In episode 64 of The Charity Charge Show, Stephen speaks with Gabrielle Magid, Founder and CEO of Stronger Than Stigma, with a mission to empower, inspire, and support those struggling with mental health issues and the people who care about them.
In 2013, Gabrielle Magid, then a student at The University of Florida, noticed that despite free counseling being offered on college campuses, students weren’t going. Students struggled alone and in silence. Back then, just talking about the subject of mental health was brave. Then it became trendy. But young people needed more than talk. They needed action and advocacy. Stronger Than Stigma was born from these beliefs. Gabrielle graduated from the University of Florida. The day after her graduation, Stronger Than Stigma was granted 501(c)3 status from the IRS.
In this episode, Gabby and Stephen discuss the stigma around seeking help for mental health, millennial philanthropy, and the joys and struggles of starting a nonprofit.
Here are some snippets from Gabrielle on this week’s podcast episode:
On changing the culture around mental health:
We recognize the need to change the culture around asking for help. And in order to do that, and reach our demographic, you got to make it cool to talk about, you got to make it accessible, but even like using words like that, it’s not how we [millennials] speak. So you have to talk the talk and walk the walk, and let people figure out for themselves that really cool people that they look up to have had these same struggles. Whatever you can do to facilitate that asking for help.
On millennial donors:
I think we [younger donors] get overlooked a lot. If somebody steps up to become not only a supporter of your organization passively, but then actively becomes engaged in your mission by becoming a donor, they need to feel like their money is the greatest thing since sliced bread to that organization. No matter what dollar amount or how many zeros come after it, that gift needs to be celebrated. I’ve gone to countless seminars where they talk about donor retention and writing thank you notes. And yes, it’s important, but they’re very old school ways of fundraising that really haven’t changed in the nonprofit sector for years. The way that I approach things is, “How can we do things? How can we put our spin on them? How can we teach also along the way?” A lot of millennials feel that they either don’t have the means right now to be philanthropic or feel that if they were to give $5 or $7, that it might not be appreciated or celebrated because it’s not $100 or $1,000. There’s that misconception that millennials can’t be philanthropists, and that the word philanthropy and philanthropist is reserved for just old people who have amassed a fortune and at the end of their lives decide to donate the wing of a school. Yes, that’s philanthropy on a large scale and it’s super important. But people forget that we’re the next generation of donors. Organizations have to be cultivating the next generation of donors. Who’s going to be the next person to give you that $50 million gift? It starts by celebrating that $7.
Interested in listening to the full episode and hearing more from other nonprofits? Check out more episodes here Charity Charge Show