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Mission: Promote purposeful passionate people to help them reach professional and personal potential while enjoying life to the fullest. DISCLAIMER: This is a PERSONAL blog. Views expressed are my own. Names listed have given permission.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A tip right from LinkedIn and the Endorsements conundrum

How often do you get to attend a talk by an actual employee of LinkedIn? I was lucky enough to do so this week and he left me with a profound thought, a very practical tip and momentum for a concern I’ve had for weeks.

PerryMonacoHis name is Perry Monaco and although he had a long career in recruiting, he wasn’t the pinstriped-suit business type I expected from LinkedIn. His twitter handle is @ElvisRun as he loves Elvis and runs marathons. Perry’s speaking session started quirky and unTED-like. It made me uncomfortable. Then I realized that he was telling a story, his story, and what he was here to do for us. His connection with the group came slower than traditional talks, but it was a stronger connection because he took the time to tell us who he was, storyprofessionally but with personality. It was brilliant. His most powerful tip that he left me with, goes beyond what I often call LinkedIN, a digital handshake. Perry tells us it should tell “your career story”. Where you’ve been, what you do now, and where you are going. Moving beyond resume, to  relationship – after all isn’t that why people look you up on LinkedIn?

Working for LinkedIn gives Perry insight into the search algorithm that no one else, even I a LinkedIn evangelist/obsessionist can ever hope to know. His practical tip? Get your designations like your degree or DogBizcertification ( CFRE for fundraisers ) out and off your title line. It actually pushes you down in the search algorithm. I asked at the session where it could go instead, education and your summary section was the answer. That’s a HUGE tip as it has classic real-estate on business cards and I’ve counselled people before to put it there, heck you earned the designation why not celebrate it! Always something to learn.

I leave you with a thought and question. Perry shared that he’s never had as many questions as he’s had around LinkedIn’s newest feature, Endorsements. Either have I. Of course it’s because they are a “push” and the have LinkedIn sending you emails when you get one. It’s confused and concerned many users. At first, I was concerned as it felt much like Facebook “Likes” and everyone knows how much I dislike Facebook. Then ego set in, at the time of this post I have over 525 endorsements - I am humbled and grateful for every single one of them. But as my buddy Al says, vanity is the devil’s favourite sin. In a great conversation with a peer of mine this week he told me that he too is flattered but several people endorsing him aren’t qualified to do so. I have more endorseendorsements than every one of my business mentors combined, am I more skilled than them? That’s not just laughable but concerning it might look that way to the untrained eye. Criticizing LinkedIn brings me pain, it’s brought me personal success, powerful business relationships but this is a worry that has to be voiced. Here is the BEST read on my personal concerns around this feature, it’s a must read for any LinkedIn power-user. And in the other corner a thought on why they rock.

In 2013, social business is how work will work, not just for small business but all business. This week I had a solid business referral come through twitter. And so I’ll continue to explore it, I hope you’ll join me. I leave you with a great video to remind any sceptic why business professionals need better digital social-skills – enjoy.




Friday, November 9, 2012

Remembering to Remember : November 11


As Canadian treasure Rick Mercer says in the great video below he felt like a “holier than thou tool” when he reminded someone about Remembrance Day. Not my intention to guilt or preach with this post.

It’s something that means a lot to me, as I’ve been on the Soldiers’ Tower Committee at UofT for the better part of a decade. I’m lucky to be one of the only non-military, non-Veteran, non-older members. Why? Me personally, I’m the child of immigrants to Canada. It is a home that has given my family prosperity, peace and joy. When I was at UofT and wandered into Canada’s 2nd largest war memorial and saw the pictures of students like me who went to war to protect the country I enjoy – there was an instant connection. This wonderful group of peers took me in, allowed me to contribute and has taught me so much about the real story of sacrifice and the history of world war.

And so each year now, I take the day off to join my fellow team mates as we coordinate the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the University of Toronto. To reflect and remember in my own personal way.

Many ceremonies will happen today, some will happen on Sunday. Wpoppyherever you are like Rick below, I just encourage you to join me to remember to Remember.

Many thanks to the new Canadian Veterans in my network, the soldiers and reservists who protect us today, tomorrow and beyond.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

AFP Congress 18 Nov Sunday Dinner Networking


Note: This is an unofficial, non-AFP event privately hosted by me.

I had a professional and LIFE changing experience at my first AFP Congress ( my story link here )

Mid-career I was kept away from AFP as a member and participant. Charity fundraising peers you know the excuses: “we don’t have budget”, “only senior staff get to go” “you just started here, be happy you have a job” – and garbage like that.

So I’ve been hosting dinners in the evening around Congress for a few years now, for out of towners, delegates and the rest of us. And make no mistake, respect to AFP, they’ve been nothing but supportive, they want to help fundraisers! That’s why they exist.

fraserCongress has changed dates and I wanted to do something this year on Sunday night, for folks in town over the weekend. I’m already hosting a networking event on the Monday night, I wanted to do something different. Across the province my close peers at Good Works were thinking the same thing. Fraser Green has been a great inspiration to me forleah years, and Leah Eustace and I have been having way too much fun thinking together about better social fundraising for the past couple years…the theme of the conference being collaboration I had an idea to make this event more value – and this senior group of experienced fundraisers have generously accepted to host a series of table clinics to help you actually talk about your challenges and go home with ideas and solutions!jccoach

For the Fundraising Executives who like me treat Congress as a good time to reflect on career path and self-direction, we’ll be joined by a unique coach for fundraisers, Janice Cunning who will host a table as well!

There will be seven tables:

  1. Giving your website a makeover
  2. Integrated fundraising, using more than one medium
  3. What does fundraising in 3D mean?
  4. Better Legacy fundraising. Practical planned giving
  5. My mail programs are killing me
  6. The Evolution of a Fundraising Executive ( with Janice )
  7. Networking for cause and career ( guess whose homarcheyoungesting this table)

Once again I’ll be hosting it at the super collaborative Marche in Brookfield Place – where there’s food for all tastes, special needs and budgets. Also paying is easy so folks can come and go as they please, no pressure.

I’m super pumped about this – ALL are welcome. Fundraisers in Toronto, AFP Congress delegates and those curious about AFP membership, come and see why it is so powerful for a philanthropic-sector professional to join!

AFPCongresswelcomeWe’ll meet between 5:30pm and 6pm. The tables will start discussions at 6pm and keep going officially until 7:30pm but again, I run my events with NO RSVP and no formal programs so you can come and go as needed… so no pressure. Come and leave when you can. If you use LinkedIn feel free to tell me which table you’d like to be at.

A BIG thanks to the fine folks at Good Works for saying yes to this crazy idea, and like so many of the wonderful sponsors and speakers at Congress, stepping forward in support.

Let’s really collaborate. It’s how good ideas happen! I leave you with a thought about where they come from….  Paul

AFP Congress 2012 – Mon 19 Nov Dinner

#AFPCongress is THE biggest/best fundraising conference in Canada. If it was a dude, he’d look like this:


It has evolved into a powerful sharing of ideas, thus the aptly named 2012 theme, “collaboration”.

But I have a beef with many conferences. You’re running from session to session trying to fit in food and bio-breaks, maybe a conversation here or there.  For many folks,it’s hard to network.

So for the past few years I’ve been hosting a dinner the first night so delegates and AFP members in town alike can meet, share ideas and spend some time actually getting to know each other. ideas

You can’t collaborate if you don’t know each other and have a basic relationship built, let’s build some!

SO! We’re going to meet at 6pm at the registration table at Congress, the Metro Toronto Convention Center North

batontoWe’ll be dining only steps from the Convention Centre at the only quiet restaurant nearby at 6:45p, Baton Rouge ( 277 Front St & John St., at the foot of the CN Tower )… we’ll be live tweeting if you want to catch up with us, just follow me at @UinvitedU or the hashtag #AFPCongress

Out of towners and first timers, we’re especially looking to see you. Young professionals who have no budget to attend Congress, this is how to get a glimpse of the pageantry, the awesomeness and be inspired to fight to get there, like I once did. All are welcome, NO RSVP. Just be there.

Also, the great folks at CharityVillage.com have let me cvbizcardknow they’ll be giving away a free membership to their new nonprofit professional network at the event! Thanks as always CV, I’m looking forward to hearing how the new platform is helping the sector and those who work in it!

Also, if you’re feeling adventurous, my great peer @EmmaLewzey is running another dinner at an Indian restaurant uptown at Banjara ( details here ).

So, here are some pre-conference networking tips to get you ready.

And, heck, with plenary’s like Don’s Jazz (link) and Tony’s Theatre (below) there will be lots to talk about! See you there, Paul