Showing posts from June, 2013

Catherine Rohr's Excellent Argument for Hiring Ex-Offenders

I was excited to see Catherine Rohr's essay "Why You Should Hire Ex-Cons" in Inc today. She makes a wonderful case that I hope many employers will read. I've long hoped the case for ex-offender employment would start getting a wider audience. As I've written before, employers need not fear hiring ex-offenders. They provide a excellent source of dedicated workers desiring to move beyond the mistakes of their past. And while you are at it, check out the great work Rohr's organization Defy Ventures is  doing in NYC. Many business owners have overlooked a great source of untapped talent: former inmates. Many former drug dealers and gang leaders have skills and attributes you value most in employees, including charisma, resourcefulness, resilience, a willingness to take calculated risks, and strong management skills.  " Why You Should Hire Ex-Cons ," Catherine Rohr in Inc , June 25, 2012 Read rest of the story here .  

A Fundraising 411 Courtesy of Chris Horst

When someone new to fundraising asks me for advice, I often introduce them to Chris Horst of Hope International, who I consider one of the best at the craft of non-profit development. I was excited to see that he summarized his "must read resources on fundraising" in a recent post on his Smorgasblurb blog :  A few weeks ago, I sat down with a friend-of-a-friend who just started her first fundraising job. Because I’ve now been in a fundraising role for over five years, I have meetings and calls with new fundraisers often. Sometimes they’re new fundraisers joining the  HOPE International  team. Other times they are joining other organizations. Every time, it surprises me. Because I never thought I would last in a fundraising role. Even more surprising, I never thought I would  truly  enjoy the work. But I’ve lasted and I’ve grown in my enjoyment with each passing year. Check out his recommendations here .

If You Are Starting a New Venture, You Need to Practice This

I am always impressed by how successful entrepreneurs share the ability to calmly solve big problems. They understand that you don't have to have it all figured out ahead of time but you do have to have confidence in your ability to come up with solutions. That is something our educational system needs to do a better job of developing. We learn at a very young age that mastery of information and detailed preparation is the best route to career success. But this creates a culture that is afraid to take risks unless one has it all figured out in advance. Our society would create a lot more quality jobs if we trained individuals better to use information to confidently solve problems…not to hide from them. If you want to start a new venture, develop your confidence muscles. Learn to trust that every problem creates new opportunities and that you have what it takes to find a solution.

Thomas Merton on Work

The requirements of a work to be done can be understood as the will of God. If I am supposed to hoe a garden or make a table, then I will be obeying God if I am true to the task I am performing. To do the work carefully and well, with love and respect for the nature of my task and with due attention to its purpose, is to unite myself to God's will in my work. In this way I become his instrument.  Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation , Location 357-65

Belay Opens Purple Door Coffee..and Other Highlights from the First-Half of the Year

It's been a busy first-half of the year as Belay Enterprises strives to create self-sufficient faithventure businesses that provide jobs for individuals rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness and prison: We're delighted by the successful launch over the last two months of our Purple Door Coffee project to employ formerly homeless young adults. The store opened to tremendous support from the city as well as accolades from the Denver coffee community. But most of all, we are excited by the difference the project is making in the lives of young adults transitioning from homelessness. New Beginnings Custom Woodworks , our custom cabinet employment program continues to provide quality cabinet-making training for individuals rebuilding lives. We are so thankful for the growing support from customers whose cabinet orders are allowing us to continue expanding jobs and training opportunities. Bud's Warehouse has enjoyed a fantastic six months of sales, the best in