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EP 94: Kathleen Kelly Janus, Author, Social Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Spark

Episode description

With today’s social media world and our abundance of information that’s thrown our way, we can very easily get discouraged about the world around us. Sometimes we feel like there’s so much hurt and sadness in the world, and we get overwhelmed, we feel like the apocalypse is nigh. But the truth is, it’s just not true. Yes, there are bad things in the world, but there’s also so much good, and there’s so much room for good! There are so many people and businesses changing and impacting lives, and sometimes the space between a person’s success or failure when it comes to doing good is just a matter of support or education or access to the right resources. The fact is, we cannot change the world on our own. We were made to do it in community. My guest this week is Kathleen Kelly Janus, an award-winning social entrepreneur, author, and lecturer at Stanford University. As an expert on philanthropy, millennial engagement, and scaling early-stage organizations, her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Stanford Social Innovation Review, TechCrunch, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She is the co-founder of Spark, the largest network of millennial donors in the world. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, her book Social Startup Success features best practices for  early-stage, nonprofit organizations based on a 5 year research project interviewing hundreds of top-performing social entrepreneurs. Kathleen is one of those people that I instantly felt smarter just by talking with her. But in all seriousness, her passion is infectious and I loved my chat with Kathleen, and I know you will too! 

 RISE OF SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP More and more companies these days are developing social impact programs, and for good reason. According to Kathleen, 85% of millennials ask about a company’s social impact program before taking a job, which is changing the role of business in the social sphere. Kathleen explains why she believes that soon all entrepreneurship will be in pursuit of the greater good.

GETTING KIDS INVOLVED From an early age, both Kathleen and I were raised on the idea of helping others, which has driven us to instill the same values in our own kiddos. Children understand so much more than we give them credit for, and explaining the realities of the ways other people live is so important in kids’ growth. Kathleen and I talk about how philanthropy plays a role in our own kids’ lives. 

SHARING THE STORY At so many fundraising events, I see too much focus on raising money for a cause and not enough focus on the cause itself. Kathleen brings up the idea that in order to to build a movement, an organization must be able to tell a story. Organizations so often fail in this area, skipping the details or leaving out the passions and the personal connections are a part of the cause. The organizations who focus on the community and tell a good story are always the best organizations.

About Kathleen Kelly Janus, Co-founder of Spark and Author of  Social Startup Success: Kathleen Kelly Janus is an award-winning social entrepreneur, author and lecturer at Stanford University. As an expert on philanthropy, millennial engagement and scaling early stage organizations, her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Stanford Social Innovation Review, TechCrunch and the San Francisco Chronicle. She is the co-founder of Spark, the largest network of millennial donors in the world. Based in the heart of the Silicon Valley, her forthcoming book, Social Startup Success, features best practices for early stage nonprofit organizations based on a five-year research project interviewing hundreds of top-performing social entrepreneurs. About Social Startup Success: What Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus is calling an “important catalyst for training the next generation of social entrepreneurs on how to change the world,” Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up and Make a Difference, by Stanford lecturer and Spark Co-Founder Kathleen Kelly Janus, is a guidebook for how to achieve breakthrough impact in the nonprofit sector. For the past five years, Janus has traveled the country visiting the founders, leadership teams, and funders of dozens social entrepreneurs, both newcomers and veterans in the field, including the leaders of Teach for America, City Year, DonorsChoose and charity:water. The book features her findings, detailing best practices for testing ideas, measuring impact, funding experimentation, leading collectively and storytelling with purpose. Social Startup Success is a social entrepreneurship’s essential playbook; the first definitive guide to solving the problem of nonprofit scale. CONNECT WITH KATHLEEN:

Special thanks to CAUSEBOX for sponsoring this week’s Business with Purpose podcast. Use coupon code MOLLY for $15 off! Join my Purchase with Purpose Facebook group and let’s continue the conversation!

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