Philanthropy Friday: Pioneers for Change

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

This following article is a guest post from Alanna Ford


The world is full of pressing challenges that increasingly demand our attention.

From global hunger, to climate change, to inequitable education, there are so many places and ways in which to direct our efforts, it is hard to know where to begin.

If we are to create significant and sustainable change in our increasingly inter-connected and inter-dependent global society, how do we nurture a culture of open-minded, pioneering ideas and innovation as a necessary means to bridging the gap?

How can we select the issues where our experience and skill sets will create the biggest impact? How do we know that the charities we support are the most effective with our money? How can we engage with the causes we care about beyond simply writing a check? And what are the new, innovative ways of approaching these age-old problems?

These are the questions the team and I from Adessy Associates were grappling with when we decided to launch a new fellowship program for world-changers. Pioneers for Change has been born out of a desire to gather together an international cohort of remarkable people to examine how they can create and progress their social impact; to creatively explore, problem solve and harness their energy and influence to make the world a better place.

Pioneers for Change is a 6-month fellowship that will kick off in November with a 2-day residential in London followed by 6 months of individual, virtual executive coaching and mentoring. The highly interactive program combines the latest thinking, dynamic dialogue, and storytelling from renowned expert contributors. The small cohort of selected fellows will gain new perspective; a network of brilliant, likeminded people; tangible tools; and insight from international leaders on the forefront of their fields. In essence, Pioneers for Change will act as a catalyst for change, by inspiring and empowering those who want to do more than just write a check, to help address the greatest issues of our time.

Pioneers for Change is currently accepting applications for fellows. If it sounds like a program you would like to be apart of, please reach out to me at to arrange a chat or request an application.


Alanna Ford works at the intersection of women’s empowerment, international development and social entrepreneurship. She’s lived in three countries in the last three years. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.


Philanthropy Friday: Bringing Light to Grieving Parents

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

This following article is a guest post from Alexa. Alexa has been the subject of a few posts on this blog due to her amazing advocacy work for newborn health and for those affected by TTTS in particular. You can read my thoughts on her book Sunshine After the Storm here

For most mothers, Mother’s day is a day to be spoiled by their children (and maybe husbands.) It’s a day we look forward to. A day that we, the mother, gets the one day that we are acknowledged for everything that we do as moms. And mothers should be honored. All mothers.

For many mothers, Mother’s day is a source of pain. A constant reminder of what is no longer here, or what will never be.

It’s a very difficult day for grieving mothers. I know, because I am one of them.

“A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love that she holds in her heart.” ~Franchesca Cox


A few years ago, CarlyMarie of Project Heal began International Bereaved Mother’s Day. This day for mother’s to talk about the true meaning of Mother’s Day, and celebrate our children, both with us and not. Do you know why Mother’s Day was begun?

Anna Jarvis officially founded the traditional Mother’s Day to honour her mother Ann who experienced the death of 7 of her children and somehow through the years it has turned into a commercialized mess that corporate companies make millions of dollars from, but the worst thing is that bereaved mothers are completely forgotten. ~CarlyMarie

International Bereaved Mother’s Day is now the Sunday preceding Mother’s Day. So this year it is May 5th.

Inspired by the actions of CarlyMarie and so many others who make it their mission to bring light to grieving parents, I wanted to do something as well. Last October, in time for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on October 15th, a group of bereaved parents and I published our book Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother. It is our stories and our best advice and tips on surviving the loss of a pregnancy, infant, or older child.

Fueled by the positive feedback and the positive impact it was having on other parents who have suffered the death of a child, we went one step further and created a nonprofit, Sunshine After the Storm, Inc, to raise funds to donate the books to hospitals, bereavement groups, and organizations that support bereaved parents.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I wanted to do something special. So we decided to start a special “Mother’s Day Campaign.” The goal is simple: raise money to donate as many books as we can to hospitals and bereavement groups for Mother’s Day, and use a portion of the funds to make a special Mother’s Day contribution to the organizations that support bereaved parents, infant death, pregnancy loss, and research for children’s health issues.

I also reached out to different people, including some well-known authors on baby and child loss, such as Sherokee Ilke and Teske Drake; to CarlyMarie (who creates the most beautiful artwork for bereaved parents on her Shore of Remembrance) and many others. I asked for donated items and services so that we could offer a wonderful incentive for those who decide to find it in their heart to make a donation. The response was amazing, and on May 4th, International Bereaved Mother’s Day, we will have a giveaway of 15 incredible items. And more may be added!

Mother's Day campaign prizes

I’ve donated a mini coaching session for this giveaway!

We just ask for one thing. A very small donation. $5 (or more if you’d like!) It costs us about $8 to donate each book. One donation will get you entered for a chance to win all of these amazing prizes! (Donate here)

But more importantly, you will know that you have directly impacted the life of a mother who is hurting on Mother’s Day.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

noholdingbackAlexa Bigwarfe is the mother of four beautiful children, three on earth and one in Heaven.  She blogs as “Kat Biggie” at “No Holding Back” which was started primarily as an outlet for her grief after the loss of one of her twin daughters. Alexa is a wife, mother, writer, advocate, and sometimes political activist. She, and 30 other grieving parents, recently published a book for grieving mothers entitled Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother. Now, as a way to give back to grieving parents, Alexa and her co-contributors have begun a special Mother’s Day Campaign for bereaved mothers. Their goal is to raise the funds to donate more than 100 books to hospitals and bereavement groups, and give away some really great gifts too. You can find out more about this campaign by going here:

How I’m Shopping With a Conscience This Holiday Season on


My piece about reframing philanthropy that I published on Medium was recently featured on the home page of This excited me because is one of my favorite online communities. (If you haven’t read the post, please do. I think it’s one of my favorite posts that I’ve written!)

If you are not familiar with GOOD, it’s “a global community of, by, and for pragmatic idealists working towards individual and collective progress.”

GOOD is for people who give a damn.

So when they asked me to write a piece for the website, I was honored.

Today, I’m sending you over to to read my article on how I’m shopping with a conscience this holiday season.

If you’re not a part of GOOD, I hope you’ll visit today and join the community. They also have a great print magazine.

Read: Five Simple Ways to Shop with a Conscience This Holiday

That’s me on the home page!

Are you a part of the GOOD community?

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