Reflection, Growth, and How the Best is Yet to Come
Written by Amanda Lapham, Director, Client Strategy & Success
As the calendar passes the two-year anniversary of the global pandemic shutdown, I take time to reflect. The year 2020 will be remembered through so many different lenses. Some will remember it as a year of despair. Others will remember being alone, not filling their bucket properly and burning the candle at both ends. Most will have plenty of glass half-empty retorts. Me? The opposite.
2020 might have quite possibly been my best year yet. I was laid-off from my long-hours, high-stress corporate events job at seven months pregnant. I was carrying twins in a pandemic, and in July became a stay-at-home-mom to three children under the age of three. And I leaned in.
While the world continued to figure out how to balance everything, I learned how to reset. I learned to love again—the good kind. The kind that fuels your soul with hearty friendships and flawed family members. I watched the social uprising in the news with one victorious fist in the air, and the other feeding a baby. I felt anger, tears, confusion, and disbelief when I watched a broken system fail so many humans, oftentimes the people that didn’t look like me. And then I dug in. I read, I watched, I listened and learned. I cheered quite louder than a woman with three sleeping babes should when our country swore in a female Vice President. It appeared the world was finally changing, right along with my soul.
Then in the spring of 2021, I took a new job with an agency called One & All. It is the result of a merger of two well-respected direct mail marketing firms that serviced the non-profit industry. In short? They help to partner, teach and guide clients on how best to produce awareness and funds to continue propelling their social good organizations to help this planet and its people. It’s COOL work. It meant something. And of course, whether or not I switched industries didn’t mean my curious drive for optimization and risk didn’t die off…
I began questioning rituals, long-standing history. I learned as fast and as much as I could. Acronyms just about became the bane of my existence, and every single person in the TEAMS “room” got to the point where they were sighing when I railroaded yet another meeting with questions. What I thought would be an under-the-radar “safe” agency role has become an incredibly supportive chapter for growth, innovation, and opportunity to help grow the leadership capacity of a hard-working team of individuals. And we’re changing the narrative.
While there is still significant value in the direct mail world, we also tout robust digital fundraising efforts, incredible CX strategy and journey mapping, CSR efforts, corporate fundraising partners and education surrounding crypto, web3 and the ever-changing landscape of the donation future.
While I severely support gender equality in all categories of life, it’s essential to point out that the massive change-makers in this agency are women, and men that support us. Approximately 69% of our workforce is female. And the grueling, gritty and extremely graceful team I have the honor and privilege to lead? They’re 100% women of different ages, ethnicities, races and zip codes—as our agency is also proud to be very mobile and geographically diverse these days.
I cannot help but to sit back in that notion and smile. We have so much work to do, and we have a future to change. But for now? We’re living the actual dream some historical influencers have sweat, bled and cried over for decades. We’re proving that hard work can manifest a future that looks so different from our past.
I believe I was put on this earth to make a difference. I was born stubborn, bold, passionate, and empathetic for one big reason; to stand up for what’s right no matter what the critics say. Being a white female in 2022 comes with one big reminder: Living in a privileged suppressed category is both crushing and exuberant. We have power to do good with our voices and experiences.
And after 15 years in corporate marketing and advertising I decided to make the shift to the social good sector, and what a change it has been.