Do you remember your first relationship? I sure do.

I was a young teen, fresh out of my awkward phase. He was a basketball player who wore baggy jeans and Michael Jordan jerseys.

For months I dropped subtle cues to woo him- you know, eyes from across the classroom, giggling at other boys’ jokes, until finally he asked me out.┬áThe next few weeks were filled with firsts. The first time we held hands. Our first dance. Our first “real” date. This was true love- I just knew it.

Unfortunately, a week or two went by and we realized we had very little in common. We’d have to put in some work if we were to go the distance. Needless to say, our passion fizzled out after that and I was left feeling confused. We really liked each other, wasn’t that enough?

As it turns out, I would feel this way again at a surprising point in my life- when I embarked on my relationship with nonprofit work.

This time, I was a young adult, fresh out of graduate school. I was filled with passion and a deep desire to have an impact on my community. This relationship, too, would be filled with many firsts, like the first time I knew my work had changed a life. It was an incredible feeling.

Not all firsts were good, though. In fact, I struggled a lot those first few years. I often felt hopeless and confused. I felt like I didn’t have any guidance and my efforts weren’t getting me anywhere. I had passion- and a degree!- wasn’t that enough? I knew if I ever found the answer, I would share it with as many of my nonprofit colleagues as I could.

Fast forward twelve years- after much trial and error, I’ve raised millions of dollars for causes dear to my heart, and I know what systems lead to successful nonprofits.

I have learned that it takes a lot more than passion to generate impact. It takes an understanding of how nonprofits operate, but we even need more than technical knowledge.

The answer lies within us. Much like any other relationship, we need to first overcome our own mindset blocks and quiet the internal dialogue that keeps us stuck.

I believe this is where current nonprofit trainings fail us. They over-emphasize technical knowledge and disregard the critical roles that passion, intuition, and emotion play in our work.

My purpose, and the mission of my company, is to change how we train the nonprofit workforce. Through unique trainings that combine instruction with coaching, I bridge the head and the heart of nonprofit work, allowing you to harness your passion and generate incredible impact.