At the recent Social Ventures Network Conference, I saw some extraordinary fundraising going on. Lynn Twist (author of The Soul of Money) was in tears as she facilitated a fundraising conversation during which donors gave $240,000 for the Bridge project to support diverse social entrepreneurs and another $100,000 for an endowment fund.

I was also inspired to contribute when I received a letter from CFT coach Julia Prenzel. I’m moved by Julia’s desire to support Hussein’s work in Uganda. Even if you don’t know Hussein as I do, I hope you enjoy Julia’s emotional expression of gratitude for the work he does in the world. He wants to become the first NVC trainer in Uganda and he has already done phenomenal work in getting girls to attend school.

I love it when fundraising is a joy – as it clearly is for both Lynn and Julia! Rich Snowdon at would call them a bunch of curve wreckers.

But notice the intimate, inspirational qualities in Julia’s letter:

My very dear fellow participants of the 2010 IIT,

I greet you and I hope that you are all well. Today I am writing for you on behalf of “One School at a Time,” the organization that Hussein manages in Uganda and which helps village communities to build their own schools.

I would like to share with you my reasons for writing to you about this.

In Hussein I saw a rare capacity for compassion and love and the firm hope that these can prevail. I saw a passion for helping and for growing, a firm belief in a cause and a confidence to go forward and to keep on going. At the IIT, Hussein told me that he had noticed that I liked to help. And then he told me to never stop helping, to let NOTHING stop me. I will not forget the power and energy I saw expressed when he said that. I saw his whole manner transform and I behind this I saw great passion and perseverance.

Hussein and his cause touched and inspired me deeply. I left the IIT with his work and words in my ears and heart. And with a wish to, one day, be able to contribute to his cause.

This day has come.

I am currently training to become a coach for transformation (Daniela and I are both participating in a certification program that is co-led by Martha). And the coaching skills finally provide me with something to give that I believe would be of value. So I finally wrote to Hussein and offered pro bono coaching for him, other people within the organization, and also for the children in Uganda so that they are seen and heard, so that they see their own wholeness, recognize their true needs and see their full potential.

To my most great joy Hussein wrote back and accepted.

When he wrote back, he also told me about himself:

  • He told me that he named his new-born son Marshall Rosenberg.
  • He also told me of challenges he had met when trying to use NVC in his life in Uganda.
  • He has just registered for certification as an NVC trainer.
  • He will be traveling to the U.S. in April for further training with his team.

And to my question, whether I could support in any additional way, he said that I could be part of making this training really happen by helping to fund it. I did this. And I also asked if I should spread the word. He said “yes.”

So in remembrance of his words “to let nothing stop me from helping,” I am now spreading the word.

If you are willing, please contribute to “One School at a Time”, thus helping them to spread NVC and pass it on to children so that its life-serving message of empathy and compassion can grow within and with them. I think that, together, we can so easily make this come true. And this would give me so much joy because it would meet my needs for contribution, for hope, for meaning, for connection and community, and for sharing. I feel this joy just writing this already. I am also inviting you to also spread the word. Especially if you are yourselves not able or willing to contribute by funding, you might just as well meet your need to contribute by passing this on.

I am forwarding to you his official web page for the fundraising, which is at:

I would like to inform you that this would be a proper donation, so you will be getting a receipt for it. I got mine within less than a day, and this means that it is tax-deductible.

Be blessed. I am so happy to be able to share this with you.


You’ve all heard the expression, “Give ‘til it hurts.” I prefer the opposite – “Give til it feels really, really great!”

Martha Lasley


About the author:

441 Martha Lasley is a founder of Coaching for Transformation, an accredited coach training program and ChangeMakers, a year-long facilitation training program. She creates results-oriented programs that inspire, motivate, and transform. “I surround myself with people who take risks and look for new ways of doing things; we explore both the solid ground and the edges of transformation.”

Martha is a certified trainer in Nonviolent Communication and is a professional member of the Indian Society for Applied Behavioral Science. She has written three books: Courageous Visions; Facilitating with Heart; and Coaching for Transformation.