Hi, I’m Zahra Lightway, long time educator, parent and social entrepreneur. I’m a classroom teacher, a parent coach, a teacher trainer, an administrator and a school founder.
As an educator and parent, I often pondered fundraising. When faced with boxes of inventory and sore feet from tramping around the neighborhood selling chocolate bars or wrapping paper or whatever, I wondered if it might be possible to sell something else—perhaps something that would help a school’s mission to educate children and support parents? But what?
Then in 2012 I was blessed to attend Lynn Twist’s workshop “Fundraising From The Heart” in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was overjoyed to discover what was then a whole new concept for me—“a mission in action”, a term coined by Lynn herself.
The idea of the mission in action is to turn our so-called “non-profit” missions into actions that create funding rather than fundraising being a separate endeavor. Lynn’s example of how the “mission in action” concept works is a homeless shelter fundraising program called “Nights on the Street”. The program asks people to go into the community to raise $1200 which allows them to participate in a three day journey of living on the streets. People get a taste of homelessness building motivation for the mission of ending it. They also spread word in the community through their fundraising since they are not allowed to just donate their own money, AND the center gets funding. It’s all aligned. It’s absolutely brilliant.
But how could we apply this principle to schools? Could we have parents come to school for a week? And pay to do it? That didn’t seem to be quite it. It’s hard enough for parents to find time for conferences. So I let go of the idea until the answer came to me in a flash - Empower The Parent, Empower The Children!
What if schools could raise money by helping parents find solutions to many of the challenges of 21st Century parenting? That’s exactly what O.M.I.A.’s Empower The Parent, Empower The Children MP3 audio series does!
It’s chocolate bars reinvented! We think you'll love it.
Zahra Lightway M.Ed. and the Our Mission In Action Team