My friends who are assisting me in this blog

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in grant writing, social entrepreneurship | 0 comments

(Written by Keith Campbell)

I have been posting comments in this blog for over three years. I greatly enjoy sharing ideas about social entrepreneurship and grant writing that I think might be helpful to some people. There are many issues on my mind regarding how to structure high-quality projects to help others in need, as well as how to write high-quality grant proposals. However, my perspective is limited, and comments from others can add to the quality of this blog.

Over a year ago, I welcomed Kevin Wilson as an occasional contributor to this blog, and he has shared some of his good ideas. Kevin was one of the star graduates from a social entrepreneurship master’s degree program I oversee at my university. His blog focus has been on 1) forms of leadership overseeing projects to help others in need, and 2) social entrepreneurship opportunities for for-profit businesses. I greatly appreciate Kevin’s contributions, and I look forward to his future posts.

Another star graduate of our social entrepreneurship master’s degree program is Jeannie Majercin, and I recently invited her to assist with this blog. I appreciate her accepting this offer, and I look forward to what Jeannie can bring to this blog. Different people “see” life a little differently, and I appreciate the diversity of viewpoints that my two friends, Kevin and Jeannie, bring to this blog.

I asked Jeannie to provide an introduction of herself for our blog. I didn’t expect her to mention me in her introduction, but she did. (Thanks for your kind words, Jeannie!) Here is Jeannie’s introduction.

Hello! My name is Jeannie Majercin, and I am happy to be contributing content for the Social Entrepreneurship and Grant Writing Blog. I first enrolled in a grant proposal writing course as part of my undergraduate requirements and was immediately captivated by the field; ultimately completing the suite of required courses to earn my certificate in Grant Proposal Writing and Program Evaluation from Fort Hays State University. I am devoted to social entrepreneurship and grant writing offers an amazing opportunity for me to help others. I understand the struggles that non-profit organizations confront in securing funding, while also offering vital services in their communities. I currently provide grant proposal writing for a few nonprofit agencies and I cannot describe the rewarding experience it is to help these organizations realize their potential to provide programs to populations in need. Over the past two years, my efforts have resulted in over $250,000 in successful grant funding.

I would not be undertaking a career path that I thoroughly enjoy were it not for the encouragement and mentorship I continue to receive from Dr. Keith Campbell. His passion for the field of social entrepreneurship and grant proposal writing is evident and contagious. Due to his support, I completed the MPS in Social Entrepreneurship program at FHSU and will begin teaching online courses for Fort Hays in the coming year. Whether through teaching or contributing to this blog, I look forward to engaging the next generation of social entrepreneurs and sharing my love of grant proposal writing.

Thank you for the introduction, Jeannie. I look forward to your posts.

Thanks to those who view our small blog.

Best regards. – Keith

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Grant writing in other parts of the world

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in grant writing, social entrepreneurship | 0 comments

(Written by Keith Campbell)

Hello, all. In the U.S., we have many nonprofits that depend at least partially on grant funding. United States nonprofits and U.S grant writing is the context of familiarity for me. However, there is a big world out there with hundreds of thousands or millions of “foreign” nonprofits. (The common label for nonprofits in non-U.S. nations is non-government organization, NGO.)

For more than 30 years, I have been teaching grant proposal writing, and I believe I have worked with approximately 6,000 students. (That’s pretty exciting to me! The years and numbers of students add up so quickly!) In addition to regular full semester university courses on grant writing, a few years ago, I designed a special eight week distance-learning course for working people who don’t have time to take full semester courses. This little course has been very successful, with around 1,800 people having participated in 9 years.

I am sharing my background in teaching grant writing because this background has given me a wonderful platform to try to do even more. With the assistance of a friend of mine who is a Somali immigrant living in Canada, I am now engaged in discussions with a university professor from Kenya about revising my eight week grant writing course to better fit some nations in Africa and provide this course free in selected African nations.

We are in the early stage of building this project, but if the project occurs, maybe many other people in Africa will learn to write high-quality grant proposals to help Africans in need. There are many rural poor in some areas of Africa, and I especially would like to see these people helped.

I hope to be sharing details about this project in the coming weeks. I have seen many seemingly good ideas never be implemented, and so I am slow to allow myself to become excited. But I feel the fringe of excitement within me. The next few weeks of discussion may be important.

In this post, I simply want to share something that MIGHT be happening. One small step at a time.

Thank you for reading our small blog.

Best regards. – Keith

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My friend’s idea in China

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in social entrepreneurship | 0 comments

(Written by Keith Campbell)

I have been to China 22 times since 1999, and I have a small network of friends and colleagues there. My closest friend and colleague in China, Fu RunFeng (Howard), recently suggested that we start a social entrepreneurship club for successful business people in Henan Province (where Howard lives). Howard suggests that this type of club might be successful because many business people in China have become very successful in the last 15 years, as the Chinese economic system has opened and incomes have risen.

It is interesting that there has been widespread income growth in China, and the middle class is rapidly growing in the cities. (As an aside, economic growth is much slower in the rural areas, as fewer rural job opportunities result in sluggish rural economic growth.)

As I look at the world, it appears that the middle class is growing in many nations. Many nations that are sometimes called “developing nations” (those that have been primarily rural but that are becoming increasingly metropolitan and technologically developed) are experiencing noticeable economic growth, and increasing numbers of everyday people are taking jobs with good incomes. Economic success is coming to more and more people.

When people enter the middle class, they have more money, more free time, and they often become more interested in helping others around them who are in need. It seems that people’s social consciences increase when people move into the middle class. With a growing middle class around the world, I predict increasing interest in social entrepreneurship activities.

My most recent posts have shared my recognition that there are big social entrepreneurship opportunities among for-profit businesses, and my friend Howard wants the two of us to try to promote social entrepreneurship projects among successful business people in his area of China. This sounds like fun, as well as possibly meaningful work.

One idea we have is to provide social entrepreneurship training to interested business people in one city (Zhengzhou). We may put together a short course on how to build projects to help others in need. We might even be able to offer a certificate from my university, although this idea has not yet been approved. We are simply brainstorming now.

In this post, I simply want to share an idea on which I am working. If Howard thinks we might be successful with this project, we will probably give it a try.

Thank you for reading our small blog.

Best regards. – Keith

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Examples of for-profit social entrepreneurship

Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in social entrepreneurship | 0 comments

(Written by Keith Campbell)

Almost all of my time related to social entrepreneurship issues has been spent thinking about nonprofit work. However, it is clear that for-profit businesses can also use innovation that finds new ways to help people in need. I am interested in generating a list of ways that for-profit businesses can engage in social entrepreneurship. I am sure my list will not be comprehensive, so if anyone has items to add, please feel free to comment with additions.

My definition of social entrepreneurship does not require a nonprofit focus. My definition is: “The use of innovation to find new ways to help people in need.” Using this definition, people whose primary purpose is to get rich could still be engaging in social entrepreneurship.

So here are my ideas on how a for-profit business might be engaging in social entrepreneurship.

1. A for-profit business could create an innovative product that assists people in need, such as a “smart cane” for vision-impaired people. (I just heard a news report last night about a cane technology a business is developing with a GPS and other assistance.) Whenever a new item is created for use by people in need, then this can be viewed as social entrepreneurship.

2. A for-profit business could donate a portion of the profits from the sale of a good or service to an innovative project to help a specified category of people in need.

3. A for-profit business could donate actual products created by the business to a category of people in need. For example, a company that makes inexpensive water purification bottles might donate one out of every 10 of their sales to people in villages in a selected rural area of Africa where water quality is low.

4. A for-profit business could hire selected people from a recognized category of people in need. One example is to hire people who have a disability that does not interfere with the performance of the task sought by the business. Another example is to hire a person who has committed a felony and has difficulty finding employment because of the person’s criminal background.

5. A for-profit business could start a special project to help people in need. This special project could in some way be affiliated with the for-profit business.

6. A for-profit business could formally partner with an existing nonprofit organization that is delivering innovative direct services to a category of people in need.

7. A for-profit business could encourage or require that employees donate some of their time to community work that assists people in need.

OK – These are the ideas that cross my mind. I am surprised about how many items emerged. There seem to be many opportunities for for-profit businesses to engage in social entrepreneurship activities.

Thank you for reading our small blog.

Best regards. – Keith

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For-profit businesses and social entrepreneurship

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in social entrepreneurship | 0 comments

(Written by Keith Campbell)

Although my focus in promoting social entrepreneurship has been on nonprofit organizations, another important world of social entrepreneurship out there is the for-profit business world. My colleague on this blog site, Kevin Wilson, has written about this important issue on this site. I would like to share some additional thoughts.

There does not need to be a sharp divide between nonprofit organizations helping people in need and for-profit businesses. Indeed, there are many for-profit businesses whose products or services assist categories of people in need. For example, a for-profit company that makes audio devices to assist people who are moderately hearing-impaired is certainly helping a category of people in need.

What distinguishes a for-profit organization from a nonprofit? I believe it is the primary purpose of the organization. The primary purpose of a for-profit business is to make money. The primary purpose of nonprofit organizations is never to make money. Nonprofit organizations exist to try to benefit people and society. Especially the grassroots community nonprofits seek to provide direct services to help people in need.

However, there is a bit of a gray area, for nonprofit organizations need money to operate, and for-profit organizations often seek to assist people. The need for money is definitely an overlap between nonprofits and for-profits, and helping people is often an overlap between these two types of organizations.

Another interesting issue about how for-profit organizations may be associated with social entrepreneurship activity relates to my preferred definition of social entrepreneurship: “The use of innovation to find new ways to assist people in need.” Note that this definition says nothing about needing to have a nonprofit orientation. My definition of social entrepreneurship leaves a wide door to include for-profit organizations.

In my next couple posts, I would like to look more closely at how for-profit organizations may engage in social entrepreneurship. Although I will continue to focus on nonprofit work as I promote social entrepreneurship, there are exciting opportunities for for-profit organizations to help people in need.

Thank you for reading our small blog.

Best regards. – Keith

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A passion to make a difference

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in social entrepreneurship | 0 comments

(Written by Keith Campbell) 

I just received an email from a person in Thailand who is interested in applying to my university’s master’s degree program in social entrepreneurship. This person is a U.S. citizen who is currently living in Thailand, where there is much human trafficking. The issue this person seeks to address in her master’s program is human trafficking, and my interaction with this person has stimulated my thinking about our passions in life.

There are few issues more compelling than human trafficking, and I am struck by how well positioned my new friend is to make a difference in our world. What a wonderful opportunity she has to take a distance master’s program in social entrepreneurship, stay where she currently lives in Thailand, and then work within an existing NGO (or start a new NGO) to help reduce human trafficking in Thailand.

Passions – strong commitments – are a part of what makes life interesting and fun. Many people think about helping others about whom they care, but most people never take action. Multiple reasons exist for never taking action to help others, and many reasons are very understandable. But my hunch is that almost all of us have some time in our lives that allow the opportunity to take action. One problem is that most people don’t know what steps to take when that time arrives.

This blog site has attempted to provide instruction on step-by-step procedures for starting projects to help others in need. (If you are interested, please go to past posts that provide this information.)In addition, there are many courses in our nation that can help guide us. If the drive is within us, we can learn what steps to take to make a difference.

What categories of people in need do you most want to help? If you have an answer to that question, then please water and fertilize that seed, and allow it to grow. Keep your interest alive until the time is right in life. Then you can make your move.

We don’t need to be in Thailand trying to reduce human trafficking, although being there is a wonderful opportunity. The only place we need to be is right where we are. If there are people around us, there are people in need. Working within our communities is a noble action.

What drives you? If you have a passion to make a difference, then you can make a difference. The world is open to you. The world is waiting for you.

Thank you for reading our small blog.

Best regards. – Keith

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Finding our place in life

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015 in social entrepreneurship | 0 comments

(Written by Keith Campbell)

Although I have lived quite a few years (66), I don’t claim to understand much. However, I have had experiences that have been valuable to me, and tentative conclusions have emerged based on those experiences. I would like to share some ideas about finding “our place” in life.

Many, maybe most, of us are searching in life. Especially younger people are trying to find a path with which they feel comfortable and that brings them meaning, but I think it is not only younger people who are searching. We seek many things in life, some that are basically important, and others that seem important but are not.

That last statement sounds arrogant, even though I don’t mean it to be. I am suggesting that some things you are currently seeking might not be very important. Of course, I don’t know you, and that statement could be very wrong as applied to you. I am simply speculating. My perception is that at some time in life, all of us seek some things that seem important at the time but are actually not important.

Going down different paths and finding dead ends on some of those paths is an important part of life. Finding paths that are unfulfilling helps us find the right paths for us. Walking down what becomes a dead end path is a valuable part of life, for it gives us perspective that is helpful in identifying wholesome, meaningful paths in life.

In my life, I have walked down some dead ends, and I think I have better perspective because of those experiences. I want to think that all the paths I am now on are truly important, but they might not be. I want to think that everything I am now seeking and trying to accomplish is truly important, but I might later find this not to be true. That’s ok. All we can do is our best at the moment.

Where I want to end up in this note is to suggest that helping people in need is pure gold in life. I believe that helping others in need is at the core of wholesomeness and meaningfulness. No matter where we are as adults in life, helping others can bring much meaning to us. When we help others, we give. But we also receive something of great value and meaning.

Being a social entrepreneur and starting a project to help others in need is a special path in life. If right now is not a good time for you to start such a project, no problem. Maybe later.

As our spinning world and society encourage us to be popular, rich, powerful, have big houses and drive expensive cars, I believe there is another path that can bring more than all of that. Every path has value because we learn from all experiences, but all paths are not equal. As you continue walking along various paths through this wonderful life, I hope you will consider starting a project to help others in need.

Thank you for reading our small blog.

Best regards. – Keith

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