The Expansion Of The Day One Fund

For over ten years, I have been blessed to do what I love and get paid for it. Just a few months ago, I never imagined doing anything else for the rest of my life. Then, COVID-19 created a world of uncertainty for all of us. So, I sat down with the other half of the Day One Leadership team, Allan Grant, to think carefully and creatively about how to reimagine our business model for a pandemic world. We finally had a moment of clarity (or perhaps insanity) and decided on this: for now, we will toss out the idea of a business model and instead, complete the shift to a support model.

So, what does this mean? It means we are expanding our “Day One Fund” initiative and making it available to everyone, not just charities, schools, and non-profits. The Fund is designed to meet your current financial circumstances, regardless of whether your learning and development budgets have been slashed or eliminated. In short: if you need virtual development programming—a virtual keynote, Q&A session, workshop—call us. By shifting fully to a support model through the Day One Fund, we want to be your resource-of-choice during this pandemic to provide inspiration and a sense of purpose to your employees, students, volunteers, or constituents wherever they are.

These last few weeks have pushed us to reimagine the role we hope Day One Leadership can play in supporting those organizations hit hardest by the pandemic. It’s clear that for many, the “new normal” of a COVID-19 world means professional development has been put on hold or continues with a fraction of the resources available prior to the pandemic. We know there are a lot of you out there struggling to identify quality, affordable opportunities to support and develop your teams.

So, facing a choice between working only with those who possess the standard budget for our work (meaning we rarely have impact) or finding a way to make our insights, tools, and resources more accessible to those who want them, we have chosen the latter. After all, “we’re all in this together” is just an empty phrase if we don’t offer something to support those around us. That is why we’ve expanded the eligibility criteria for the Day One Fund.

“We’re all in this together” is just an empty phrase if we don’t offer something to support those around us.

Does that mean we are no longer a for-profit business or “everything is free”? No. We’ve come to learn most people aren’t necessarily looking for free services, they’re looking for recognition of their budget realities. The Day One Fund was designed to create a pool of resources where organizations with more significant budgets can effectively “pay it forward” to other organizations with limited financial resources.  While it was created with charities, schools, and non-profits in mind, we feel the current situation demands we make it available to absolutely everyone. Again—no matter who you are, you now qualify to be considered for the Fund. We recognize we won’t be able to support everyone who applies, but we’re committed to supporting as many of you as we can. 

I’ll be candid: the event and speaking industry is facing immense challenges right now. Unlike many other businesses that are cautiously re-opening, our industry will only do so when it is completely safe for you to be around one another in large groups. No event organizer or planner wants to be responsible for you getting ill due to events designed primarily to improve your social and professional lives. However, just because I’m forced to stay in one place doesn’t mean Day One as a team can’t dedicate ourselves to using our talents and tools to meet the needs of as many people as possible.

To apply for The Day One Fund, head on over to our application and page and fill out the form at the bottom!

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