Running Against the Odds
Leah Courtney
January 29, 2015
Running Against the Odds
Missouri's Fifth Congressional District was over 60% Democrat and the media had painted the race as “unwinnable” for a Republican. But that didn't stop one dedicated conservative from running against the odds. Unlike many who run for public office, Jacob Turk didn't plan to run. He graduated from the University of Missouri – Kansas City with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and is a Marine Corps veteran, business owner, volunteer, proud father, and grandfather. “Honestly, if I had not felt the Lord calling me distinctly to run for this office, I can't imagine deciding to do it on my own. It was a step of faith to run.” Jacob Turk ran for U.S. Congress in Missouri's Fifth Congressional District in 2012 and again in 2014. “We are not wealthy nor do we have powerful political connections,” Jacob said. “One of the biggest obstacles was the lack of confidence of those who live in the district…the skepticism made it difficult to raise the funds necessary for a victory.” In 2012 and 2014, Jacob Turk won the primary, but lost to the incumbent Emanuel Cleaver. “We didn't lose the war; we just didn't win a particular battle,” Jacob said. In the 2014 general election, Jacob was projected to lose by thirty points. He only lost to Cleaver by 6.6%. “Our campaign forced the Democrats to spend almost a million dollars in precious resources they could not spend on senatorial races in 2014.” The campaign also managed to bring in new volunteers and new donors. “Over 70% of our volunteers had never volunteered time in a political campaign before our race,” Jacob said. “We heard the same from a majority of our financial donors, as well.” Both Jacob and his wife Donna are Leadership Institute (LI) graduates. They have attended several LI trainings including the Campaign Management School, Television Workshop, Field Representative Training, New Media Workshop, and Youth Leadership School. “If you want to be a serious player in the conservative movement, we recommend that you take all the LI courses you can, both in DC and in your area,” Jacob said. “We can take hope that if we are able to motivate our voters to turn out every election, we can win the tough races.” Jacob credits the Field Representative Training for “the robust cadre of college and home school students that contributed thousands of volunteer hours to [his campaign] effort.” When asked to describe the Leadership Institute, Jacob said “The staff and presenters are enthusiastic about winning the ideological battle in America, and their will to win this war is infectious.” Jacob and his wife, Donna, reside in Lee's Summit, Missouri. They work tirelessly to change their local government. Please join us in congratulating Jacob Turk for receiving LI's Conservative Leader Award, and in thanking him for his tireless effort to promote conservative principles. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Carol Wehe, at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org. The Leadership Institute offers over 40 types of training programs, working with more than 1,568 conservative campus groups, and helping employers connect with conservative jobseekers. Since the Institute's 1979 founding, LI has trained more than 161,271 conservative activists, students, and leaders. Graduates include members of Congress, state legislators, local officials, media personalities, and conservative organization leaders. For more information, please visit: www.LeadershipInstitute.org.
How to know if your story is a winner
Nathanael Yellis
July 25, 2014
How to know if your story is a winner
Two weeks ago we talked about why storytelling matters (because it's how you convince people). This week, we talked about how to tell stories. Beyond the simple tactics like listening to other stories, watching performers, and practicing your story out loud, we borrowed, from Made to Stick, this list. These seven story archetypes are a gut check: if your story fits an archetype, you've found a potential winner. 1. Overcoming the Monster The fight against Common Core now has this narrative. Take a look at this trailer to see what we mean: 2. Rags to Riches All politicians have this, but because it's so common, it's become trite. Some candidates, like Wendy Davis in Texas, went to such lengths to construct a rags-to-riches narrative, that even the press have to call the bluff. If your story is rags-to-riches, ensure it's real. 3. The Quest We're not sure of the political applications for this story archetype, but in literature it's The Hobbit. Leave a comment if you have a political example. 4. Voyage and Return Good post-war speeches use this story to explain what was won and what's going to change now. You can even glimpse this story archetype in the Gettysburg Address. 5. Comedy Some media personalities, like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Glenn Beck, often use comedy to make their points effectively. Comedy is powerful, so deploy comedic stories only when you're sure they'll resonate in the right way. 6. Tragedy Lila Rose in this video tells a few short stories of tragedy to make her point about abortion: [Clip 1 - Play from 2:11 - 3:41] 7. Rebirth George W. Bush's story, from something of a partyboy to, through hard work, a leader in business and Texas, set the stage for his presidency. Learn about how to tell a story by watching our latest webinar here.
Why Stories: 10 Characteristics of Effective Stories
Nathanael Yellis
July 10, 2014
Why Stories: 10 Characteristics of Effective Stories
Stories win races. Change minds. Influence events. Stories are one of the most valuable tools that we have. Learn the ten characteristics of effective stories from my recent Leadership Institute webinar, Storytelling Part 1: Storytelling & why it matters. Watch the recorded webinar here. 1. Stories connect to experience or values. This Chrysler commercial, played during a Super Bowl, inspired intense debate on what it was saying, and why. Why the debate over a commercial? Why did the commercial become a cultural touchstone? It connected to Americans' values. 2. Stories have a subtle takeaway. The message of a story can work even if the message is not explicitly stated. In fact, stories often work better if the ultimate conclusion is left to be made in the mind of the listener. This video, Dove's Controversial “Real Beauty” Campaign, illustrates how building a subtle message through a story can be powerful. Unremembered details from the floor of congress linked above. 3. Stories force the storyteller to be concrete. Members of Congress are legendary abusers of too many unremembered details. Compare that with the Obama Administration's Julia campaign. Instead of talking about a 20-something woman, they talked about Julia. Her life had enough details to be remembered. Julia let them talk about policy in terms of personal, tangible benefits. That concrete story moved the debate. 4. Stories bring the teller's emotions to life for the audience. When confronted by a lesbian couple's daughter, who spoke about her church congregation's support and love and acceptance, Doug Wilson countered not with a refutation of her stance, but instead a story of the love, acceptance, and truth found in his conservative Christian congregation. This built an emotional connection between Wilson and the otherwise hostile audience. Making them sympathize with him and think was the best outcome he could have had in that setting, and he got it with a story. 5. Stories force you to focus your words on a very few points. Concision is the MVP of your communicator's toolbox. It takes time to tell a good story, and that limits what you can say. This is good. Forced prioritization, like triage, makes you stronger. Fewer, stronger, more memorable things are what you want to say. Stories help you get there. 6. Stories provide structure to your data. Pecha Kucha is a discipline where presenters are forced to spend 20 seconds per slide on 20 slides. Full stop. It's a fun event. Watch pro speaker Steven Tomlinson deliver one here. Storytelling makes a Pecha Kucha work; and like Pecha Kucha, storytelling imposes a structure on what you want to say. Stories, according to Aristotle, follow the arc of order/disorder/reorder. Your high school English teacher probably told you more about fiction as a form. The point? Stories give your audience a plot, or framework, on which to hang your points. BONUS THREE POINTS NOT COVERED ON THE WEBINAR!!! 7. Stories entertain. What do we tell our friends? Stories. People like hearing stories. Jokes are stories. Want to be entertaining? Tell a story. This is a two-edged sword, because if you're too entertaining, people may remember having fun but not what your point was. Sometimes, that's ok; sometimes it's not. 8. Stories are convincing. How did Barack Obama rise to power? People believed in him. They understood his story and were convinced he was the leader America needed in 2008 and in 2012. People can reasonably attribute his electoral success to his grassroots army, new voters his campaign found, and the vault of money raised and spent on his campaign. All of those may be proximate causes of his victories, but what animated them all was his narrative. People were convinced. 9. Stories are sticky. In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath drop an amazing truth bomb: razor blades in homemade halloween candy never happened. It started, thrived, and lives on as a fact-free myth. Millions of parents have warned their kids against collecting any non-commercial halloween candy because of nothing. Stories are sticky. 10. Stories seem real. Read the reason Subway's Jared Fogle campaign beat the ‘7 sandwiches with 6 grams of fat or less' campaign. Stories, real or not, connect with people at a deeper level, the soul, than any set of facts can. Gut beats brain. Join part two of this Strategic Storytelling webinar series to ask us your questions and learn how to tell effective stories.
DC Summer Interns Get Trained
Ali Kudlick
June 30, 2014
DC Summer Interns Get Trained
Last week 84 conservative DC summer interns gathered at the Leadership Institute to learn the secrets for a successful internship. Experts on everything from networking and résumé writing to dressing for success addressed interns and provided tricks of the trade and personal experiences. Steve Sutton, vice president of Development at the Leadership Institute, began the training by advising interns to develop the “Four P's of Excellence: philosophical, political, professional and personal.” Knowing what you believe in is good, but it isn't sufficient. “You owe it to your philosophy to know how to win,” said Steve, famously quoting Morton Blackwell, LI's president. The rest of the day was dedicated to learning how to win through professional and personal excellence. Vice President for Strategic Communication at Wise Public Affairs Laura Rigas posed the question, “What does success look like?” She gave practical advice on knowing your leadership style, developing personal mission statements and defining your personal brand. She emphasized self-awareness in combination with specific measurable goals. “I feel equipped and better prepared to excel in Washington this summer and in the future,” said Austin Pendergist, intern in the office of Congressman Mark Sanford (R – SC). Interns from across the city had the chance to not only listen, but also to ask questions of the speakers as well as a panel of recruiters who work for political organizations around town. “Opportunities fall into your lap sometimes and you have to be ready for them,” said Lauren Wills, scheduler and intern coordinator for Congressman Thomas Massie (R – KY). “LI's Conservative Intern Workshop was a practical how-to guide for every conservative intern in Washington,” said Elizabeth Green, who is interning at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.
LI’s 2013 in Review
Lauren Day
January 14, 2014
LI’s 2013 in Review
This past year—2013—was record-breaking for the Leadership Institute! LI's staff and 215 volunteer faculty trained 10,062 students nationally and 15,614 students internationally—the most ever in any year of the Institute's 34-year history—bringing the total trained to 143,062 since its 1979 founding. LI hosted 403 trainings in 42 states and 14 countries. In 2013, these 403 trainings covered 37 types of LI trainings as varied as On-Camera TV trainings, week-long Campaign Management Schools and Comprehensive Fundraising Trainings, Grassroots Activism Workshops, Issues That Unite: Latinos & Conservatism workshops, Public Relations Schools, and Career Trainings. Many of the 521 articles that LI's CampusReform.org published made national news, making the site America's #1 source for campus news online with 3,762,485 unique visitors. LI's national field program employed 15 fall field representatives who helped conservative students bring 304 new, independent student groups into LI's unique network of 1,485 student groups on 618 college campuses—the largest such network in the country. LI's 6,999 job seekers had 1,672 available jobs posted to peruse on LI's ConservativeJobs.com website. LI's Career Services Center hosted 1,043 attendees at job fairs and offered 103 hours of personal career mentoring for free. LI's free live webinars featured 32 speakers in 2013 with a total of 1,609 students who watched and participated through the live chat features. LI's Wednesday Wakeup Club Breakfasts hosted 1,226 attendees and 10 speakers in 2013. In October, LI hosted the most widely attended breakfast since the program began in 1997; there were 209 guests who heard from Senator Mike Lee. LI's 42nd National Fourth of July Conservative Soiree hosted 977 attendees and a record-breaking number of 26 partnering organizations. LI's 33 interns came from 25 colleges, 17 states, 5 countries, and spent 6,103 hours combined in LI training. It's been a good year at the Leadership Institute, and we are excited about what 2014 has in store! How has LI helped you? Email Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.org to share your story. We are always looking to spotlight faculty doing incredible things for the conservative movement, notable LI graduates making waves, and college students standing for liberty.
Working for the right to work
Mitch Nozka
December 17, 2013
Working for the right to work
“If it wasn't for the Leadership Institute, I would not be where I am today,” National Right To Work Committee and National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix said. Across all 50 states Mark and his staff fight leftist laws that require union membership as a condition for employment. Their organization believes that all Americans must have the right to join a union if they choose to, but no one should ever be forced to affiliate with a union in order to get or keep a job. In college, Mark met a person at James Madison University who changed his life. “I walked to the student union and there was a table. Someone stood in front of the table, reached out his hand, said there was a meeting of conservative students that night, and asked if I'd like to come,” Mark said. “Sure enough, I had been recruited by someone who used Leadership Institute training to get me to attend that meeting.” In the 1980s, Mark took Leadership Institute (LI) training himself and learned how to be a strong conservative activist. “I probably have more diplomas as a graduate of Leadership Institute schools than just about anybody,” he said. Mark has taken LI's Youth Leadership School, Legislative Project Management School, Capitol Hill Staff Training School, and many media trainings. After LI training, he landed a position with National Right To Work (NRTW) in 1986, running grassroots campaigns for state legislators. In 2003, Mark became NRTW's president, a position he still holds. Since 1999, Mark has served as a volunteer faculty member at LI where he shares his 27 years of conservative activism experience with LI students. “Government has infringed on every area of our lives. We must stand in the way and say ‘stop.' We can only do that by understanding the nature of politicians and what we can do to change their behaviors,” Mark said during LI's Holding Elected Officials Accountable Workshop earlier this year. Mark shared the secrets of his success at NRTW with more than 50 LI students who learned how to mobilize conservative citizens and activists to put maximum and effective pressure on elected officials. Unprincipled politicians respond to two stimuli – political pleasure and pain – and Mark taught students “the six steps of getting a politician to do what you want.” From 1981 to 1995, NRTW generously housed the Leadership Institute in its building. As time passed, LI grew from a single desk to several rooms on several floors. At the point where LI had outgrown available space, it purchased its own headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. “But the Leadership Institute's success is about more than bricks and mortar. It is about the thousands upon thousands of conservative activists LI has trained. National Right To Work continues to reap benefits from our employees who are talented Leadership Institute graduates,” Mark said. In April 2013, NRTW hired two of the Leadership Institute's Spring 2013 interns, Faith Doyal and Carmela Martinez. “From my days as a Leadership Institute student, to my work now teaching as a member of the faculty at LI trainings, the Leadership Institute has made me more effective,” he said. Please congratulate Mark Mix for his work to keep America free, and please applaud him for receiving LI's Conservative Leader Award. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Lauren Day, at Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.org. The next award recipient will be featured the week of January 19.
Strong Families, Strong Economy
Lauren Day
October 8, 2013
Strong Families, Strong Economy
Two days from now social conservatives across America will gather in Washington, DC for the annual Values Voter Summit, organized by the Family Research Council. Throughout the two-and-a-half days, attendees will hear from notable speakers, attend breakout sessions, network with their fellow Americans, and receive information from conservative organizations. “Social conservatives bring a lot to the conservative movement, as they stand strong for protecting the sanctity of human life and promoting traditional family values,” Family Research Council (FRC) Web Editor Krystle Gabele said. “A strong family is the key to a prosperous society and ensuring that future generations have an even better America to look forward to.” Krystle started at FRC in December 2008 as its web editor. She's responsible for maintaining FRC's online content and distributing alerts. She writes for the organization's blog, manages its email campaigns, and contributes to FRC's daily radio commentaries. You can find her work on the Washington Update and on the Social Conservative Review. This weekend's Values Voter Summit will be held from Thursday through Sunday -- October 11 through 13 -- at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in DC. The Leadership Institute is partnering with FRC for the conference, and will have a booth in the exhibit hall and host Saturday's career fair -- which is free for attendees. Click here to pre-register for the career fair. Last year at the Values Voter Summit's Faith, Family, and Freedom Gala, the Leadership Institute's President Morton Blackwell was honored with the 2012 James C. Dobson Vision and Leadership Award. Krystle said, “I am looking forward to hearing Sen. Rand Paul speak at the Values Voter Summit, and I am also excited to interact with the various bloggers who will be there covering the event as well. The straw poll is also a lot of fun, and it is amazing to see the energy from participants during the three days of the summit.” Krystle, a small-town girl from Taneytown, Maryland, grew up in a loving family that “placed a high value on faith and trusting in God no matter what life may throw at us,” she shared when discussing what most shaped her. One of her “major goals” was to be the first person in her family to graduate with a college degree. In 2004 Krystle's dreams came true: she graduated with honors from Western Maryland College (now known as McDaniel College) with a degree in social work. In college, she interned for former Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) in his district office and for Carroll Lutheran Village, a continuing care retirement community between classes, homework, and exams. “After graduating college, I went to work for a social services agency in Pennsylvania,” Krystle said. “I decided after observing the bureaucratic processes of the foster care system that my talents were better suited to fight for the conservative values I believed in, so I took an internship in the personal office of former Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-IL). It was great to see how my degree could be implemented in the public policy process.” At the conclusion of her congressional internship, she took a position as the executive assistant to the Executive Director Alex Mooney at the National Journalism Center (NJC), a program of the Young America's Foundation. In that role, she recruited and placed interns with news outlets in the DC metro area. Later, Krystle went to work at the National Right to Work Committee as its director of communications. “I first learned of the Leadership Institute through Alex Mooney, my former boss at the NJC. Alex spoke highly of LI's programs and recommended that I take a few courses through the Leadership Institute to help me develop skills that would be beneficial to my career and the conservative movement,” Krystle explained. Krystle has taken eight LI trainings: the Public Speaking Workshop and advanced version, Broadcast Journalism School, and Public Relations School in 2006; Campaign Management Workshop in 2007; and the Blogging Workshop, Advanced Public Relations School, and the New Media Workshop all in 2008. “In terms of LI's Public Relations Schools, I learned how to write press releases and how to handle things during a crisis. This definitely proved beneficial during the events at FRC of last August,” Krystle said, referencing the tragic shooting at FRC's office in August 2012. “The Leadership Institute has been extremely helpful to me over the years. I found most of my jobs through LI's ConservativeJobs.com, and the tips I received from LI's Employment Placement Service have been especially beneficial in my professional growth,” Krystle said. “One thing that I would credit LI and Morton Blackwell with is the encouragement to read conservative authors and to become well versed in public speaking. I never realized how my public speaking skills needed to be refined until I attended the Public Speaking Workshops and Broadcast Journalism School. Life is all about learning and growing. There is no doubt that I would not be where I am today career-wise without the assistance and support of the Leadership Institute,” she added. In her spare time, Krystle has her own blog: Crystal Clear Conservative. She started it on Christmas Day 2007 as an outlet for “my frequent venting about the state of affairs,” as she termed it, though she is now on sabbatical from political writing and focused on other passions: running and fitness. If her blog returns to politics, it may be to focus on raising awareness of human trafficking, an issue she cares about deeply. “The Leadership Institute helps shape conservatives by providing them with the essential training to be leaders,” Krystle said. “LI has taught me to become an effective communicator and become active in making my community a better place. LI can help you as well.” We hope to see you at Values Voter Summit! Register here. Please contact LI's Career Services Coordinator Aynsley Harrison at 703-247-2000 for information about the employers recruiting at the career fair or for help pre-registering. “The Leadership Institute helps shape conservatives by providing them with the essential training to be leaders,” Krystle said. “LI has taught me to become an effective communicator and become active in making my community a better place. LI can help you as well.” Please congratulate Krystle Gabele for advocating for life, strong families and healthy societies. Congratulations Krystle on receiving LI's Conservative Leader-In-Training Award! “As Christians and conservatives, we should always remain strong and steadfast for these core values without bowing down to what society thinks. There will be attacks, but they build character and amazing backbone,” Krystle said. “Always persevere and work hard for advancing the issues we are passionate about. I firmly believe that we should also pray for those who persecute us. Ephesians 6:13 says it best, ‘Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.'” To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Lauren Day, at Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.org.
Final 5 lessons from this week's fundraising training
Kyle Baccei
October 4, 2013
Final 5 lessons from this week's fundraising training
The week-long Comprehensive Fundraising Training -- a bootcamp on raising more funds for causes and campaigns -- finished yesterday with the second day of the Direct Mail School. You can find previous highlights from the first day, second day, and third day of the fundraising trainings this week. ----- Don't use the plural. Write to one person. Rick Hendrix, Founding Partner of ClearWord Communications Group, came back to lead the final day of the Direct Mail School and Comprehensive Fundraising Training. He taught attendees how to write effective fundraising letters to their donors. Other key points: --> Know your target audience. What are their backgrounds and what are their issues? Ask yourself, who are you writing to? What are you writing about? --> The first line must grab the reader's attention. You need a strong opening. --> In the closing, restate what you want the donor to do. Ask for the gift! ----- Direct mail is like a contract. You make an offer and the donor accepts it. Treat the donation like an investmnet. Robert Stuber, Director of Development at Americans for Prosperity, joined the attendees of the Direct Mail school to explain how to make an offer a donor can't refuse. Other key points: --> Donors want value -- and credibility. --> You want to have a life-long relationship with your donor. The goal: a donor giving you $15 should have such a lasting love of your organization that he or she includes it in their estate plans. --> List specifics -- about your organization and your projects -- to give you credibility. List the technical specifics to show what you will use donors' money to do. --> Be timely in your talking points. If you're not, it seems like you don't know what's going on. ----- Remember that your donors are on a calendar-year schedule. Matt Waters, President of Waters Agency, was up next. He talked to attendees about how to get a fundraising letter opened, by personalizing the piece and using the calendar. Other key points: --> You want your piece to be high-quality, but you don't want to make it seem like you're investing too much money in it. --> To personalize your pieces, use multiple stamps, handwritten font, and a return address. Write in the letter. ----- Be an archer. Every interaction with a donor is getting you closer to the bull's eye. Brian David of Active Engagement spoke next. He presented on the importance of online efforts to complement a direct mail fundraising program. Other key points: --> Be consistent across multiple channels (e.g. mail and email), especially with your logo. --> Know your medium. Online is great for things happening right now. Traditional mail is great for perennial issues. --> The fundamentals of online fundraising are no different than those of direct mail. ----- Read My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising (on Amazon here). Richard Viguerie, Chairman of American Target Advertising, Inc., closed out the Direct Mail School and the week-long Comprehensive Fundraising Training. Often referred to as the "funding father" of the conservative movement, he shared his valuable personal and professional experience with attendees. --> A donor base is critical to your direct mail efforts. --> Understand the lifetime value of a donor. This is the key to good fundraising. Kyle Baccei is the Communications Manager for the Leadership Institute. Follow him on Twitter (@KyleBaccei).
5 tips for raising money by direct mail
Kyle Baccei
October 3, 2013
5 tips for raising money by direct mail
The first day of the Direct Mail School was a busy one for attendees yesterday. The training is the second half of the Leadership Institute's Comprehensive Fundraising Training -- a week-long bootcamp on raising funds. Below are the big lessons I got from each speaker. The last round of updates will be here tomorrow. ----- The right lists won't guarantee success, but the wrong list guarantees failure. Emily Lewis, the president of Lewis and Company Marketing, led off the first day of the Direct Mail School. She explained how and why direct mail fundraising works for organizations. Other key points: --> 75% of your new donors may come through direct mail. --> Direct mail empowers conservatives because it allows you to bypass media gatekeepers. --> People give because they want to shape a better future, share a purpose, get involved, and enjoy a special status. ----- You should invest in prospecting if you have enough time, have enough potential donors, and have enough startup funds. Kevin Allen, Chief Operating Officer at The Richard Norman Company, explained to attendees how donor prospecting -- i.e. contacting new, potential donors who have not yet given to you -- can help you build your donor file. Other key points: --> Prospecting protects against file attrition, can advance your goals, helps you identify high-dollar donors, and can reactivate lapsed donors. --> Avoid prospecting if you won't risk losing money, if you don't have enough potential donors, or if you're not committed to mailing your house file, i.e. the donors who already give to your organization. ----- Know as much as possible about your donor list(s). Rita O'Neil, president of the O'Neil Marketing Company, spoke next to attendees of the Direct Mail School. She talked about donor lists and the benefits of acquiring, borrowing, and trading them. Other key points: --> Your donor list is your most valuable asset. Treat it that way. --> Donor lists have drastically different values depending on the relationships you have built (or haven't built) in the past. ----- Always give your donors credit for the good that is being done. Heather Sherlock, Donor Relations Officer at the Leadership Institute, and Jacquelyn Monaghan, Development Assistant for Major Gifts at The Heritage Foundation, spoke together on a panel to teach attendees how to build relationships with their donors. Other key points: --> Keep a running list of accomplishments to share with your donors. Tell donors specifically what their gifts are funding. --> Five ways to show you care about your donors: love what your organization does, pay attention to the details, give your donors special treatment, engage resistance, and go above and beyond what is required. ----- You can't control everything. Control what you can. Rick Hendrix, Founding Partner of ClearWord Communications Group, shared his thoughts with attendees about scheduling mailers and analyzing your direct mail results. Other key points: --> Direct mail is an art and a science. The art is package and design. The science is the schedule and testing. --> Put yourself in your donors' shoes. What will be there to distract them? What holidays are coming up? --> Make sure you ask yourself these questions: what is the response rate? What is the average contribution? What is the return on investment? What is the cost to acquire a donor? What is the long-term value of a donor? Kyle Baccei is the Communications Manager for the Leadership Institute. Follow him on Twitter (@KyleBaccei).
5 lessons from LI's high-dollar fundraising training
Kyle Baccei
October 2, 2013
5 lessons from LI's high-dollar fundraising training
The High-Dollar Fundraising School came to a close yesterday. The packed, two-day training is just part of the Leadership Institute's Comprehensive Fundraising Training -- a week-long bootcamp on raising funds. Below are the key takeaways I got from each speaker. More to come throughout the week; the Direct Mail School is next. ----- Vision, mission, program: Your vision is what success looks like. Your mission is why you do it. Your program fulfills your mission. Connie Marshner, President of Connie Marshner and Associates, led the second day of the High-Dollar Fundraising School by teaching attendees how to organize a successful development (fundraising) department and how to develop their message. Other key points: --> You need a fundraising plan to provide focus. It helps you use your resources wisely -- and it protects you from "good idea syndrome." --> Emotion, not logic, drives peoples' decisions to give to your campaign or cause. ----- The four steps of a sale, fundraising or otherwise: attention, interest, desire, and (your) ask. Todd Meredith, co-owner of Morgan, Meredith, & Associates, explained how to run successful fundraising events, from start to finish -- and maximizing your return on investment. Other key points: --> Fundraising is about making a sale to your donor. Don't talk your donor out of the sale. --> When events succeed, you get large sums of money in a short amount of time, you reward donors, and you earn media coverage. --> Events fail without a plan, when the candidate or president is unprepared, or even just due to bad locations. ----- Never assume. (In this case, that donors know you take gifts on a long-term basis.) Michael Barvick, Director of Major Planned Giving at The Heritage Foundation, talked about how to develop an effective and successful planned giving program for your organization. Other key points: --> Consistency is the single biggest indicator of a potential planned giver. --> When you're telling stories to donors, make them about real people and real families who have supported your cause or organization. --> For every estate gift you know of, there are four you don't. ----- Start by looking for the organizations that identify with you. Tracey Johnson, President and CEO of CREDO Strategies, explained the nuts and bolts of grant-writing and how it could be used to fund your organization. Other key points: --> Include grant proposals as part of your fundraising plan. A grant is an award of funds given by a group or organization to another organization for a cause or project. --> Send grant-giving organizations a newsletter or other information about your group. Let them know what you're about. --> Don't forget to search locally for organizations that award grants. ----- The majority of the time you contact a donor in a year, it should not be to ask for money. Morton Blackwell, president of the Leadership Institute, closed the High-Dollar Fundraising School with a two-hour lecture on the "care and feeding" of donors. He taught students how to put together the lessons they had learned to build stable, thriving organizations. Other key points: --> Always remember: you can't save the world if you can't pay the rent. --> Large donors usually start as small donors. You must treat all donors well. --> Thank you cards to your donors should be warm and heartfelt. --> Most donors give to people, not to organizations. Create close, personal ties whenever possible. In practice, you will become personal friends with many of your donors. Kyle Baccei is the Communications Manager for the Leadership Institute. Follow him on Twitter (@KyleBaccei).
6 takeaways from LI's High-Dollar Fundraising School (Day 1)
Kyle Baccei
September 30, 2013
6 takeaways from LI's High-Dollar Fundraising School (Day 1)
The first day of the Leadership Institute's Comprehensive Fundraising Training -- a week-long bootcamp in raising funds for campaigns and causes -- kicked off with a full day at the High-Dollar Fundraising School. If you couldn't make it, don't worry. Below are the key takeaways I learned from each speaker. More to come throughout the week. ----- You can't thank your donors enough. Carsten Walter, Development Director of the Heritage Foundation, opened the training by answering the question: why do people give you money? He explained the keys of donor communication and the importance of saying thanks. Other key points: --> People give because of a cause. Ask donors about an issue and then about how passionate they are about that issue. --> Send a thank-you note to donors and thank them multiple times. --> After you thank you donors, let them know where their money went. ----- The five elements of asking donors: simple, unexpected, concrete, creditable, and have emotion or stories. Ian Ivey, who works for the General Service Administration but has a long background in the conservative movement, taught attendees how to create a case for giving -- and how to make it stick. Other key points: --> Your goal is to persuade donors that what you are doing is valuable to them. --> A good "pitch" follows the same checklist: simple, unexpected, concrete, creditable, and have emotion or stories. ----- Fundraising in-person or over the phone is your most cost-effective way to raise money. Nancy Bocskor, Founder of the Nancy Bocskor Company, explained to students how to raise money person-to-person, to know when to ask for money, and to know what to avoid. Other key points: --> When you're making an ask, you have 21 seconds to make your impression. --> The results of personal solicitation are immediate. Anytime you call someone rather then send them direct mail your response rate will go up five times. --> When you're asking for funds, you need to have a firm greeting, engage in small talk, make a good sales pitch, and then close the deal. ----- One person can only meet so many people -- so it's important to raise money with tools like direct mail. John Davis is the Director of Donor Communications at the Leadership Institute. He talked about the benefits of having a high-dollar direct-mail fundraising program. Other key points: --> The response rate to your first letter will be around 2%. But that's alright. Your goal is to build a core group of donors. --> Don't worry about getting a "no." --> Build relationships with your donors. Make your communication as personal as you can. It's okay not to ask for money. ----- Your fundraising campaign must have a mission statement that is short and to the point. It creates energy and urgency. Karla Bruno is the Director of Foundations and Corporate Relations at the Leadership Institute. She taught attendees how to use capital campaigns to help their organizations grow. Other key points: --> Capital campaigns can super-charge your fundraising program when they tap into urgency. A sense of urgency in politics is phenomenal. --> The Leadership Institute's expanded its Campus Leadership Program into new office space with multiple elements of a successful capital campaign: a clearly defined mission, a sense of urgency with a deadline for action, and a video appeal with endorsements from conservative movement leaders, including Grover Norquist and Governor Mike Pence. ----- Don't treat your donors as if you're meeting them for the first time. Dick Patten, the CEO of Patten and Associates, explained to attendees how they could upgrade their donors. Other key points: --> Remember: working with your donors is about their needs and wants, not yours -- theirs. Provide engagement in all your communications with them. --> Ask your donors for their input on a report card. Look at what's been accomplished and what needs to be done. --> Create a strategic plan for upgrading donors with dates, actions, benchmarks, and goals. Kyle Baccei is the Communications Manager for the Leadership Institute. Follow him on Twitter (@KyleBaccei).
Liberty Isn’t Free: It Must Be Fought For
Lauren Day
September 10, 2013
Liberty Isn’t Free: It Must Be Fought For
Teri Capshaw, a homeschooler from South Dakota, worked as a TV and local newspaper reporter during college. After graduation, she was hired as an evening news producer in Boise, Idaho, where she met her husband -- before starting her own sewing business. Now, she takes her professional background and understanding of the challenges that come with owning a business into meetings with donors and potential partners for Campaign for Liberty, where she serves as the donor relations officer. “I grew up training horses, participating in rodeos, raising small animals, and learning about the small businesses owned by my parents and grandparents. As a result, I brought a unique perspective to the news business—and thoroughly enjoyed reporting in my home area,” Teri said. “Now, I have a huge amount of respect for our donors at Campaign for Liberty, and I think a big part of that is knowing just how much work it takes to make money in a small business.” The Leadership Institute helped Teri launch her career. “I got my job at Campaign for Liberty (C4L) as the result of Leadership Institute training, so I certainly appreciate what you do,” Teri said. “I asked the main instructor from my Legislative Project Management Class, Mike Rothfeld, for advice on finding a job with an organization that would operate ethically and effectively. He interviewed me and recommended me to John Tate, the president of Campaign for Liberty.” Teri's husband Jesse accepted a job in 2009 that brought them from Idaho to Manassas, Virginia – just 45 minutes from the nation's capital. That's when Teri began working for Campaign for Liberty. In October 2009, she started working in the Outreach Department. Three months later, Teri assumed her current position as the donor relations officer in the Development Department. Some of Teri's responsibilities include working with donors interested in supporting C4L's key projects, like its effort to pass legislation to audit the Federal Reserve, its candidate survey program, and its ongoing effort to fight an Internet sales tax. “At C4L we have an incredibly committed base of nearly 750,000 members willing to lobby their elected officials to limit the federal government to its proper constitutional role,” Teri said. “By partnering with our donors we are able to provide the communication and organizational structure necessary to mobilize that membership base. I am also working with the wonderful sponsors we have lined up for the third annual Liberty Political Action Conference from September 19 to 22 in Chantilly, Virginia. I am excited to have the Leadership Institute join us as a sponsor again this year!” The Leadership Institute will have a table in the exhibit hall with several staffers, so please stop by! Also, LI President Morton Blackwell will take the stage Friday, September 20 at 2 p.m. LPAC tickets are available here. “The Liberty Political Action Conference is an opportunity to encourage, energize, and further equip a grassroots army focused on stopping government overreach into our lives,” Teri said. “I absolutely love the camaraderie this event brings out in an extremely diverse crowd. Conservative, libertarian, and constitutional speakers, activists, organizations and businesses all come together to celebrate the principles that made America great—and train for future success,” Teri explained. Teri's background working in media and covering local and state politics shaped the work she does now. “My perspective allowed me to see how often, political decisions are driven by fear, incentives (for those willing to seek power), and a sense of futility. Even elected officials in relatively powerful positions—and whom I respect on a personal level—often seem to be only gears in a powerful system. Feeling frustrated by that and looking for an alternative to politics-as-usual led me to take the Legislative Project Management course at the Leadership Institute. Being introduced to the concept of confrontational politics was an incredible experience,” Teri remembers. “Much of our current political process—of which the media plays a predictable part—rewards politicians for saying popular things to get elected, but then allows them to benefit key donors who lobby for government favors. Confrontational politics short-circuits that system by holding elected officials accountable for their actions.” To learn how to put pressure on elected officials and force accountability, register right now for LI's newest training: Tactical Warfare. Like many, Teri found out about the Leadership Institute through word of mouth. “I asked an elder from a church I used to attend for advice on finding a job in politics with an organization that wouldn't compromise its principles,” Teri remembers. “He suggested that I introduce myself to the Leadership Institute's President Morton Blackwell and ask him for advice. I wasn't quite brave enough—so I did the next best thing and signed up for the Legislative Project Management School.” “I have used most of what I learned during LI's Legislative Project Management School,” Teri said. “Learning how to lobby effectively and use a grassroots approach has been useful both when I help with special projects and when donors ask for things they can do in addition to supporting C4L financially.” In addition to the Legislative Project Management School, Teri took LI's On-Camera Television Workshop. “The Leadership Institute provides excellent resources to help conservatives become effective in the political arena,” Teri said. “I recommend that others who truly want to make a difference for their cause get educated at LI. There are many traps in the political world that can make us feel effective while accomplishing very little. It's crucial to ensure that we are really on the right track to have a lasting impact.” Sign up now for LI's week-long Comprehensive Fundraising Training. You'll learn how to make a lasting impact, or at least the funds to program your initiatives. Topics to be discussed include how to solicit major gifts, what makes a direct mail package most effective, and how to move into raising funds online. Contact Carol Wehe at Carol@LeadershipInstitute.org for more details. In 2010, Teri and Jesse's daughter was born in Manassas, Virginia. Last summer, Jesse's job took their family back to Boise “just in time for our son David to be born in September.” “Today I work from home,” Teri said. “We have a one-acre lot inside the Boise city limits where we are allowed to keep goats and a small flock of chickens—so life at our house is always interesting! I occasionally blog about those adventures at thisblessedlibertylife.com.” Please congratulate Teri Capshaw on receiving the Leadership Institute's Conservative Leader-In-Training Award and please spread the word about the upcoming Liberty Political Action Conference. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award where they will have an article written about them, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Lauren Day, at Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.org.
Ballerina Dances Her Way Into Colorado Politics
Kelly Macfarland
August 26, 2013
Ballerina Dances Her Way Into Colorado Politics
Alexa Van Anne isn't your ordinary 19-year-old. She's a competitive ballerina, a committed conservative activist, and dreaming of running for office herself – but first, she's got to finish college. Alexa got her start in politics working for the reelection of her congressman, Rep. Mike Coffman, in 2012. As area campaign director for Mike Coffman for Congress, Alexa went door-to-door canvassing and phone banking. As November neared, Alexa became more involved in working on projects with the field director for her district. “Every week or so, we would have large groups of college students come in to help make phone calls and canvass, so I helped to train them on our systems,” Alexa said. Alexa also worked to publicize the debate between Congressman Coffman and his opponent, Joe Miklosi – one of the most competitive House races in 2012. She recruited campaign supporters so they made up the majority of the audience – and media coverage. Alexa's experience with the Coffman team didn't end with November elections. After the election results, she felt inspired by the work her Congressman was doing and decided she wanted to apply for an internship with his fundraising firm, The Starboard Group. Through her internship at The Starboard Group, Alexa got involved with other local political opportunities, including Congressman Corey Gardner's campaign, Colorado Secretary Scott Gessler's campaign, and local non-profits. During the legislative session, Alexa interned for State Representative Jerry Sonnenberg; after the session, for Secretary Scott Gessler's campaign. Alexa is very much an advocate for her state, and has big dreams that include running for office. “I would like to run for elected office in my home state of Colorado,” Alexa said. Growing up, Alexa learned the value that small businesses bring to the community and families. Working for her father's store—Blade Runner Services—Alexa gained valuable insight that has made her appreciate the hard work that goes into building and maintaining a business and the people behind them. “Working at a small business founded by my father provided me the opportunity to know what it takes to run a company,” Alexa said. Alongside being a committed activist for liberty, Alexa has spent the last 14 years of her life practicing ballet. During her time performing, Alexa lettered twice and was in a dance company for six years. After hearing about the Leadership Institute's Youth Leadership School from a friend who took the political bootcamp, Alexa decided to attend. Her experience was one that she will never forget. “I had an incredible experience at LI's Youth Leadership School. I learned exactly what it takes to be a conservative leader, and I was left with the tools to be one,” Alexa said. “The speakers were remarkable, and I was humbled by the opportunity to learn from each of them. Being a part of this two-day training alongside like-minded individuals was a great experience, and I met many promising future leaders. Most impressive, however, was the sheer amount of applicable information.” After taking the Youth Leadership School at the Leadership Institute in July with 141 others, she said she was “better informed” for her political future. And this fall, she will be joining 10 other conservatives to intern for the Leadership Institute. “I would recommend the Youth Leadership School to anyone who wants to become involved in politics. Everyone could learn something because the focus is on highlighting the skills of a selfless leader, which is very uncommon,” she said. Sign up now for one of LI's Youth Leadership Schools (YLS). The weekend trainings are hosted all over the country, or you may contact Daryl Ann Dunigan (DDunigan@LeadershipInstitute.org or 703-247-2000) to host a YLS training near you. Please congratulate Alexa Van Anne on receiving the Leadership Institute's Conservative Leader-In-Training Award and please encourage her to continue advancing conservatism in Colorado. To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate or faculty member for the Conservative Leader Award or Conservative Leader-In-Training Award where they will have an article written about them, please contact LI's Director of External Affairs Lauren Day, at Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.org.
LI Engages Latinos in Florida
Paulo Sibaja
August 23, 2013
LI Engages Latinos in Florida
The Leadership Institute and partnering organizations went to Orlando, Florida to meet with more than 70 people from across the I-4 corridor to find the issues that unite conservatives and Hispanics. Notable guests included a representative from U.S. Senator Marco Rubio's staff, a candidate for Florida governor, several candidates for Congress, local elected officials, and community and business leaders. Attendees interacted with event speakers from partnering organizations -- The LIBRE Initiative, Faith & Freedom Coalition, Voto Honesto, and the Heritage Foundation. Members of the audience asked questions ranging from immigration policy to messaging to Hispanics, winning over youth, education reform, and more. The event was held at the Orange County Regional History Center. The courtroom, a vintage early 1900's courtroom, was the same courtroom where Ted Bundy was found guilty. In fact, the corner of the defendant's desk has his name inscribed. Bertica Cabrera Morris, the featured business women, engaged the crowd and called for action. Her family fled Cuba in search of freedom. She raised five children while working and bettering the lives of those around her. She has inspired many. Sue Tombino from Boca Raton said, “This event has been very informative, passionate, and clear. We need more of these forums.”
LI's Newest Initiative --
Paulo Sibaja
May 9, 2013
LI's Newest Initiative -- "Issues That Unite: Latinos & Conservatism"
Issues That Unite: Latinos & Conservatism in Las Vegas, Nevada was the first city out of eight the Leadership Institute and its partnering national organizations visited. The Leadership Institute partnered with New America, a new organization in Nevada seeking to engage minorities. The event was a success; representatives from Governor Sandoval, Senator Heller, and Congressman Heck's office attended the event as did more than 100 other individuals. The event was held at the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas, a venue known for hosting El Dia del Niño and El Dia de los Muertos (The day of the Child and The day of the Dead). Attendees were treated to appetizers and beverages as they networked prior to the events' start. The first half of the event focused on public policy and how it affects Latinos. Isreal Ortega from The Heritage Foundation discussed economic and school public policy. Leticia Gardea, a small business owner in Las Vegas, gave her testimony as a Latina entrepreneur. Tim Mooney, representing Faith & Freedom Coalition, discussed family policy. The second half of the event tied public policy to practical training. Dan Garza with The Libre Initiative talked about messaging to Latinos while Adryana Boyne from VOCES Action discussed the importance of Hispanic Media. The day concluded with an immigration panel discussion where questions regarding immigration from the audience were answered. Highlights: 1. More than 100 attendees 2. Notable guests included: -Representative from Governor Sandoval's office - Representative from Senator Heller's office - Representative from Congressman Heck's office - Other candidates for public office - Leaders from New America, Libre Initiative, Heritage Foundation, VOCES Action, Tea Party Patriots and Leadership Institute 3. Red Card Solution,The Heritage Foundation, the Leadership Institute, and VOCES Action all distributed helpful materials to every attendee
The Civil Service: How to Cut Through the Bureaucracy
Justin Fiehrer
February 22, 2013
The Civil Service: How to Cut Through the Bureaucracy
The Leadership Institute hosted the first Civil Service Opportunity School in more than two years this past Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. The 24 students that attended learned a variety of things about the civil service including its history, how it works today, and what it takes to get a job in the government. The first lecture titled, “Why the Federal Government?” was taught by Mark Johnson, a supervisory IT specialist with the Department of Commerce. Mark discussed the hiring process, the roles of networking and tips to navigate your way through federal job searches. “The federal government has tremendous flexibility that allows you to move from one job to the next,” he said. The U.S. government is the largest employer in the nation which includes many career options and locations for potential employees to choose from. LI's 2006 Civil Service Opportunity School helped Mark get his current position. He said, “The Leadership Institute helped me move from Denver to DC, and then from the private sector to the civil service in 2008.” One of the Leadership Institute's interns this spring, Leah Courtney remarked on Mark's experience: “I really appreciated hearing his experience in the civil service and all the tricks of the trade he provided.” Terry Campo, who served as special assistant and chief of staff for the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Energy during the Reagan Administration discussed the origins and purpose of the civil service. Terry explained the structures of executive agencies and the relationship between political appointees versus career employees. Terry commented on how political appointees and the employees under them are chosen. “It's supposed to be politically fair, but in reality it's not,” Terry said. One of the best resources is job directories where jobseekers can find the best person to contact regarding employment. Laura Turner, a current intern for Judicial Watch, thought his resources were helpful to her job search. “He was very helpful explaining how to tailor resumes. I will definitely be using his tips for future job searches,” Laura said. George Nesterchzuk, who served as a senior official in the Reagan Administration, talked about the political management and environment of the civil service. His best advice came on Wednesday night. “The civil service is protected by a very thick book of rules and regulations. My best advice is to get your application in to every opening there is in the federal government,” George advised. Eldon Girdner, who has more than a decade of service in the federal government, discussed the application process and navigating through it. He also talked about where and how to find jobs in the civil service. Eldon talked about how best to tailor resumes for federal jobs, and their differences from resumes for the private sector. “When searching for federal jobs, the more information you have on your resume the better because computers search through resumes and match up key words before they actually reach a person,” he explained. The students attending left the civil Service school with knowledge from faculty with years of service in the public sector. These students now know how to maneuver their way into a federal job and start tearing down the wall of bureaucracy. The Leadership Institute offers several career related workshops throughout the year. Go here to register for one.
80 Conservatives Now Ready to be Campaign Managers!
Ulrik Boesen
February 15, 2013
80 Conservatives Now Ready to be Campaign Managers!
Last week 80 conservative activists gathered at the Leadership Institute headquarters for an intense four day Campaign Management School (CMS). Tea party leader from Charleston, South Carolina Dean Allen said, “I have been involved in politics since I was the Galveston County youth chairman for Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential race. I ran Ronald Reagan's GOTV operation in Galveston County. I consider myself an expert in politics who is well trained and knows the ropes very well. I was very pleasantly surprised at the quality of instruction, the broad scope of activities covered, and all the things I either did not know as in depth as I had thought; or, at the technology and newer methods that are more efficient. I learned a huge amount every day! I strongly recommend the educational programs of the Leadership Institute to any conservative activist who cares about the future of our republic and plans to be involved in the process of saving America.” Twenty-two of the nation's top political operatives served as volunteer faculty to these 80 aspiring campaigners. On day one Mike Rothfeld, president of SABER Communications, taught LI students the “Real Nature of Politics” and how to organize a campaign. Leah Holloway, a grassroots activist from Norfolk, Virginia said, “What a breath of fresh air! Rothfeld's delivery was awesome. His lecture was informative and truthful. I just can't get enough of this man! His insights make me question what I thought I already knew.” “ABCs of Polling,” lecture was taught by Tyler Harber, a partner with Harcom Strategies, where he described the purpose of polling and emphasized the importance of polling strategy. With 22 seasoned faculty, the lineup included: Mark Kelly, deputy chief of staff for Congressman Tim Huelskamp, who lectured about the importance of precinct organization; John Tate, president for Campaign for Liberty, who taught students the ins and outs about fundraising via direct mail; Terry Campo of The Campo Group who taught about opposition research; Edward King, director of programs & operations at Young Americans for Liberty, who spoke on different strategies for getting out the vote; Jordan Lieberman, president of CampaignGrid, who gave a great lecture on the newest campaign technology; Steve Sutton, former chief of staff to three freshmen Members of Congress and presently, LI's vice president of development, who spoke on message development; and many others. Elisabeth Jessop, currently a campaign manager, said, “I loved the lecture on developing your message by Steve Sutton. The four boxes was a great illustration of how to approach political opponents and how to create a positive message to your supporter!” The training saved the very best for last when Leadership Institute President Morton Blackwell lectured on the handling of negative information. Amazingly, students were still eager to learn more after four days of intensive training. Personhood Florida state coordinator Brenda Macmenamin said, “My favorite was Morton Blackwell just talking to us. To realize how much impact this one man has had was very encouraging!” To see photos of the week-long training, check out the pictures on Facebook here. LI's next Campaign Management School is the week of June 3. Go here to learn more and sign up. To see what other trainings LI offers, go here to see the upcoming schedule.
Breakfast with a Side of Economics
Carmela Martinez
February 7, 2013
Breakfast with a Side of Economics
Yesterday the Leadership Institute welcomed Art Carden, assistant professor of economics at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and 129 others for LI's monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast. Watch his full speech here. Dr. Carden is a strong advocate for free markets and economic liberty. In addition to his professor duties, he is a senior research fellow with the Institute for Faith, Work and Economics, a research fellow with the Independent Institute, and a regular contributor to Forbes.com. "Redistribution doesn't solve poverty; it's economic freedom that solves poverty in the world,” he shared yesterday. "When we redistribute land from private owners to government, we are lowering economic growth in the long run." Americans have a right to the income they earn, Dr. Carden said. And when people are over-taxed, it reduces their incentive to work and in essence the government is making the world poorer, he argued. Dr. Carden has written papers on economic development, southern economic history, and Walmart. He argued that immigrating to the United States should be easier. Immigrants help grow the economy because they bring skills to America; they do not take jobs away from Americans. "We need open and competitive markets. The Institute for Justice argues that one in three people need a government license to engage in their chosen profession -- this is absurd." Dr. Carden made arguments against the minimum wage, saying that it creates unintended consequences such as unemployment in the long run and enables the “rent-seeking society” – those that are directly pick-pocketing other people's pockets. He closed by stating that we need to think hard about where we have come from, where we currently are, and where we're going. Should we be focused on questions of redistribution or economic growth, and how do we recapture property rights and a competitive market? Please join LI at March's Wake-Up Club Breakfast on March 6. Sign up here.
LI's 2012 In Review
Lauren Day
January 2, 2013
LI's 2012 In Review
This past year—2012—was record-breaking for the Leadership Institute. LI's staff and 349 volunteer faculty trained 13,896 conservatives—the most ever in any year of the Institute's 33-year history—bringing the total trained to 116,800 since its 1979 founding. LI hosted 359 trainings in more than 30 states and 13 countries. Twelve stories on LI's CampusReform.org made national news, making the site America's #1 source for campus news online with more than 2 million unique hits. LI's 25 field representatives helped conservative students start 269 new independent student groups into LI's unique network of 1,511 student groups on 616 college campuses, the largest such network in the nation. LI's Career Services Center hosted 985 attendees at job fairs, offered 120 hours of personal career mentoring, and placed 104 conservatives in jobs. LI's 37 interns came from 33 colleges, 19 states, 6 countries, and spent 3,429 hours combined in LI training. It's been a good year at the Leadership Institute, and we are excited about what 2013 has in store! How has LI helped you on your professional journey? Email Lauren@LeadershipInstitute.org to share your story. We are always looking to spotlight notable graduates of LI programs.
The Fraud of “Hope” and “Change”
Lauren (Hart) Day
December 6, 2012
The Fraud of “Hope” and “Change”
The Leadership Institute welcomed Kate Obenshain, writer, speaker, and frequent Fox News guest, to its monthly Wednesday Wake-Up Club Breakfast. More than 90 conservatives came early Wednesday morning to hear her discuss Divider-In-Chief, her latest book, and how President Obama has deceived Americans with his hope and change rhetoric. Kate specifically focused her speech on young Americans and how the Obama administration has affected them. As she wrote in her book, “Barack Obama has played young people. He reached out to them with soaring speeches championing unity, and they responded to his call to transcend differences and engage in a new kind of politics. In fact, they responded with more enthusiasm, more genuine hope than any other demographic. And the president repaid their trust with betrayal—becoming not the great united, but the most divisive president in history. He has robbed them of current and future prosperity, perverted their understanding of the value of hard work, ambition, and the American dream, and poisoned their optimism—the very optimism he used to soar to victory in 2008.” Kate has held many distinguished posts from being the first woman chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia to an appointee for Governors Allen and Gilmore on the State Council of Higher Education to chief of staff to Senator George Allen and serving as vice president of Young America's Foundation. She has four children and is a regular on Fox News and in other media. After Kate's talk, attendees had the opportunity to buy her latest book, Divider-In-Chief: The Fraud of Hope and Change, in person and receive an autographed note. To listen and watch her full remarks Wednesday, please click here for the video.
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