We are honored to announce that Nourish International has been selected as the charity partner for the Blackstock Music Festival. The Blackstock Music Festival is being held on May 30th and May 31st in Blackstock, South Carolina featuring bands such as Papadosio, Dangermuffin, the Stoplight Observations, and Simplified. There will be food trucks, artisan trading, a disc golf course and much more.
Over 5,000 attendees will gather to support local music from the Carolinas and Nourish will receive a portion of the proceeds. So if you enjoy a good jam or want to experience some amazing food and help Nourish out in the process, purchase your ticket today! Tickets can be purchased here. They are selling out quickly, so get your tickets as soon as possible!
This is a guest post by Nourish Alumnus, John-Paul Smith
C.S. Lewis notes in Mere Christianity, ¨When the most important things in our life happen we quite often do not know, at the moment, what is going on. It is often when one looks back that he realizes what has happened.¨
I didn’t know anything about social entrepreneurship before I attended the Nourish Summer Institute. I was a history major committed to pursuing public service in an old-fashioned way — by working with federally elected officials. I stumbled upon a post that a friend of a friend made in July on my college website inviting anyone to join her in Chapel Hill for the Institute in August. I responded with an interest in spending time in the southern part of heaven and a curiosity to learn more about an unfamiliar form of making a difference.
That doesn’t really matter to you, though. What matters to you is how Nourish might affect your life.
To start, imagine this:
Imagine being a twentysomething. You had a transformative experience as a college student. You found a group of friends you like, discovered a subject you love, maybe studied abroad, interned with a company, volunteered with a campaign, or conducted research with a favorite professor. Maybe you did all of them. Then you graduated. The first few months were amazing, then, slowly but surely, your world seemed to turn upside down. Your friends dispersed, your interest groups dissolved, and your life seemed to drift into foreign waters without much direction, which leads you to today.
Today you maintain your hunger to learn and lead. Your graduation speaker delivered a commencement speech no one should ever forget and you find yourself revisiting its transcript, maybe re-watching his or her speech online. The speaker asked you to be bold, to think different, to fight the good fight, to never give up, to put a dent in the world. There’s nothing else you’d rather do while supporting yourself and you have little doubt that you can. You’re just not sure how — and the commencement speaker didn’t exactly lay out a blueprint.
Originally, you thought the world was more clocklike than it is. You thought you could take it apart over a year or two and figure it out. You’re beginning to realize the world operates more like a cloud: it’s constantly moving, constantly evolving, understandable in one moment, elusive in another, many things to many people, and hardly paying attention to a thing you do. It makes you feel isolated. Like you’re lost in a haze and, perhaps, overlooked. Anxiety ensues. Your parents drive you crazy asking how the job search is going – and you’re starting to drive them crazy, especially if their house is once again your home. (Given that more than one-third of 25-29 year olds in the United States have moved back in with their parents, this is not unlikely.)
If you’re lucky and have a sense of direction, you may feel paralyzed by choice. You’re pulled between deciding to stay near home, make a difference locally, and save some money or to venture off, spread your wings, and explore a new place with the little money you have. You wonder if you should start a company, go to graduate school, relocate to the city nearby, to the coast across the country, to a different continent entirely, or maybe settle in with a company like Google or Goldman Sachs. All seem like good choices. But you wonder if any are the best choice. After all, this is your time to take a risk, to try something new.
Each option seems like it determines the rest of your life. Recognizing how volatile the world can be, you’re unsure which path to take or that any are as certain as they suggest. The more ambitious you are, the harder it is to commit to any of the current options. The less decisive you are, the more all of your dreams seem to slip away, slowly and painfully. Whatever the case, you wonder if school actually prepared you to succeed in the real world and you wonder if the world as it is actually wants you to live a significant life.
This story may not sound familiar to you as you finish school but it will. There are 50 million twentysomethings in the United States and the best bet is that many of them feel this way right now. What if they didn’t have to?
The famous screenwriter Robert McKee tells us that all great stories are told in conflict. They’re about characters who want something and overcome conflict to get it. This is true — especially for individuals who want to change the world. Real growth is not easy and no one avoids the discomfort of uncertainty. So there is that.
But a second and equally important point is that we emerge out of relationships. We become who we are largely in relationship to the people around us, the people they know, and the people they know. David Brooks echoes this in The Social Animal, Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler in Connected, Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point, Daniel Goleman in Social Intelligence, Meg Jay in The Defining Decade, Tina Rosenberg in Join the Club, Robert Putnam in Bowling Alone and Charles Murray in Coming Apart. They all tell us pretty much the same thing: relationships matter. The Great Man Theory of history stands on weak ground. The reality is every story has a backstory, and every backstory is usually filled with a room full of people.
Nourish is a room full of people that changes your life and professional trajectory — if you allow it to.
I went into the Institute hardly knowing a person. I realize now that the choice to show up was one of the more important decisions I’ve ever made. I discovered a boss and mentor, future colleagues and friends, friend groups and roommates who are all nodes in the Nourish network and active participants in serving the public good wherever they are, however they do it.
It’s rare to be part of a peer group that gives itself permission to be bold and act different. That’s what you will find with Nourish — a social safety net and social launch pad with global reach and homespun warmth. I invite you to participate in the Nourish community and encourage you to stay actively engaged as you seek to fight a good fight and overcome conflict to put a dent in the world. We’re here for you. We will struggle with you. We won’t know where it leads but we’ll do our best and keep getting better. Wherever we end up, I hope it stuns us all.
– John-Paul Smith
ShopNourish is the newest business venture created under Nourish International’s mission of engaging students and empowering communities to make a lasting impact on extreme poverty. Nourish International is constantly seeking innovative ways to combine international development, social enterprise, and student leadership development in order to fight global poverty. This new e-commerce site, which sells a variety of unique products made in countries all over the world, does just that.
ShopNourish directly supports efforts to eradicate poverty through the sale of items produced abroad. ShopNourish leverages our existing global partnerships to support communities in a whole new way. This innovative venture directly supports the local businesses and the local economies in our partner communities. The goal is that ShopNourish will become a growing online social business that can fund Nourish International programs and support the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit.
The featured ‘Empower Bracelet’ truly captures the essence of the ShopNourish venture. Women in Uganda make these beautiful, blue bracelets from recycled paper. The bracelets are both meaningful and beautiful. The sale of these bracelets empower Nourish students, our community partners, and the Ugandan women of BeadforLife who handmade each bracelet.
ShopNourish will continue to add new products and parter with additional international communities. This e-commerce venture is an exciting new business that will continue to strengthen already existing partnerships, grow local economies abroad, and bring awareness to the issue of global poverty.
Nourish hope. ShopNourish.
This is a guest post by Erik Daubert, Chair, Growth in Giving Initiative, Affiliated Scholar, Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, The Urban Institute
A 2001 survey reported by the BBB Giving Alliance found that: “…Over half of adult Americans felt that nonprofit organizations should have overhead rates of 20 percent or less; nearly four in five felt that overhead should be held at less than 30 percent. In fact, those surveyed ranked overhead ratio and financial transparency to be more important attributes in determining their willingness to give to an organization than the demonstrated success of the organization’s programs.”
Which would you rather be as an organization – efficient or effective?
“Effectiveness” is how good an organization is at accomplishing its goals, objectives and mission while “efficiency” is how money is spent based on costs expended versus results obtained. The difference between these two issues has been a point of contention within the sector over the last several years and the conversation is far from over.
So, back to the question:
Which would you rather be as an organization – efficient or effective?
In actuality, most organizations would like to be both…but if you could only pick one, wouldn’t you choose to be effective?! This is where the challenge over the last several years has come. The pendulum for many years swung so far to the EFFICIENCY side of the equation that charities haveunder reported their overhead and fundraising costs and under invested in their organizations – especially due to the scrutiny of sector watchdog groups like Charity Navigator, GuideStar and others. This issue pushed the envelope of fundraising efficiency so far that the groups themselves spoke out against their original stance. Check out this letter! http://overheadmyth.com/wp-
On the other side of the issue is the EFFECTIVENESS side. Nonprofit expense advocates like Dan Pallotta believe that it is critical for nonprofits to spend more to get their messages out and their missions accomplished. http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_
The effectiveness vs. efficiency dialogue is healthy as we continue to balance what is the “right” amount to spend on overhead and administration. Too much overhead is undoubtedly wasteful and there are nonprofit organizations who embarrass themselves and the sector by spending inordinate amounts of money on overhead to the point of being a disservice to those they are supposedly “trying to help”. For example, I got a call this week from a paid telemarketer who, after questioning, admitted that 92% of my gift would go to overhead if I gave…This is truly disgusting.
By understanding how effective an organization is in utilizing their resources, we can better understand the dynamics of overhead costs in a given charity. In the words of one emergency room physician to a potential donor, “Oh, you don’t want to support overhead costs here at the hospital and want all your money to go only to support direct services? Then I will just have to do surgery without electricity or lights or custodial services…I don’t think the surgery will go too well.”
What are your thoughts? How should the sector and/or the government or other entities deal with these issues?
– Erik Daubert
One of Nourish International’s core activities is leadership development. Our leadership programs provide meaningful opportunities for students to gain new skills and experiences in innovative ways and furthermore enables them to use those skills in their future success. The Nourish International runs many different programs that foster leadership development and support Chapters’ success with Ventures, Projects, and general Chapter activities. Through a variety of programs, Nourish students receive opportunities to develop their leadership skills, a chance to network with other leaders, and a platform to take action on issues they are passionate about. Our leadership programs include our Phone Mentorship program, that provides one-on-one coaching and advising; The Summer Institute, our five day leadership conference in Chapel Hill, NC; The Virtual Institute, virtual conference in which Chapters can discuss goals, their impact, and learn from one another’s successes and failures; and Chapter Visits, where Chapters apply to bring the National Office staff to their campus to run workshops, speak at events, and meet with leaders in their campus community.
In the evaluations from our leadership programs during the 12-13 year, we found marked improvement in leadership skills. We saw the largest skill development in the following areas: ability to create a work plan and timeline for tasks, ability to manage a team and delegate duties, and an understanding of Nourish’s values and how to promote these values at their Ventures. Furthermore, 97% of Chapter Leaders said that their “experience with Nourish has better prepared them for their future career.”
Promoting student leadership development not only furthers Nourish International’s impact today, through effective Ventures and Projects, but also furthers Nourish’s long term impact, as students gain valuable and practical skills and experiences that help them tackle the challenges we face as a society. When you Invest in our Future you are bridging the global leadership gap: Your gift provides leadership training, business coaching, and transformative international experiences so that our students become seasoned change-makers and global leaders. Additionally, you are training the next generation of change makers: Your gift enables us to expand to 15 new campuses and add over 200 students to our program.
Consider making a gift today to help us raise $125,000 by June 30, 2014 to continue our remarkable growth path and leverage more impact on students and communities.
Announcing the 2014 Spring Campaign: Help us raise $125,000 by June 30th to grow the Nourish Network
Invest in our Future
Announcing our 2014 Expansion Campaign
Help us raise $125,000 by June 30, 2014 to continue our remarkable growth path and leverage more impact on students and communities.
The Impact of Your Support
Training the next generation of change makers: Your gift enables us to expand to 15 new campuses and add over 200 students to our program.
Bridging the global leadership gap: Your gift provides leadership training, business coaching, and transformative international experiences so that our students become seasoned change-makers and global leaders.
Using business as a tool for change: Your gift supplies our student entrepreneurs with seed capital to turn $1 into $5 through their social Ventures.
Making a lasting impact on communities in poverty: Your gift supports hundreds of our students in implementing 27 poverty reduction projects in 11 countries during summer 2014.
Goal by June 30, 2014:
Raised to Date:
Nourish International Virtual Institute convenes over 180 student social entrepreneurs from 24 college campuses to enact social change.
On January 25, 2014 from 12 pm- 6 pm, Nourish hosted its second annual virtual conference with 24 college Chapters of the Nourish International Network entirely online.
The Virtual Institute is an opportunity for students across the Nourish network to come together, connect with each other, learn from each other and participate in valuable workshops to further our impact on extreme poverty and on student leaders. The Virtual Institute is a unique conference program in the field of student led social entrepreneurship and international development. This aspect of Nourish International’s virtual mentorship builds a stronger movement
The 2014 Virtual Institute was a huge success. In a survey sent out to participants, 95% of respondents said that after the Virtual Institute they felt connected to and supported by others seeking to change the world. Additionally, 86% of respondents said the Virtual Institute helped to prepare them to run sustainable and responsible development projects, and 77% of respondents said the Institute helped prepare them to run ethical and profitable ventures. Based on our research, there are no other student organizations in our field that are running a Virtual Institute. This is an innovative idea that is helping to further student leaders across the country.
Nourish is thrilled to be on the front line of innovations in virtual organizing and virtual training. To support Nourish’s high impact virtual programs, like the Virtual Institute, you can donate here.
Why Entrepreneurial Education and Virtual Training for Student Entrepreneurs
- Entrepreneurial education is crucial to preparing the leaders of tomorrow.
- Gallup studies show seven out of 10 high school students want to start their own companies.
- According to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, in 1970 only 16 business schools in the U.S. offered entrepreneurship classes. Driven by the desires of today’s young talent, today more than 2,000 colleges and universities offer entrepreneurship courses.
- There is a need for entrepreneurial education. Universities are responding by adding more classes, but classes only go so far.
- Nourish gives students the opportunity to take their classroom lessons out in the real world and get the hands-on experience.
- As of February 2013, 43 states had cut their budgets for higher education.
- As universities continue to cut their funding, programs like Nourish become more crucial so that our students learn the skills they need.
 McCarty, Christine “First Online Community to Connect Start-ups and Interns Launches Pilot Program in California” May 14, 2010. YouTern. http://www.youtern.com/cm/press_release
 Johnson, Nicolas, Phil Oliff and Erica Williams “An Update on State Budget Cuts” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. February 9, 2011. <http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1214>
Guest Post by Ohio State Nourish Alumnus Felipe Moreno
During the summer of 2010, I traveled to Peru with Nourish International in partnership with MOCHE. For 5 weeks, five other Ohio State students and I moved rocks, shoveled hard soil, and shaped rebar in order to build a water reservoir in Cerro Blanco, Peru. It was an immense undertaking to build the reservoir on the rocky hills of Cerro Blanco. I am proud to say that the reservoir now provides potable water to the people of Cerro Blanco. After my project with Nourish International, I left with a desire to work in international development in the future. In September of 2012, I began my service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, an obscure South American country rarely visited by international tourists.
There most striking similarity that I have noticed between my experiences with Nourish International and Peace Corps Paraguay is an effort to include local residents in the development project. In Peru, our partner organization, MOCHE, Inc., included the residents of Cerro Blanco in every step of the project. The effort to get clean water in Cerro Blanco sprouted from a water committee that was started by a few residents in the 1990s. The idea existed but the community lacked resources and ways to acquire those resources. That is where MOCHE, Inc. and Nourish International found their role in Cerro Blanco.
My work with the Peace Corps is a little different but it includes grassroots efforts to solve environment problems in Tobati. I do environmental education in a few schools and have started a few gardens in those schools. In my work with schools, I try to not push my ideas on them but instead work with the teachers and administrators to decide where I’m most useful. With my youth group, I also let them decide what environmental problems we wanted to address. They chose trash so we did a few trash clean-ups. It isn’t the most glamorous project idea but it is what they want and what the community needs.
The inclusion of the local community is something that made my Nourish project successful and I try to practice the same thing here in Paraguay. Now in my final year of service, I look forward to working more closely with the local schools and youth to address their needs and build a more environment-friendly community.
– Felipe Moreno
Guest Post by UCLA Nourish Alumnus Amna Qamar
Life After Nourish? There is such a thing, y’all.
I was a member of Nourish at UCLA from 2008 to 2012 beginning as a general body member and graduating as Chapter Director. After graduation, I moved to Washington D.C. with the hopes of finding a job at a small non-profit implementing international development programs. In my mind, the perfect job would be to facilitate and implement the equivalent of Nourish’s summer projects. Instead I found myself working at the U.S. Office of Foreign Assistance Resources at the Department of State. The office is a joint State Department and USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) organization which manages funds used to finance both agencies’ foreign assistance programs. We help decide how slivers of the foreign assistance budget are spent and USAID missions and State Department bureau field offices implement the programs on the ground.
While the work I do on a daily basis does not resemble the work Nourish Chapters do, both organizations operate on the premise that well-designed aid is good. We see aid as a tool and a long-term investment. We recognize that if other countries and communities succeed, the United States succeeds. And we both believe that local organizations can be instrumental to deliver aid effectively. What stuck with me from Nourish may not be the same for every other member and I think that is the inherently remarkable thing about the organization–that it appeals to diverse interests and can lead its members to divergent paths. Do you want to pursue Nourish Project like work full time? Do you want to continue working in partnership with communities and implementing sustainable development programs? You can.
– Amna Qamar
Nourish International is excited to welcome Ellen Moore to the team for the 14-15 school year as a Program Associate and member of the Goldstein Fellowship.
Ellen will graduate from Syracuse University in May with a B.A. in International Relations and Policy Studies. Her passion for international development took shape as a result of her travels throughout college. She spent a summer volunteering at a nonprofit in Israel, working on fundraising for a women’s economic development program, and studied in South Africa for a semester, where she truly became interested in fostering collaborations with community partners abroad. Ellen was lucky to find Nourish during her junior year and is honored to have spent her senior year as the founding Chapter Leader at SU. In her spare time, Ellen enjoys cooking and spending time with friends and family. She is ecstatic about joining the Nourish team and looks forward to helping the movement grow.