28 January 2022

2021: Not a newsletter!

We have been contemplating putting together a newsletter to update you on what we’re up to. Then I realized that sharing the annual activity report that we filed with our fiscal sponsor, Social Good Fund, would probably provide you with better insight. It might not be as inspiring as a newsletter, but sharing it lets us spend newsletter-writing time on furthering the mission itself.

In retrospect, we are grappling with a mission that is neither obvious nor easy. I’m proud to say that we got a good grip on it in 2021, and are starting 2022 with clear direction.

— Susanne


2021 Activity Report

What did your project accomplish in 2021? What were your primary activities?

2021 was a year of developing a clearer understanding of the gap we are trying to fill, what it will take to fill it, and how we propose to do so. And of building toward an organization that has the necessary skills and knowledge.

To begin to fill the gap by sharing our knowledge, and to lay a foundation of skills, we

  • Synthesized our COVID-19 findings into “Advice from the front lines,” 7 tips that successful spontaneous leaders would give to others who want to do something.
  • Completed a promotional video, “Ready, Set, Earthquake!” that illustrates the live training approach that we bring to community disaster preparedness.
  • Published a “Wildfire Advent Calendar,” sharing 24 pieces of information related to wildfire (one each day Dec 1-24) on our blog and LinkedIn.
  • Initiated our social media presence by establishing a YouTube channel where we shared our promotional video, Roundtable recordings, and other products of our activities, and a LinkedIn page where we shared information about the materials we are making available.

In our endeavor to understand the gap and what it will take to fill it, we

  • Completed the in-depth report of our study of spontaneous leaders in COVID-19.
  • Convened two Research Roundtable discussions bringing together crisis response researchers with interests in citizen response and social networks, respectively.
  • Started our Wildfire project by gathering background research on wildfire, interviewing individuals who had been through a wildfire, and gathering knowledge of the best practices and training as promoted by professional agencies.

To strengthen our operations, we

Describe the most pressing challenges and threats to your ability to advance your mission

Our most pressing challenges are a shortage of time, and failure to get the right people in the right places. To address them, we are working on making our value story more clear, improving volunteer recruiting and management, and instituting a targeted fundraising approach.

What are your plans for 2022?

We start 2022 with plans for advancing on 3 strategic goals:

  1. Grow our impact
  2. Mature the organization
  3. Expand our network

We plan on pursuing these goals in the context of developing a minimum viable product in the form of a Wildfire Learning Experience. We are currently designing the learning experience with the aim of conducting pilot events in May and June, followed by more general distribution starting late summer. In the course of developing community partnerships to support pilot events, we hope to attract the interest of potential board members, advisors, donors and funders, and to hone our storytelling.

How has fiscal sponsorship impacted your ability to achieve your mission?

Fiscal sponsorship has allowed us to concentrate our efforts on developing program vision and products, while giving us the credibility needed to be taken seriously, and enabling us to collect enough funds that we aren’t paying expenses out of our own pockets.

With Gratitude

If this were a formal annual report, it would include a mission statement, “success” statistics, and “accounting of major contributors.” In practice for the not-too-distant day when we will be preparing a formal annual report, I’d like to add the last section.

My personal thanks to everyone who has helped Creative Crisis Leadership move closer to making the world more socially resilient in 2021:

The core team:

  • Garett Dworman: My eternal thanks for your unstinting enthusiasm, and for continually refreshing my belief in the importance of what we are doing.
  • Zach Pipkin: For your stabilizing influence, loyalty, and always keeping us grounded.

Our first official advisor:

  • Leland Franklin: For your insight, shining example, and quiet guidance.

Our other invaluable volunteers.

And, our major and staunch donors:

  • Maurita Holland
  • Kat Chadwick
  • George Furnas
  • Kyle Brown


Without your encouragement and support, it would be all too easy to lose sight of the light.

— Susanne
Founder & Driving Force


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