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Jul 30, 2017

Winning the Nonprofit Game: How A Real Human Can Make A Difference

I finally completed my master's program, Journalism: Digital Content Strategy, via the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism! I couldn't be happier to finally reclaim some of my disposable time and income.

More importantly, I've "completed" my master's project, a paper titled "Winning the Nonprofit Game: How A Real Human Can Make A Difference." The paper details how any individual can realistically make the greatest possible positive impact for a charitable cause.

When I say "realistically," I mean without quitting one's job, selling one's house or forgetting one's family. I mean "realistically" as in everyday ordinary people can do it to great effect. In fact, I'm aspiring to demonstrate such here, with this website and a digital campaign I develop within the paper! I, along with Extra Life and the Children's Miracle Network, want to be a living example of how the Average Joe or Joanna can make a big difference for their favorite charity.

I'm fairly proud of the paper's premise and intentions but, as you can see, I left "completed" in quotations above. I've finished it and turned it in as far as class is concerned. However, I think there may be real, publish-worthy content here, so I'm excited to receive the paper back from my professor with his thoughts. From there, my goal is to revise and perfect the paper before sending off to periodicals in hopes of having it published.

I've never had a paper published; in fact, I've never had anything even moderately worth considering sending to any one at all. I sincerely doubt that this one will be published either, but I have to admit it feels good to even have enough pride in a work to consider it worth trying. It feels like the perfect way to cap off my higher-education adventures (unless I decide that the idea of being called "Dr. Schaller" just has too much appeal to pass up, regardless of my lack of qualifications).

I'd love to send anyone the paper who'd be interested in reading it. There's no easy way to post it here, but I have copied and pasted the project summary below.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Winning the Nonprofit Game: How a Real Human Can Make a Difference
The biggest difference between nonprofits and traditional businesses lies in how they interact with people. For traditional businesses, these people are consumers. They’re typically customers exchange money for goods and services, and can even become voluntary advocates. In order to be successful, nonprofits need those same individuals to be much more. These people are customers, donors, advocates, producers, promoters, participants, volunteers, employees and more. The role is extremely demanding, and typically offers little tangible reward for the individuals’ efforts. It’s an opportunity that is easily ignored by outsiders, and is quickly exhausting to its existing participants, demanding both their tangible and intangible resources.

This paper intends to appeal to both unfamiliar outsiders and existing participants alike. Its goal is to demonstrate how an individual can efficiently and effectively make a great, positive difference for a cause in a fashion realistic for modern humans. It uses the Extra Life, a nonprofit for gamers who raise donations for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, as a case study. The paper leverages an existing, successful Extra Life participant’s story for inspiration. It uses the development of a live personal fundraising campaign to test, validate, and evaluate the application of proven business and nonprofit principles. These principles, which will form the foundation of an efficient, effective personal campaign, are derived from popular works and studies of successful business and nonprofit organizations. The final product is an encouraging demonstration of maximizing one’s readily available resources, passion and creativity to help someone or something else.