Loving Venti’s Blog

Coffee & Strategy

Beautiful Cracks

Welcome to Loving Venti's blog where you'll receive bi-weekly updates, reflections and tips. As many of you know, I love to connect with people over coffee (who doesn’t??), but what many people don’t know is that my inspiration for Loving Venti came from the story of a simple coffee mug…

Beautiful Cracks

Once I had a prized coffee mug, hand-crafted by my brother-in-law. The mug was a beautiful combination of brown and blue… Mmm, I loved how my AeroPress coffee tasted in that mug.

One morning, I pressed too hard and my mug broke to pieces. I thought there was nothing I could do to salvage it so I sadly threw it in the trash.

Life is like that sometimes, isn’t it? Our lives crumble under pressure. Sometimes we even feel discarded, thrown away like my beautiful mug.

Recently I learned that people in Japan fix their broken items: they fill the cracks of their broken items with gold.  Not only does its strength hold broken pieces together, but it also adds profound beauty to the item that was broken. In this way broken items are transformed, converted into something new and even more precious. After this realization, I did what any enlightened person would do and dug my mug out of the trash bin. There was good to be saved.

It’s likely you or your nonprofit began to do good work in this world–work that responds to some of the brokenness you’ve seen or experienced – by patching up the cracks and crevices with strength and beauty.

Over the past 17 years, I’ve patched a lot of my own nonprofit cracks, and had to patch some within myself. I have started, worked for, and overseen several small to medium-sized nonprofits. But this expertise in transformation was hard won through much trial and error. Quite honestly, when I first started out, I didn’t know how to operate a nonprofit organization. I searched for resources but they were mostly geared for large, existing nonprofits, not for the needs of the organization I was trying to establish. We had a young and inexperienced team with few financial resources, but we were united with a passion for making a difference that would rival any large nonprofit. We did eventually figure it out, but it seemed like we were spending more time learning how to run an organization than we were serving the people we were called to serve. 

In other words, it wasn’t a good use of time.

“It’s likely you or your nonprofit began to do good work in this world – work that responds to some of the brokenness you’ve seen or experienced – by patching up the cracks and crevices with strength and beauty.”

Loving Venti has a specific focus on small-to-medium sized nonprofits because these organizations have their own unique culture and challenges. For example, according to the 2017 Nonprofit Wisconsin in Brief:

  • There are so many of them!
    • There are nineteen thousand nonprofits registered in Wisconsin.
    • Additionally, there are numerous non-registered nonprofits that operate out of religious congregations, under a fiduciary agent, non registered civic or unincorporated groups.
  • And most nonprofits operate with a small budget
    • Less than 2,000 nonprofits bring in over $500,000 a year
    • Another 2,000 bring in between $100,000 and $500,000
    • Almost 4,000 bring in between $25,000 and $100,000.
    • That leaves 11,000 nonprofits operating in Wisconsin with a budget of less than $25,000 a year.
  • Small-to-Medium Sized Organizations Rely on Volunteers
    • 35.1% of Wisconsin Residents Volunteer – one of the highest rates in the nation! Volunteers accumulate 163.8 million hours of volunteer service a year.

At Loving Venti, we believe small nonprofits have large impacts. From our experience, these small nonprofits tend to be creating long-lasting impact with very few dollars. While there is a substantial market for nonprofit resources, very few are specifically designed for our friends with annual budgets under $500,000. To most of our community, even a $100,000 budget would be a dream come true.

Loving Venti is unique in our approach...

Collaborative Practices

On any given project you will work with a team of consultants, each bringing their expertise to your mission.

Direct Experience

All of our consultants have spent significant time working/volunteering in small-to-medium sized nonprofits and want to see you succeed in the same areas in which they have struggled.

Process Consulting

Our approach is to not come to you with a cookie cutter product but to walk with you through the weeds and come to a customized solution together.

Built in Coaching

Organizational cracks are never a straight path and they affect others areas of operation. So our conversations together will also extend into those other areas.

We are here for you. For however long you need us, whether it’s one project or several. We strive to understand your needs holistically to be available for other projects as they arise. We want to be a part of people-centered transformative work. If you are not sure if your organization is there yet, we would love to walk with you to figure out how to update your leadership style, policies, procedures, programs, systems, and culture to do so.

Loving Venti, LLC. is a consulting practice, specifically focused on small-to-medium sized nonprofits

Gold---Mission-Statement

What is to come?

Bi-Weekly, our team will be bringing you stories, tips, and tools to fill your organizational cracks. From our collaborative approach, each team member will be sharing from their expertise and our blogs will be filled with a variety of topics such as:

  1. Strategies to improve your organization’s culture
  2. Database suggestions
  3. Stories from a new grant writer
  4. Things to consider when engaging the community
  5. Planning during this ongoing pandemic
  6. Ethical social media strategies
  7. Strategies to manage board and staff relations
  8. Etc…

All of our resources will be focused on the needs of small-to-medium sized nonprofits, while others can certainly benefit from the knowledge and ideas we share.

Through our social media channels, we would love for you to join us in the conversation. Share your wisdom, experience, or open up about your struggles so that others can walk with you.

Catherine (Draeger) Pederson

Catherine (Draeger) Pederson

Catherine (Draeger) Pederson, Ph.D. is a relational leader, strategic thinker, and strength-based consultant with over 17 years of experience empowering people to make a difference in their community. She is the CEO of Loving Venti, LLC. and a Nonprofit Consultant. Deep down, Catherine is a geek. She likes research, data and learning. She can help nonprofits run smoother, reduce their learning curve, and streamline their processes so that they are freed up to do the work they love.
Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Read more...

For The Price Of A Venti Coffee, One Of Our Team Members Will Meet You For A One-Hour Strategic Session​

Subscribe to our newsletter