A Simple Modern Approach to Impact - Interview with Mike Beckham - Grant Writing Simplified Teresa Huff, Episode 109

A Simple Modern Approach to Company Generosity [Episode 109]

“When you’re fundraising for a nonprofit, what you’re really doing is you’re casting vision to others about why you’re a good investment, why they would want to invest their dollars in you.”

The Quest for the Perfect Water Bottle

A couple of years ago I needed a new water bottle. But not just any water bottle.

You see, even though it’s a small thing, it’s also a big thing. I drink a lot of water all day, every day. I feel all weird and shrively if I don’t.

Because it’s such an everyday thing for me, a water bottle is an important decision.

It had to be just right. We’re talking…Color. Size. Shape. Lid. Spout. Straw. Handle. Price. Lightweight. Fits in my hand. Fits in my car cup holder. Keeps it cold in a hot car for days. The brand didn’t matter as long as it fit ALL the other requirements.

Not asking for much, right?

I finally stumbled across what looked like the perfect water bottle combination, so I added it to my Christmas list. I’d never heard of the brand before, but decided to give it a chance. My husband was happy to have the recommendation and checked it off his list.

Best water bottle decision ever.

Simple Modern is now my go-to water bottle brand. Lest you think this is a commercial, though, turns out there’s a whole lot more to the story than just a good water bottle.

After reading more about Simple Modern, I connected with the CEO. Pretty soon it was obvious that you needed to talk with him too, so – here we are.

Today I’m chatting with Mike Beckham, the CEO of Simple Modern. He’s full of wisdom on leadership, nonprofits, and entrepreneurship. Mike gives us guidance on how skills in both the for-profit world and the nonprofit world translate to support one another, how we can develop a quality of life and corporate culture, and what factors help create a successful organization.

How For-Profit Skills can Translate to Helping Nonprofits

A lot of us come from for-profit backgrounds when we enter into the nonprofit world. We usually pick up a handful of skills along the way that we can use to be stronger voices in the nonprofit realm.

Two of those include:

  1. Thinking in terms of measurement
  2. Remembering that reality is your friend.

A few “Mike” drop moments (sorry, couldn’t resist the terrible pun!):

  • We don’t need to shy away from the facts and the numbers.
  • Have the hard conversations.
  • Having the right vision is important, but putting in the work is vital.

Things That Drive Your Quality of Life

People have a lot of different answers and opinions when it comes to what drives our quality of life. To name a few:

  • Put time towards something that you believe matters/makes an impact
  • Build meaningful relationships
  • See the impact you yourself are making in any given area
  • Measure your own personal growth
  • Develop autonomy and the ability to make decisions
  • Find affirmation and be aware of the way people talk to us

When thinking about these things, consider how to incorporate them within your nonprofit:

  • Be confident in your cause
  • Develop purposeful relationships with those involved
  • Celebrate your growth
  • Get excited about your decisions, while allowing others to make theirs
  • Be kind and encouraging to those you interact with

What Can You Do That Will Help Create a Successful Organization?

  1. Be a good steward of whatever resources you have. Whether you have a little or a lot, when people see the impact that you can make with what you do have, that will draw more resources in. Donors want to know that you’re effective at what you do. They don’t care if you’re a large or small company as long as their donations will be put to good use.
  2. Cast a clear vision and make it compelling. Make sure what you’re trying to do is clear, why you’re passionate about it, and how you’ll get it done.
  3. Create a generous culture. Go out of your way to make people feel appreciated and seen. That develops a much greater camaraderie within your team as well as with your donors.
  4. Prioritize being known as an organization that truly cares about others through the things you do and say.

Challenge Question:

How can you best steward your resources right now by transferring skills you already have into the nonprofit world?

Meet Mike Beckham:

Mike’s career began by working for the nonprofit Christian ministry, Campus Crusade for Christ, also known as CRU. He then transitioned into founding many e-commerce businesses, and is most recently the CEO of Simple Modern. Simple Modern’s mission statement is, “We exist to give generously,” and Mike is passionate about sharing his experiences with others. Mike is also the entrepreneur-in-residence for the Tom Love Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Oklahoma.

Connect with Mike:

Free Audit: How Grant-Ready Is Your Nonprofit?

If you need support in your journey to excellence as a grant writer, I’d like to invite you to join me on the Fast Track to Grant Writer. Go to teresahuff.com/vip and start learning today.

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Grant Writer? Take the Quiz:

If you’re ready to explore a career in grant writing, take my free quiz, “Do you have what it takes to be a grant writer?” People are always surprised at how many skills they already have. The distance isn’t as far as they thought. Let’s figure out how you can use your skills to help change your world.

If you’re ready to step up your nonprofit game, join me on the Fast Track to Grant Writer. The world needs you.

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