What’s Your Guiding North Star? 8177

What’s Your Guiding North Star?


What did you dream of doing when you were a child? Many children dream of being a doctor, teacher, pilot, or veterinarian.
What was the motivation for your dreams? Did you hear about a sick person and want to help them? Or did you have a wonderful teacher you wanted to emulate?

Over the years, my children have changed their dream career choices, but the core impact of what they wanted to do didn’t change. My daughter wanted to own a smoothie store where people could sit, read books, and connect with each other. Her dreams have always been about connecting people. This dream transformed into becoming a social worker, and then into becoming a life coach. She recently graduated with a degree in community development.

Listening to people’s stories and visualizing their path from a childhood dream to social good leadership always fascinates and inspires me. Last year, I met and worked with numerous thought leaders. I asked each why they pursued their current career. Two of these leaders’ stories and paths were seemingly driven by a guiding “north star” from elementary school.

Their stories are featured in Blackbaud University’s new North Star Sessions. These premium videos feature thought leaders from the social good industry who share strategies and insights to help guide you and your organization.
  • Over forty years ago, Lisa Moran started peer-to-peer fundraising with a donation jar and a dream of making an impact in the lives of other people. She’s been fundraising ever since. For Lisa, fundraising has never been just about raising money. It’s been about sharing knowledge, stories, and the need for more supporters. Lisa has earned awards for her fundraising, and she speaks and writes on the topic frequently. She has shared causes with legislators, thousands of supporters, and even some NFL players. Lisa has the heart of a fundraiser, a survivor, and an educator. Lisa’s story will help your organization connect with, enable, encourage, and support your current and future peer-to-peer fundraisers.
    Tip: Review how you recruit and engage your peer-to-peer fundraisers. Do you enable them with stories, outcomes, and information about needs?
  • When Dorri McWhorter was in elementary school, she dreamed of becoming an accountant and helping people (along with proving that Santa was real). In college, she earned a degree in accounting and became a consultant. She helped organizations identify their value and become profitable. She looked at the social good space and noticed that most organizations struggled with identifying and communicating their value. This realization drove her to become a board member and then the CEO of a social good organization. Her accounting and business background provided the building blocks to transform a 140-year-old social service agency into a 21st century social enterprise. Today, numerous organizations look to her for leadership, inspiration, and advice.
    Tip: Look at your organization’s mission and services. What value do you bring to society? Do you share this value with your supporters and stakeholders?
Please join Lisa and Dorri as they share lessons they’ve learned throughout their careers. More thought leaders’ videos will be released throughout the year.

Bonus: All North Star Sessions are included in Blackbaud University’s Learn Everything training subscriptions.
News Organizational Best Practices Blog 02/08/2022 8:09am EST

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I never thought about my “North Star” or how my childhood dreams and career changes haven’t changed. I always looked at my careers individually until this session. It has opened my eyes to realize my core dream of impacting lives hasn’t waived throughout my life.