What's The Big Idea: Nyla Rodgers - We Need to Disrupt Traditional Philanthropy

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“For us to have a true legacy it’s really about what we give, and I think so much of the time we get caught up in what we have… We can’t take any of that with us.”

Today’s guest: Nyla Rodgers

Her big idea: Traditional philanthropy is f*cked, we need to disrupt it.

Nyla Rodgers is an activist, futurist, and non-profit leader with a passion for merging social impact with technology. She creates and runs organizations that transform communities, foster social entrepreneurship around the world, and advocates for greater generosity and partnership between the tech and non-profit worlds.

Nyla began her non-profit work in 2007 when she founded Mama Hope, a grassroots training program that equips social entrepreneurs with the tools to raise funding and build sustainable communities. The group has since built schools, health clinics, children’s centers, clean water systems and food security projects that have improved the health and economic standing of over 813,000 people throughout Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India and the U.S.

Nyla was inspired to create Mama Hope after her mother passed away of ovarian cancer. Before her death, she had raised $1,500 for a village in Kisumu, Kenya, and her gift made a massive impact, creating a bank that helped local women start their own businesses.

Nyla is also is a Co-Producer of the Stop The Pity campaign aimed at shifting the stereotypes of the global poor. Its videos have garnered over 14M views and were featured on CNN and Al Jazeera as well as at the Sundance Festival and SXSW.

In 2015 she was a finalist for the Global Citizen of the Year Award. In 2017 she was honored for her work as a Female Leader in Eileen Fisher’s Fall campaign “Power: In the Words of Women” and was profiled in Forbes under the headline: The Business of Hope: What It Takes and How One Woman Inspired it.

Recently, her work in fundraising has led her to become an activist and philosopher in the cryptocurrency space where she is a speaker and advocate for greater generosity and altruism in the crypto community.

Listen to What’s The Big Idea on your preferred platform below:

Key insights Shared:

  • How Mama Hope started

  • The Collective Development Philanthropy Model

  • Why we live in a philanthropic world based on power

  • The idea of “poverty porn”

  • The narrative around issues of racism and sexism and how these impact the systems that we are giving in to

  • Nyla’s inspiration to break the cycle of independence

  • The importance of involving people from the community to make decisions and shift the power dynamic and influence independence

  • The biggest resistance that you get from people when communal development is discussed

  • Nyla’s breakdown of masculine and feminine values and how that impacts the work she’s doing

  • What can men do to be more conscious of the power dynamic in the non-profit and donation world

  • The role of shifting how we think of poverty and development

  • The power of making sure your model creates space for a poverty vs. prosperity mindset

  • The power of relationships to make sure that what we are funding really matters

  • The best questions that people should be asking before they devote their energy and their time to this space

  • The marketing machine that exists in the world of non-profits

  • The simple questions to ask to truly understand the sustainable impact that they’re having

  • Nyla’s budgeting efforts to transform corporate social responsibility and organization giving

  • The importance of building into your life that you are a person who gives

to learn more about Nyla and her work:

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