philanthropy will suffer? Isn’t it time to be unconventional?

I recently saw Dan Pallotta’s TED talk where he encouraged charities to reexamine the way things are done. Not their mission of helping others, but the roadmap in which we accomplish the end result. Just because it’s always been done a certain way, doesn’t mean it is the best way. I was nodding my head through the entire presentation.

In the presentation, Pallotta outlines five ways nonprofits are handicapped by the current rules:

  1. Compensation: The average salary for a CEO of a hunger charity is $80k; the average salary for someone with an MBA, after ten years of school, is $400k. And actually, it turns out it’s more financially advantageous for these talented business minds to take the big paycheck, give $100k to a hunger charity each year, reap the tax benefits and get the label of “philanthropist,” says Pallotta.
  2. Advertising and Marketing: Nonprofits are expected not to advertise – unless the advertising space and airtime is donated.
  3. Taking Risks on New Revenue Ideas: Fear of failure kills innovation.
  4. Time: Businesses are given time to build the infrastructure and need, non-profits are not afforded this luxury.
  5. Profit to Attract Risk Capital: Nonprofits can’t go after capital because they can’t be on the stock market. And how do you build scale without capital?

If associations and for-profits used the same rulebook could we make the world a better place faster and more efficiently? “Our generation does not want its epithet to read, “We kept charity overhead low,” concludes Pallotta. “We want it to read that we changed the world.”

Good news – charities are providing a greater number of programs and services for communities.

Bad news – communities are depending on charities to provide a greater number of programs and services.

The time is now to think differently. Are you? Let us know how your association is operating as a business.

Be Unstoppable Together, 

Connie Pheiff, Unstoppable DIVA

Do you have questions or comments about the issues in today’s post, want to know how to apply them, or how to help others with them? If so, contact me at or CLICK HERE to schedule a 20-minute discovery call to discuss with you personally.

Responsible Fundraising

Developing your fundraising plan takes more than identifying your financial goals. Will you be using print, telephone, social media or person-to-person solicitations? No matter what style of contact you make be certain your material is clear and accurate. Make it easy for your potential contributor to understand your mission, history of service to the community, and the intended use of the funds raised. Never be misleading.

Organizations will occasionally receive donations where the donor asks for a designation of the funds toward a specific project. When a donor specifies where and how the funds should be allocated, it is the organizations duty to apply the funds as requested. If this is not possible, the donor must be notified of the situation and you can always ask permission to use the funds for another project or offer a full refund. Refunding could sometimes be difficult, especially if the organization desperately needs the funds for another project.

You are legally responsible to be clear with your funders. Train your development team so they fully understand their responsibilities, applicable laws that govern donations, and funder’s policies. The best way to understand funder’s policies is to meet and ask, “What are your policies.” Many professional organizations such as foundations will have their policies and procedures on their application form and website. Unfortunately, you may not always agree with the funder’s policies. The biggest concern is when a funder tells you “100% of the funds go to programs, this is not to be allocated to administrative costs.” Yes, this could be painful and gives you a reason to seek out funders who will support your administrative costs.

Accepting donations is more than saying ‘thank you.’ As a charitable organization the board of directors must adopt clear policies of acceptable gifts – without compromising your organization’s ethics, program focus, and financial situation. Is accepting a speedboat an acceptable gift when your organization is based in the High Desert? This was an offer to one of my clients. This gift was inappropriate and politely declined.

Respect your donors. Preserve their trust in your organization. Acknowledge their gift appropriately. If they select an anonymous gift – honor their request. Use a fundraising software program to secure your donors information.

The guidelines to fundraising are many. For more information refer to the Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice. You can download a FREE copy or become a member of an Association of Fundraising Professional (AFP) chapter near you.

Be Unstoppable Together, 

Connie Pheiff, Unstoppable DIVA

Do you have questions or comments about Responsible Fundraising points in today’s post, want to know how to apply them, or how to help others with them? If so, contact me at or CLICK HERE to schedule a 20-minute discovery call to discuss with Connie personally.

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What can a 5-Year Old Teach Us About Leadership

What a 5-Year Can Teach Us About Leadership

Sometimes you find yourself learning valuable lessons about leadership in the most unexpected places. We go to seminars, read books, and listen to motivational speakers, which is great. All of those things can contribute to your success. Then there are times that we learn the best lessons in places we would probably never think to look. Children. That’s right, you read that right. Believe it or not, a five-year-old child can teach a lot of valuable lessons about personal development and leadership skills. Here are four lessons that can be learned whether you are a parent, or not.

  1. Nothing Beats a Childs Ambition

You may not have realized it until now, but children are some of the most ambitious creatures on this planet. Think about it. If a five year old child scrapes their knee trying to jump over something, does that mean they will never do it again? Probably not! They’ll probably keep trying until they do it, and then giggle as they make that same jump over and over again. As adults we find things like that silly because we can’t understand why someone would continue to do something that made them fall. But the truth is, that’s an extremely great quality for anyone in a leadership position to have.

  1. They Came, They Saw, They Conquered

When a five-year-old child sees something, they want, they tell you they want it without thinking twice. Then they will probably stop at nothing to get what they want. This can be ground breaking for your personal development and enhancing your leadership skills, and here’s why. For adults, asking for something we want is a lot easier said than done. This is because adults fear rejection, and what it will do to our ego. A five year old doesn’t think about possible rejection. They just know that they want it, and know what they have to do to get it. Leading by this example has the capability of opening endless doors to success.

  1. Children Are Masters of Creativity

Five year olds have the biggest imaginations, and the most creative personalities. No army man suit? No problem. To a five year old kid, a bucket, rain boots, and a belt can be the perfect army outfit. In a child’s mind, there is always a way to do what they want, as long as they have their imagination, and a little creativity. While you’re working on your personal development, practice opening your mind and your imagination. If you learn how to use your imagination, coming up with new creative ideas will suddenly seem a lot easier.

  1. Patience Is a Virtue

When it comes to taking care of small children, patience is something you have to have. Dealing with children forces you to take a step back and find an alternative solution. For example, if a child refuses to take their medicine or clean up their toys, can you just walk away and say forget this? Absolutely not! You are then forced to breath, and think about what other method you can use that will work for both you and the child. Don’t do it for them, find a way to motivate them to want to do it for themselves. Learning how to calmly find an alternative solution to leadership and getting your team to want to do more is the true mark of someone that is thriving in a leadership position.

Be Unstoppable Together,

Connie Pheiff, Unstoppable DIVA

Do you have questions or comments about the lessons in today’s post? Want to know how to apply them, or how to help others apply these lessons? If so, contact me at or CLICK HERE to schedule a 20-minute discovery call. I am happy to discuss with you personally.

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Courage and Confidence, Be Your Authentic Self

Hello Unstoppables,

There are lots of things we wish we had the courage and confidence for in this life, aren’t there? But there is the most important thing we own that many people never think is of greatest importance. That is having the courage and confidence to be our authentic self. As entrepreneurial leaders, we spend a lot of time thinking about how should we behave in the boardroom, should I take up golfing so I could become part of the team, or how do I dress for the next conference or say on social media to be taken seriously, but never understand how to have the courage and confidence to be our authentic self. When it comes time to be responsible, we end up blaming our decisions on others, rather than realizing we are the owner of our behavior.

Authenticity is a buzzword we hear these days. Is this because we are drowning in in-authenticity? Advertising slays us to be bigger, faster, and better. We are living our dreams with more purpose than ever before. The focus isn’t on accumulation of wealth, but living with our authentic self. This is where having the courage to live life is not always the easier road to travel.

We know in our hearts there is something missing in our lives. We also know that life can be rich, satisfying and meaningful. This past year my mom passed away. She had been fighting ovarian cancer for a few years. I found the courage and confidence to reduce my workload and spend time with her. In front of me was a dwindling savings account and an uncertain future. At the end of it all I didn’t feel one ounce of regret.

You get to choose. Once you come to realize you have the courage and confidence inside you to choose ~ instead of choosing what you think others are choosing for you, you become your authentic self. You shape and design your life. Learning how to listen to your heart takes practice. It’s not as simple as it sounds, but it is possible.

This is what works for me. Give it a try.

  1. With courage and confidence, you do what you want. Your life is a blank piece of paper. Its up to you to put a design to paper and make it happen.
  2. Stop blaming others. If you don’t like what’s happening around you, then make a change.
  3. Don’t allow others to design your destiny. The responsibility is yours. What you accomplish is up to you to take it seriously and find the courage and confidence to make it happen.
  4. Focus on your values and being your authentic self. We don’t live life in a vacuum and we need to be self aware about our beliefs. Once you find your courage the power is in your hands. This power transcends everything you design for your life.
  5. It’s a privilege to have the freedom to shape life however we want. Take your courage and confidence seriously and don’t mess it up. If you’re like me I want to live my life deeply fulfilled knowing I have left a legacy for others to follow.

Be Unstoppable Together

Do you have questions or comments about the contents in today’s post, want to know how to apply them, or how to help others with them? If so, contact me at or CLICK HERE to schedule a 20-minute discovery call to discuss with you personally.



I’m Outta Here…

Why are 2-Million Americans fleeing their jobs each month? This is an alarming fact. Begs the question what are corporate leaders doing to keep them?

A recent study by Accenture reports:

1) They don’t like their boss (31%),

2) A lack of empowerment (31%),

3) Internal politics (35%) and

4) Lack of recognition (43%).

In total, according to Accenture, 40 percent of men and 25 percent of women want to become their own boss, (54% of Millenials, 46% of GenY, 35% of Gen X-ers and 21% of Baby Boomers, by age).

Making the decision to leave your current position to become an entrepreneurial leader can be nerve racking, especially if you have been groomed for the C-Suite. You are leaving something that is comfortable and secure to pursue your own dreams, which can sometimes be unpredictable. This is why it’s important to have an exit plan. This strategy will help you avoid leaving your current job in an abrupt way that will leave you broke and overwhelmed.

I was CEO for one of the top organizations in the world. I had it all prestige, credibility, salary, and spreadsheets. A fancy business life we are groomed for and become slaves of, a top business school degree we are proud to hold. On Sunday evenings, my BlackBerry would decide my workload for the coming week.

Then it happened… I was out of a job. The rug was pulled out from under me. I interviewed for CEO positions from Maine to Miami. Then it hit me square in the head there was something wrong with this life. It was a “I should have had a V-8 Moment.” I couldn’t stand the corporate bullsh*t any longer. One day I told my husband I want to start my own business. He nearly fainted. Not because I wanted out, but because he wanted out of his corporate job. Here I am 11 years later and I have never looked back.

It’s simple, and I want you to be real with yourself. Touch your heart for me right now. Hold your hand over your heart and answer this truthfully: If you could do something different to get a different result, what would you be doing right now?

Here are the 5 steps to leaving your J.O.B. and starting your own business:

1.    Discover your strengths – What are your super powers? What does everyone tell you you’re best at? Figure out your strengths, then…

2.    Evaluate your network – Who would want to work with you tomorrow? Who needs what you can provide? Who is your ideal client? Start by writing down five names, then 10, then your 100-top people in your network you can approach. This is your outreach list.

3.    Best way to reach clients – How do you want to work with your clients? One-on-one, teams, or automation. Once you know your product and network, you can select a funnel that works for your business model.

4.    Build your Product – Now that you know your strengths and your client needs, it will be an easy exercise to develop your product(s).

5.    Give Notice and setup your company…

Something we learned from our work is most entrepreneurial leaders want Fun, flexibility, and the financial ability to take care of family responsibilities.

Take your time when planning your exit strategy. Remember, the whole point of having a strategy is so you have a clear game plan. If you rush into it without being clear on every aspect of your strategy, you will most likely find yourself in a risky situation.

Connie Pheiff, Unstoppable Speaker

Do you have questions or comments about the issues in today’s post? Want to know how to apply the strategies, or how to help others with them? If so, contact me at or CLICK HERE to schedule a 20-minute discovery call to discuss with you personally.