Nonprofit Roundtable Makes Ruckus

Nonprofit Roundtable Makes Ruckus
Our nonprofit community gathered to make a ruckus on June 4th, when Park City Community Foundation hosted its Open Nonprofit Roundtable discussion. The topic of this Roundtable was participatory inspiration — peer listening and learning, inspired by the work of Seth Godin. Seth is a marketing maven, motivational influencer, author of 17 books, and he writes a short daily blog that tells us all to “make a ruckus.” It’s a great daily dose or weekly binge read at Seth is very much about having the courage to put your “art” out into the world or, as he calls it, “shipping.”

Maddy Shear leads our Roundtables, and encouraged participants to watch a video by Seth Godin on making a ruckus and an excellent Facebook live event hosted by him and accompanied by Simon Sinek. Almost all were familiar with Simon Sinek and many had seen his excellent 2009 TED talk, “Start with Why.” Simon’s personal WHY is “to inspire people to do what inspires them so that, together, we can change our world for the better.” Explore his website at

Participants acknowledged that “making a ruckus” can be scary because it is disrupting the status quo. Many said that at nonprofits, it can be challenging, as boards are often resistant to risk. They discussed how to help board members see that risk is important and necessary, and that maintaining the status quo is often riskier. Suggestions were to discuss risk in the framework of experimenting, trying something. And many suggested that collaborating and getting buy-in from multiple organizations helps. The group articulated clearly that making a ruckus is proactive— not reactive — and that the messenger matters. Maddy encouraged participants to use this discussion as a catalyst for strategic, generative discussions with nonprofit boards.

Let’s stand up and “Make a Ruckus!”

Have you attended a Nonprofit Roundtable in 2018? We would love your feedback.

Here’s some feedback from two Roundtable participants:

“What a timely Roundtable. I had just had a lengthy conversation with the chair of our board yesterday about today’s topic — Causing a Ruckus. I’m recognizing that if we are deliberate and intentional in delivering high-level programming consistent with our mission statement — that we may make others uncomfortable — and that’s ok. Thank you, Maddie.” —Gretchen Lee, Interim Executive Director at Mountain Mediation Center

“I went to the nonprofit roundtable this morning expecting a discussion and maybe some helpful tips. It was not that at all. Instead, we had this lively back-and-forth bounce-around of ideas, stories, questions, experiences. We had to wait our turn to talk because all the nonprofit reps in the room were so excited to share. Maddy would say, you, you, then you while more hands shot up, it was fantastic! As a moderator, Maddy is very adept at framing conversations with these interesting topics and/or new ideas and then letting the participants fill in the rest. It creates this fantastic blend of well-researched information with open idea exchange. She creates a safe, comfortable environment where people really feel like engaging.

“For example, today we discussed Seth Godin’s challenge to make a ruckus in our industry. This concept is exactly what [we] needed to hear at this exact time. I took notes, got great additional resources, and then took it back to my organization to share. The action items we gained from this exchange are applicable to what we do day-in and day-out.” —Daisy A. Rocha Hodson, Multicultural Services Librarian at Summit County Library

If you would like to provide feedback on our Nonprofit Roundtables or would like to learn more, please email

1 Comment

magnificent put up, very informative. I ponder why the opposite experts of this sector don’t understand this.
You should continue your writing. I’m sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!


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