Pro Bono Work Update

Thoughts on Excellence Free E-Newsletter Series
Volume 15, Issue No. 2b
June 15, 2016

By Dan Coughlin

Since starting my business in 1998 I have given several pro bono, which is a fancy Latin term meaning “for free,” presentations on leadership, teamwork, innovation, and branding to certain types of Not-for-Profit Organizations including American Cancer Society, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Deaconess Foundation, and Incarnate Word Foundation. Any time I’ve been asked to speak for free to not-for-profit organizations who have a great mission and little to no money for professional development, I have said yes.

Update Since January 2016

In January 2016 I began to actively reach out to my network to offer to speak for free on any aspect of The Any Person Mindset Management Approach. Right away I gave several pro bono presentations.

Looking for Opportunities to Speak for Free to Certain Types of Not-For-Profit Organizations

I’ve been in my own business for almost 20 years. As I look at the next 20 years I want a big part of my work to be speaking for free to not-for-profit organizations who have great missions and little or no money for professional development.

If you are interested in having me speak for free on any aspect of The Any Person Mindset Management Approach to the type of not-for-profit organizations I’ve described, click here for more information. Always feel free to reach out to me at or 314-614-8622.


Here are some of the comments I received from various not-for-profit organizations:

From the American Cancer Society:

Dan, I want to thank you again for your compelling presentation ‘Accelerate Your Impact as a Leader’ at the American Cancer Society Corporate Impact Conference. I continue to use and re-use the information and material to improve my leadership capabilities. The Conference Planning Committee, as well as my many colleagues at the session, agreed that your practical advice, along with the Leadership Action Guide, hit the mark. As leaders, one of our primary roles is to have an impact on how other people think, and you provided excellent insight and actions to help us make that happen. After the session, many participants talked about the various styles you presented, and how this will help them tremendously in the future. Your passion on this topic, the pre-work you did in getting to know the audience, and your partnering with us along the way, are only some of the reasons for your success. We definitely walked away with a new enthusiasm in our roles as leaders. Thank you.

Charlita Stephens-Walker
Marla Langenhorst Director, Ameren and Planning Committee Member American Cancer Society Corporate Impact Conference

In January 2016 I began to actively reach out to my network to offer to speak for free on any aspect of The Any Person Mindset Management Approach. Right away I gave several pro bono presentations. Here are some of the comments I received:

From Beyond Networking, which is an organization that helps business people who are between jobs to find their next job:

Dan, I know that you have thanked us for the speaking engagement opportunity — however — we do not know where to start in THANKING YOU for your fantastic and extremely interactive presentation at Beyond Networking-StL. Clearly that presentation and workshop could have been for your corporate clients; and it was most generous of you to provide it to our membership pro bono, simply out of your wish to pay forward and give to others.

From Mission: St. Louis, which is an organization focused on breaking the poverty cycle:

Dan did a half-day conference for our Nonprofit and we are still talking about the results months after the workshop. The staff enjoyed learning more about themselves and what makes their teammates tick. He challenged us to see everyday things differently, and we all left with a 100 day challenge and a clearer perspective on how we can work effectively as a team to accomplish the goals of our organization.

Andy Hansen, Sr. VP of Operations, Mission: St. Louis

From Viva Brasil St. Louis, an organization dedicated to spreading the Brazilian culture in the St. Louis region:

Dear Dan, Viva Brasil STL has benefitted immensely from the “Branding and Leadership” seminar you provided us. There is no better way to serve your own community than providing the community with the necessary information to make it grow. Your Pro Bono work is a great way of demonstrating your point that an organization’s brand is made up of the Values and Value it brings to the community. This was one of many great points you explained and demonstrated during the presentation.
The information presented was appropriated and carefully planned to meet our needs. The many examples and personal experiences presented helped us to better understand the material presented. Since the seminar, here are a few things I have been focusing on:
Understand how others see Viva Brasil.
The importance of doing Less and being an expert in what you do.
Viva Brasil Brand: we have to continually feed the Trust and Creditability we worked so hard to create. Let’s make our customers have an exceptional experience every time they are with us.
Get it a clear picture: Where we are and what we want to be.
You closed with a golden key when you were able to listen and capture the variety of experiences and views about Viva Brasil represented in the meeting and identified that “Viva Brasil STL is the place that brings Brazil to life in St. Louis. You will feel like you’re in Brazil without ever leaving St. Louis.“
We really appreciate your generosity to donate and share your knowledge with us. I would definitely recommend your seminars to all organizations and we would love to have you back and speak to us again.

Carolina Holtmeyer, President, Viva Brasil STL

Dan Coughlin was instrumental for the Viva Brasil St Louis Board to rethink its strategies for medium and long term success. We were an organization that was committing resources to too many initiatives. And through the workshop with Dan we could clearly see that our strategy was not helping our organization. We decided to focus on a few key initiatives per year, the ones that are more relevant to the mission of the organization. Dan provided excellent guidance, great insights, and motivated us to have very productive discussions to reformulate our mission, vision and goal statements.”

Mauricio Gobbo, Viva Brasil STL Board Member

Republishing Articles

My newsletters, Thoughts on Excellence, have been republished in approximately 40 trade magazines, on-line publications, and internal publications for businesses, universities, and not-for-profit organizations over the past 20+ years. If you would like to republish all or part of my monthly articles, please send me an e-mail at with the name of the article you want in the subject heading. I will send you the article in a word document.

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