Posts tagged ‘christian’

August 22, 2018

Salesforce News – Growth is a Good Word for Small Nonprofits


Growth is a Good Word for Small Nonprofits

Grow your impact with better nonprofit technology

Some funders, constituents, and nonprofit staff think of growth as prioritizing “money over mission,” viewing it from a traditional corporate focus on just revenue growth, excessive spend, or increase in size. This definition can lead people to scrutinize nonprofit investment in marketing, talent, operations, technology, and other overhead areas that are actually necessary to support a healthy and sustainable model for change. This is also known as the “overhead myth.”

We all know nonprofits today face ever-changing needs from their constituents who are at the heart of their mission, which require agility to stay relevant. People are adopting modern technologies and spending their time in new digital spaces. Nonprofits are constantly responding to opportunities, threats, and changes, and yet they are limited in their ability to respond if they cannot grow and evolve in many different ways.
Growth might mean scaling your capacity to keep up with demand. Marketing your cause to create a social movement. Replicating your model to help another zip code. Securing that grant to cure a disease. There are a million ways to grow for good.
This is why for many nonprofit professionals, “growth” has taken on a more positive meaning, evolving past revenue into all parts of your mission. They focus on balanced growth so that strategic marketing efforts can be turned into efficient program participation, effective fundraising, and sustainable impact. All without bottlenecks, waste, or frivolous spending.
For this blog we asked a few small nonprofit professionals, “What does growth mean to you?” Here are their answers. To learn more, visit our new Growing Nonprofit webpage with content for small and developing nonprofits.

Growth in Scalable Technology (& Fundraising)

Terry Cole, Executive Director, Street Youth Ministry of Austin

“Small is wonderful. You can keep focused on goals, and keep staff well informed on that direction. But, being a smaller nonprofit is also challenging because you have high overhead and initial expense in technology, insurance, and other things. We started focused on fundraising and now have full visibility into where are income comes from, and where we should grow it next. With Salesforce’s donation of cloud-based technology, you can get start growing your capacity in one area, and move to the next when you are ready.”

Since 2008, Street Youth Ministry of Austin (SYM) has been helping homeless or street-dependent youth identify their needs and connect them to local communities and partners. Using the Nonprofit Success Pack they are able to launch fundraising campaigns to target any segment of their donors, then track the results with real-time analytics, all as a small organization and IT team of one.
“Growth is always painful as we grow from adhoc to procedural, small to scaled. You have to find the right people and figure out how to divide and redivide the job duties, and give them a consistent way of working. Because we invested in Salesforce, we have limited churn on tools and methods. We started with with donor management, then newsletters, then volunteers, then clients participation and impact, operations scheduling, then cases for non-client constituents. You have to start somewhere.”
With limited time, Terry still finds time to answer countless questions on the Power of Us Hub. Learn more about SYM or follow Terry’s blog Mightyforce.org.
Viewing growth as greedy or “against the grain” of nonprofit models will only hold us back from achieving our Mission’s promise. With a solid reason for where and why you should grow, and a balanced approach to sustainably increase your impact, growth is a good word. In today’s ever changing world if your organization doesn’t evolve, another more nimble organization will, or there will be missed opportunities for impact. Find your next project, plant a seed, use technology to grow effectively, and see where it takes you.

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August 14, 2018

Kickstarting Your Addiction Recovery Journey


by: Adam Cook

Overcoming substance abuse can be difficult. Often, fighting to overcome your addiction can seem like a constant fight. When you add in the responsibility of caring for your family and performing satisfactorily at your job, it can seem almost impossible. But, it is important to know that you are not alone and countless others have walked this path before you.

Many others struggling with substance abuse have come out on the other side sober and have gone on to live successful lives. There is not an untrodden forest in front of you, but a well-cleared path. While the trees might be dark sometimes, there is a way through. By working diligently to recover and considering some of the steps we offer here, you too can recover.

Seek Support

It is hard to make any sort of a journey without the proper support team – substance abuse is no different. According to Live Science, friends and family members are the greatest resources someone recovery from addiction can use. So, use them! They can help you with nearly every tip in this guide, help you find health care professionals and simply give you a comfortable place where you can be yourself and express your setbacks without judgment. Nearly every friend and family member you have wants to help you through this tough time, but they might feel awkward asking what they can do or might just not know that the CAN do something. Reaching out will allow them to help wherever you need them to. If you’re afraid they won’t understand your disease or might need some extra information, you can provide them with a well-researched article to read, such as this one by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Start New Habits

While substance abuse is a disease, it is also a habit. Whenever you’re stressed or encounter your triggers, it can simply become a habit to reach for a substance. In fact, using drugs out of habit is commonly considered the first step to addiction. There is a fine line between addiction and habit but getting clean often involves treating both possible aspects. Becoming clean, then, also involves breaking that habit.

Breaking a habit can be done in a number of ways, but the most strategy is to develop a new habit in its place. Building a habit is far easier than completely stopping a habit. So, next time you begin to get stressed and feel temptations, reach for a healthy snack, take a run, or grab a glass of water. And then do it again. And again. Until finally you have developed a new, healthy habit that helps you deal with your stress and triggers. Healthy habits such as diet and exercise can both replace your negative habits and increase your overall health.

Avoid Temptations

On top of developing a new habit, avoiding your temptations all together will reduce the risk that your willpower will break and that you will fall back into old habits. Many recovering addicts have triggers that make them feel the temptation to abuse a substance. According to Psychology Today, a trigger is something that reminds you of the addiction.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be unpleasant and can be something as simple as hearing a song on the radio. But it can lead to an unmistakable urge to relapse. It can be extremely useful to identify these triggers so that you can avoid them. There are around 14 major triggers that commonly cause someone to relapse or begin using drugs. This list is a great place to start when it comes to discovering your triggers.

The road to addiction recovery can seem dark, scary and full of things that go bump in the night. But, it is important to realize and accept that people have recovered before. You can, too. By working closely with a support system, establishing new habits and avoiding temptations, you can set your foot more firmly on the path of addiction recovery.

Photo Credit: Pexels

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August 14, 2018

Kickstarting Your Addiction Recovery Journey


by: Adam Cook

Overcoming substance abuse can be difficult. Often, fighting to overcome your addiction can seem like a constant fight. When you add in the responsibility of caring for your family and performing satisfactorily at your job, it can seem almost impossible. But, it is important to know that you are not alone and countless others have walked this path before you.

Many others struggling with substance abuse have come out on the other side sober and have gone on to live successful lives. There is not an untrodden forest in front of you, but a well-cleared path. While the trees might be dark sometimes, there is a way through. By working diligently to recover and considering some of the steps we offer here, you too can recover.

Seek Support

It is hard to make any sort of a journey without the proper support team – substance abuse is no different. According to Live Science, friends and family members are the greatest resources someone recovery from addiction can use. So, use them! They can help you with nearly every tip in this guide, help you find health care professionals and simply give you a comfortable place where you can be yourself and express your setbacks without judgment. Nearly every friend and family member you have wants to help you through this tough time, but they might feel awkward asking what they can do or might just not know that the CAN do something. Reaching out will allow them to help wherever you need them to. If you’re afraid they won’t understand your disease or might need some extra information, you can provide them with a well-researched article to read, such as this one by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Start New Habits

While substance abuse is a disease, it is also a habit. Whenever you’re stressed or encounter your triggers, it can simply become a habit to reach for a substance. In fact, using drugs out of habit is commonly considered the first step to addiction. There is a fine line between addiction and habit but getting clean often involves treating both possible aspects. Becoming clean, then, also involves breaking that habit.

Breaking a habit can be done in a number of ways, but the most strategy is to develop a new habit in its place. Building a habit is far easier than completely stopping a habit. So, next time you begin to get stressed and feel temptations, reach for a healthy snack, take a run, or grab a glass of water. And then do it again. And again. Until finally you have developed a new, healthy habit that helps you deal with your stress and triggers. Healthy habits such as diet and exercise can both replace your negative habits and increase your overall health.

Avoid Temptations

On top of developing a new habit, avoiding your temptations all together will reduce the risk that your willpower will break and that you will fall back into old habits. Many recovering addicts have triggers that make them feel the temptation to abuse a substance. According to Psychology Today, a trigger is something that reminds you of the addiction.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be unpleasant and can be something as simple as hearing a song on the radio. But it can lead to an unmistakable urge to relapse. It can be extremely useful to identify these triggers so that you can avoid them. There are around 14 major triggers that commonly cause someone to relapse or begin using drugs. This list is a great place to start when it comes to discovering your triggers.

The road to addiction recovery can seem dark, scary and full of things that go bump in the night. But, it is important to realize and accept that people have recovered before. You can, too. By working closely with a support system, establishing new habits and avoiding temptations, you can set your foot more firmly on the path of addiction recovery.

Photo Credit: Pexels

via Blogger https://ift.tt/2nzwYcN

August 14, 2018

Kickstarting Your Addiction Recovery Journey


by: Adam Cook

Overcoming substance abuse can be difficult. Often, fighting to overcome your addiction can seem like a constant fight. When you add in the responsibility of caring for your family and performing satisfactorily at your job, it can seem almost impossible. But, it is important to know that you are not alone and countless others have walked this path before you.

Many others struggling with substance abuse have come out on the other side sober and have gone on to live successful lives. There is not an untrodden forest in front of you, but a well-cleared path. While the trees might be dark sometimes, there is a way through. By working diligently to recover and considering some of the steps we offer here, you too can recover.

Seek Support

It is hard to make any sort of a journey without the proper support team – substance abuse is no different. According to Live Science, friends and family members are the greatest resources someone recovery from addiction can use. So, use them! They can help you with nearly every tip in this guide, help you find health care professionals and simply give you a comfortable place where you can be yourself and express your setbacks without judgment. Nearly every friend and family member you have wants to help you through this tough time, but they might feel awkward asking what they can do or might just not know that the CAN do something. Reaching out will allow them to help wherever you need them to. If you’re afraid they won’t understand your disease or might need some extra information, you can provide them with a well-researched article to read, such as this one by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Start New Habits

While substance abuse is a disease, it is also a habit. Whenever you’re stressed or encounter your triggers, it can simply become a habit to reach for a substance. In fact, using drugs out of habit is commonly considered the first step to addiction. There is a fine line between addiction and habit but getting clean often involves treating both possible aspects. Becoming clean, then, also involves breaking that habit.

Breaking a habit can be done in a number of ways, but the most strategy is to develop a new habit in its place. Building a habit is far easier than completely stopping a habit. So, next time you begin to get stressed and feel temptations, reach for a healthy snack, take a run, or grab a glass of water. And then do it again. And again. Until finally you have developed a new, healthy habit that helps you deal with your stress and triggers. Healthy habits such as diet and exercise can both replace your negative habits and increase your overall health.

Avoid Temptations

On top of developing a new habit, avoiding your temptations all together will reduce the risk that your willpower will break and that you will fall back into old habits. Many recovering addicts have triggers that make them feel the temptation to abuse a substance. According to Psychology Today, a trigger is something that reminds you of the addiction.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be unpleasant and can be something as simple as hearing a song on the radio. But it can lead to an unmistakable urge to relapse. It can be extremely useful to identify these triggers so that you can avoid them. There are around 14 major triggers that commonly cause someone to relapse or begin using drugs. This list is a great place to start when it comes to discovering your triggers.

The road to addiction recovery can seem dark, scary and full of things that go bump in the night. But, it is important to realize and accept that people have recovered before. You can, too. By working closely with a support system, establishing new habits and avoiding temptations, you can set your foot more firmly on the path of addiction recovery.

Photo Credit: Pexels

via Blogger https://ift.tt/2nzwYcN

August 14, 2018

Kickstarting Your Addiction Recovery Journey


by: Adam Cook

Overcoming substance abuse can be difficult. Often, fighting to overcome your addiction can seem like a constant fight. When you add in the responsibility of caring for your family and performing satisfactorily at your job, it can seem almost impossible. But, it is important to know that you are not alone and countless others have walked this path before you.

Many others struggling with substance abuse have come out on the other side sober and have gone on to live successful lives. There is not an untrodden forest in front of you, but a well-cleared path. While the trees might be dark sometimes, there is a way through. By working diligently to recover and considering some of the steps we offer here, you too can recover.

Seek Support

It is hard to make any sort of a journey without the proper support team – substance abuse is no different. According to Live Science, friends and family members are the greatest resources someone recovery from addiction can use. So, use them! They can help you with nearly every tip in this guide, help you find health care professionals and simply give you a comfortable place where you can be yourself and express your setbacks without judgment. Nearly every friend and family member you have wants to help you through this tough time, but they might feel awkward asking what they can do or might just not know that the CAN do something. Reaching out will allow them to help wherever you need them to. If you’re afraid they won’t understand your disease or might need some extra information, you can provide them with a well-researched article to read, such as this one by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Start New Habits

While substance abuse is a disease, it is also a habit. Whenever you’re stressed or encounter your triggers, it can simply become a habit to reach for a substance. In fact, using drugs out of habit is commonly considered the first step to addiction. There is a fine line between addiction and habit but getting clean often involves treating both possible aspects. Becoming clean, then, also involves breaking that habit.

Breaking a habit can be done in a number of ways, but the most strategy is to develop a new habit in its place. Building a habit is far easier than completely stopping a habit. So, next time you begin to get stressed and feel temptations, reach for a healthy snack, take a run, or grab a glass of water. And then do it again. And again. Until finally you have developed a new, healthy habit that helps you deal with your stress and triggers. Healthy habits such as diet and exercise can both replace your negative habits and increase your overall health.

Avoid Temptations

On top of developing a new habit, avoiding your temptations all together will reduce the risk that your willpower will break and that you will fall back into old habits. Many recovering addicts have triggers that make them feel the temptation to abuse a substance. According to Psychology Today, a trigger is something that reminds you of the addiction.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be unpleasant and can be something as simple as hearing a song on the radio. But it can lead to an unmistakable urge to relapse. It can be extremely useful to identify these triggers so that you can avoid them. There are around 14 major triggers that commonly cause someone to relapse or begin using drugs. This list is a great place to start when it comes to discovering your triggers.

The road to addiction recovery can seem dark, scary and full of things that go bump in the night. But, it is important to realize and accept that people have recovered before. You can, too. By working closely with a support system, establishing new habits and avoiding temptations, you can set your foot more firmly on the path of addiction recovery.

Photo Credit: Pexels

via Blogger https://ift.tt/2nzwYcN

June 14, 2018

Street Youth Ministry as featured by Deidox Austin Vlog May 2018


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April 13, 2018

What does a typical day look like? – April 12


We had lunch, art group, Bible study, Peer Support Group and Movie Night.
Served about 25 people.
Lots of good discussion during lunch.
Had someone visit who was a client about 8 years ago, now doing great!
Collages and continued discussion for art group.
Prayer time seemed to focus on several who are recently unincarcerated, their gratitude and desires for their life.
Peer Support Group centered around staying sober.
Movie Night featured endless grilled cheese sandwiches and a riveting movie.
We celebrated many with jobs, one accepted into college, 3 return visitors from years ago, 1 new  client, and more.
We had a 15 year old drop by $100 donation from himself and his friends.
We had a recovered client drop by food to share.
We had one person stop by for a tour after seeing our invitation on the sidewalk.
Great volunteers. Great staff. Great day.
But not unusual at all!

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March 30, 2018

“John 3:16 — true story.”




I was leaving the drop-in after movie night when a 40-ish black man stopped me on a street corner. “I want that!” he said, pointing to my shirt. “You should give it to me.”

The words on the shirt said simply, “John 3:16 — true story.” I cracked a joke and resumed my walk. “No!” he insisted. “I really do want to talk to you.” He explained that he knew me and what I do, knew that I change lives and wanted that.

He then dropped a familiar name, a former client who had gotten sober, come to Jesus and turned his life around. “I want what he has,” he said. Of course, I told him that it was Jesus who had changed the client’s life and is responsible for anything that I ever accomplish.

He asked me to mentor him. As a first step, I asked him to find a church to worship in regularly and a Bible study to attend regularly. I cautioned him not to fall into the “fixer trap” – to attend not as a homeless man but as just another sinner seeking to find out how better to follow Jesus.

We prayed together on that street corner, asking Jesus to encourage him and to help his wife, who he told me is entangled deeply in denial and addiction.

I’ll be praying for this man and I am keeping in my heart the fact that people are always watching and we may never know who or when the spirit effects people through our actions.

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March 30, 2018

Happy Easter


A special Easter message from Street Youth Ministry!
.
Thank you
for making
this possible!
We were gathered for prayer time in what had been a slow day when Will walked in, bypassing the couches and heading straight to the kitchen. He didn’t look up or say hello.

We prayed on, inviting clients to respond to questions like “God is what? I am grateful for what? I feel closer to God when?” It’s part of how we help our spiritual — but not terribly religious — young adults begin to reconnect with God. The answers aren’t always “nice,” but they come from the heart — maybe the gut. We repeat and honor each and every one without judgment.

After the young man filled his plate, he sat a lunch table, still apart from our prayer group, still avoiding eye contact. I was leading the prayer concert, so I invited Will to answer one of our questions. He didn’t respond, but he did look up. I could see something different in his eyes — perhaps he was high, perhaps he was in trouble. Without a response, I couldn’t tell. I continued with those assembled, asking, “What do you want God to do next in your life?” Suddenly, Will blurted: “I want him to leave me alone!” Then he corrected himself: “No, I don’t really want that…”

We’ve known Will for quite a while. He’s one of those “difficult youth.” Honestly, the sight of him coming in the door in early 2016 meant my staff had to re-deploy resources to handle him. We had to ask him to leave many times because he just couldn’t behave safely. Lately, he’s been doing great — reconciled with his father, held a job for a while, begun to realize he can’t keep doing what he’s been doing.

Will began to tell his story: “I was at Church Under the Bridge Sunday. I wanted to eat. They started preaching and singing, and I just started crying. I don’t know why. I couldn’t stop. I tried, but I couldn’t. Some people noticed and they came over. They wanted to pray with me. I told them no. But I wanted it, I just didn’t want to put my stuff out there in front of everyone. So I’m here…”

Having broken the ice, Will began to participate and share answers. He walked over and joined the group. The clients shared what they want God to do in their lives, talked about friends and family, and lifted up our neighborhood and the city of Austin in prayer.

When we finished, I asked Will if this had been good. He said “Yes.” I asked if he understood what happened to him the previous Sunday. He responded without hesitation: “It was the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is moving within me. I don’t know exactly what to do, but I know that’s what it is. Something is changing.”

That’s where we left it. Will has a difficult struggle ahead. But we continue to organize our ministry life so we can be there for him, on his best days or his worst. It’s a pattern we see all the time. It takes years, but these awesome people recover their identities in God, in Christ, and in the world. It’s a privilege to behold.

Thank you for making it possible!

Terry Cole

‘I don’t make
 the bad choices
 I used to!’
John John was a very difficult client in 2015 — always getting into fights, frequently high and belligerent. We had to exclude him from service several times. He was banned or excluded from service for longer periods of time at other places.

John John left home right after high school and got involved with organized trouble immediately. Now, however, he’s sober, working and housed. “I have almost a whole paycheck saved,” he said recently. “That’s more than I’ve ever saved in my life. And now when tough things happen, I don’t make the bad choices I used to. I’m growing up and have learned to cope better. Thank you so much for sticking with me!”

We now are talking about John John’s future and what path to learning and growth he wants to take. We are proud of John John!

A bonanza of ‘swag’!
 Volunteers from the local sales staff of Salesforce.com donated “swag” left over from trade shows and events. They shipped it from California, assembled it into gift sets and delivered them to three organizations, including hundreds of backpacks and blankets to SYM!
Request manna bag instructions

via Blogger https://ift.tt/2J9yBHS

March 30, 2018

Happy Easter


A special Easter message from Street Youth Ministry!
.
Thank you
for making
this possible!
We were gathered for prayer time in what had been a slow day when Will walked in, bypassing the couches and heading straight to the kitchen. He didn’t look up or say hello.

We prayed on, inviting clients to respond to questions like “God is what? I am grateful for what? I feel closer to God when?” It’s part of how we help our spiritual — but not terribly religious — young adults begin to reconnect with God. The answers aren’t always “nice,” but they come from the heart — maybe the gut. We repeat and honor each and every one without judgment.

After the young man filled his plate, he sat a lunch table, still apart from our prayer group, still avoiding eye contact. I was leading the prayer concert, so I invited Will to answer one of our questions. He didn’t respond, but he did look up. I could see something different in his eyes — perhaps he was high, perhaps he was in trouble. Without a response, I couldn’t tell. I continued with those assembled, asking, “What do you want God to do next in your life?” Suddenly, Will blurted: “I want him to leave me alone!” Then he corrected himself: “No, I don’t really want that…”

We’ve known Will for quite a while. He’s one of those “difficult youth.” Honestly, the sight of him coming in the door in early 2016 meant my staff had to re-deploy resources to handle him. We had to ask him to leave many times because he just couldn’t behave safely. Lately, he’s been doing great — reconciled with his father, held a job for a while, begun to realize he can’t keep doing what he’s been doing.

Will began to tell his story: “I was at Church Under the Bridge Sunday. I wanted to eat. They started preaching and singing, and I just started crying. I don’t know why. I couldn’t stop. I tried, but I couldn’t. Some people noticed and they came over. They wanted to pray with me. I told them no. But I wanted it, I just didn’t want to put my stuff out there in front of everyone. So I’m here…”

Having broken the ice, Will began to participate and share answers. He walked over and joined the group. The clients shared what they want God to do in their lives, talked about friends and family, and lifted up our neighborhood and the city of Austin in prayer.

When we finished, I asked Will if this had been good. He said “Yes.” I asked if he understood what happened to him the previous Sunday. He responded without hesitation: “It was the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is moving within me. I don’t know exactly what to do, but I know that’s what it is. Something is changing.”

That’s where we left it. Will has a difficult struggle ahead. But we continue to organize our ministry life so we can be there for him, on his best days or his worst. It’s a pattern we see all the time. It takes years, but these awesome people recover their identities in God, in Christ, and in the world. It’s a privilege to behold.

Thank you for making it possible!

Terry Cole

‘I don’t make
 the bad choices
 I used to!’
John John was a very difficult client in 2015 — always getting into fights, frequently high and belligerent. We had to exclude him from service several times. He was banned or excluded from service for longer periods of time at other places.

John John left home right after high school and got involved with organized trouble immediately. Now, however, he’s sober, working and housed. “I have almost a whole paycheck saved,” he said recently. “That’s more than I’ve ever saved in my life. And now when tough things happen, I don’t make the bad choices I used to. I’m growing up and have learned to cope better. Thank you so much for sticking with me!”

We now are talking about John John’s future and what path to learning and growth he wants to take. We are proud of John John!

A bonanza of ‘swag’!
 Volunteers from the local sales staff of Salesforce.com donated “swag” left over from trade shows and events. They shipped it from California, assembled it into gift sets and delivered them to three organizations, including hundreds of backpacks and blankets to SYM!
Request manna bag instructions

via Blogger https://ift.tt/2J9yBHS