The Reinvention of Diane
Organized by: Diane Magnuson
My name is Diane Magnuson. Up through 2012, I had spent 32 years - practically my entire adult life - in nonprofit management, and actually I think I did some really good things. But 2008 brought about downsizing and salary cuts among many nonprofits, and by the beginning of 2013, I found myself in my home office wondering what to do next.
I started out doing nonprofit consulting while diligently and tenaciously seeking a new full-time job. After a while it looked like maybe that was not going to happen, and that maybe it was time for a change. So I made a leap of faith into real estate school and started 2014 as a licensed real estate agent.
Slowly it's coming together. I've been stumbling along, with some good months and some not-so-good, a normal cycle in starting one's own business. And right now am facing a critical juncture that I must overcome if I want to keep my ship afloat.
The overwhelming kindness of the people who have supported me thus far has moved me to tears. Thanks to all of your generosity (you know who you are), I was able to avert the immediate crisis and was able to address the expenses that had to be paid, including basic marketing tools and memberships.
But, the next phase of my campaign is also essential, so that I can stabilize and get beyond mere survival tactics. In the nonprofit world, this is what we used to call "capacity building."
If I can raise another $2000, for a total of $3200, then I can expand my marketing and advertising, which are essential for generating more leads, more clients, more business.
If I can raise $5000, I will be able to continue to grow and even have a modest cushion to help sustain myself through the ups and downs of the market place.
Like I said, I spent my whole life in nonprofit management. I was co-founder of two well known organizations and I helped orchestrate growth and change in numerous others. The only thing is, I have always been a one-person household. Like anyone else, I've had my failings along the way. There wasn't much room in my budget to save money, not even for retirement. But, starting a new business requires working capital, and I didn't and really don't have any. Thus, I find myself facing a financial crisis today.
Here's what I envision being able to do:
As a licensed real estate salesperson, I have the capacity to stabilize my life and ultimately to save up enough money to help my aging mother and to continue to contribute to the nonprofit community, but from a different vantage point.
As a nonprofit consultant, so far I have mostly provided services in grant writing and research. But organizational development - including change management - is where I excel.
Eventually I want to have enough money through my work in real estate that I can free up more of my time and cash flow. With those resources I plan to provide free and low cost consultation and assistance to emerging nonprofit organizations that otherwise might not be able to pay for an expert like me. I don't want to stay in the back office writing grants forever. I have a lot to say; extensive diverse experience and expertise. There's even a book I need to write, which hopefully will be a sort of thought-provoking guide and legacy to the new pioneers for public good, today and tomorrow.
I hope you may consider helping me at this pivotal moment. Best wishes to you whatever happens, and many thanks for hearing me out.
And again, I extend my deepest gratitude to everyone who has sent well wishes and support in any form. I can hardly tell you the difference you have made. Thank you.