Live and Lead for Impact with Kirsten E. Ross

Matt is president and founder of Nonprofit.Courses, an on-demand, online educational resource for nonprofit leaders, staff, board members and volunteers. He’s the author of the Guide to Nonprofit Consulting, and teaches nonprofit management at several universities, via the web, and in-person in the United States, Africa, Asia and Europe. Matt’s past work includes fundraising for several nonprofits. He has an MA in Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. 

Interview Questions

What impact are you motivated to make in this world?

Matt loves teaching. He began at a young age and knew immediately he enjoyed it. He just wishes he’d listened earlier in life while others were giving him clues that could have moved him in the direction of teaching topics helpful to nonprofits sooner. 

He shared that in Daniel Blink’s book, “Drive” he says to go do what motivates you.  Helping nonprofits across the world make their impact is definitely what drives Matt.

That has been his focus now for years and he recently launched a website that provides learning to nonprofits that is time-efficient and cost effective.  Many of the offerings are free, while others are modestly priced.

What life experience motivates you to make your impact?

His time as a young man in Boy Scouts is what first sparked the realization that it’s important to pay attention to how you are sharing knowledge.  He loved how hands on the learning was there.  That made it easier for he and others to learn.

What impact have you made that really fuels your passion?

What impact are you focused on next?

What is the biggest internal or external challenge you’ve had to overcome?  And how did you overcome it

For Matt the biggest on-going challenge to success has been self confidence.  He reminds himself often, “I can do this!” and, “I am good enough!”  As a solopreneur it is often challenging to wear all of the hats.  You get good at one thing and then need to add another task.  Social media has been a recent focus.

I love what Matt says about Persistence!  He says that the outcome of persistence is what people “suddenly see when they haven’t seen all the small steps.

How do you stay motivated and moving during tough times?

What words of wisdom do you have for others who want to make an impact?

His words of wisdom to others working to make their impact:

  • Speak Up
  • Ask Questions
  • Simple Do! If something is bothering you, you might be the one who makes it happen!

And he tells himself often, “If I got a paycheck job I wouldn’t be better off!”  It helps him prod through the tougher days!

He also stresses the importance of having a good support system.  He appreciates that his wife has been on this journey with him all along

What's one success strategy that has helped you?

And, on the importance of Nonprofits, some insights I hadn’t thought about before!

Nonprofits are an important conduit to our making an impact.  The prevalence of direct giving through sites like GoFundMe as increased the opportunity to misdirect money.  He shared a local news story where the story of a homeless man sparked a large giving effort.  However, the story turned out to be false and the funds did not ultimately help the man.

In addition, he shared how philanthropy survives in a Democratic society but can’t work is well without.  In his example, he shared that if someone identified and spoke about a problem of water quality in a place like North Korea you would be seen as questioning the State, an unwelcome initiative.  And, if you further had a desire to fix it, you would be seen as suspect.

In contrast, in a Democracy citizens can point out problems and seek to resolve them through philanthropy and nonprofits.

Matt's Website:

Direct download: Matt_Hugg_Interview.m4a
Category:leadership -- posted at: 3:00am EDT