In today’s episode:
Michelle spent 20 years working in the nonprofit sector before starting her own firm, Walker Philanthropic Consulting. She has been instrumental in the founding and operation of The Rock Family Foundation, and her expertise and insights help to shape and guide our strategies and initiatives. Michelle wants to help you fight the apathy that is rampant in our world. She specializes in helping individuals participate in philanthropy in the ways that work best for your life. And we are both happiest when we are challenging your preconceived notions about philanthropy!!
In this episode we talk about how long it took us to feel “good” including when we could take care of ourselves physically, emotionally and financially. This question has been pinnacle in our conversation with funders, program officers and the lay community as we impress the importance of considering this personal inquiry when they consider the expectations we are putting on young people who are exiting state and county run systems.
We discuss how important it is to look at these populations needing assistance from an asset perspective instead from the traditional deficit lens where we are only considering basic needs, which are vital, and not realizing that they need community connections and mentorship. Connections to different ideas, careers, hobbies and education paths. We typically freely give items that we have used, hand-me-downs and castoffs, but what would it look like to freely give away new, beautiful items? If it is good enough for us, if we give ourselves the best we can, then why aren’t we doing this for others?
Action Steps: Do you have experience in the hospitality sector? Would you be willing to have a phone call with young women who have exited foster care in Pittsburgh to speak with them about your industry? Email us at email@example.com and we will help to set it up.
You can find Michelle Walker on social media on:
Laura Rock With a background in software and sales and marketing, Empower by Example host Laura Rock found that those skills did not translate easily to being a stay at home mom of two little kids. She tried network marketing, writing a blog and volunteering, but those endeavors did not fulfill her part time. In 2017 Laura founded The Rock Family Foundation to serve young women of color who are exiting foster care and other county run services. Going from for-profit sales to non-profit management was a huge switch, and Laura found ways to pull in the strategies and benchmarks from her past career into the private foundation. With an emphasis on collaboration and synergy The Rock Family Foundation attempts to build relationships between traditional funders and unconventional programming. And a central awareness campaign focusing on nonprofit leaders in urban PA became important to showcase those relationships, as did telling the stories of the young women transitioning to the next phases of their lives.
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