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On the Brink with Andi Simon

Jun 24, 2020

Hear how to make sure donations have an impact

Sevetri Wilson, serial entrepreneur and founder of two highly successful companies, had a purpose and a passion. She wanted to make a difference, in the world and in people's lives. In our podcast today, she will tell you how she had to rethink her future and move in directions she had never anticipated, always helping others. Maybe your life has followed similar paths? I know you'll find Sevetri’s story and the work she is doing very inspirational, as I did. Listen and enjoy!

Sevetri WilsonDedicated to giving back and getting it done

Following college, Sevetri Wilson landed at Louisiana CASA, an organization that helps secure safe and permanent homes for abused and neglected children. As she was creating campaigns to lobby for support of children, people started seeing her as someone could help start or support other foundations or nonprofits. Sensing a bigger need for her talents, she expanded her scope to creating core communications for other organizations while helping them develop partnerships, give back to their communities, and deliver what their donors were expecting. Soon, Sevetri was a powerhouse in New Orleans, with more to come.

Did you know that nonprofits are one of the largest industries in the US?

In 2016, non-profit organizations employed 12.3 million people, approximately 1 in 10 jobs in the private sector. Today, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recession are causing serious challenges to these organizations at the very time that their services are most in demand. Moreover, funders are unclear about how to get their monies to the right organizations so their funds can have the most impact, today and tomorrow.

Making "collective impact" happen

To help fill the gap between funders' expectations and nonprofits' performance, as well as establish transparency and accountability, Sevetri formed Resilia in 2016, a New Orleans-based technology startup dedicated to: 1) simplifying the creation and maintenance of nonprofit organizations, 2) helping donors match their funding with the right nonprofits, and 3) making sure that funding actually goes to the programs the donors intend it to.

With Resilia, donors can now follow the progress of their financial support, ensuring that the nonprofits they're giving to have the resources they need to make real change happen, and to make that change stick. Called collective impact, it's a 360-degree approach to change, with everyone pushing for the same goal at the same time.

During this current time of dual crises — the pandemic and economic devastation — collective impact is precisely what Sevetri and her organization are making happen. While nationwide collective efforts are pushing recovery programs forward, Resilia enables the organizations carrying out those programs to measure their effectiveness and see the impact they're having on people's lives and communities. A true win-win, with impact far beyond today.

About Sevetri Wilson

As the first black woman in New Orleans to raise over $1MM in venture capital, serial entrepreneur Sevetri Wilson is the founder of two companies, Solid Ground Innovations and Resilia, bootstrapping the first to seven figures with zero capital, and raising over $3MM for the second. Sevetri's clients have included Fortune 100 and 500 companies, small businesses, government agencies, political figures and nonprofit organizations. She has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times and on CNN.

In 2010, Sevetri received the National Nobel Prize for Public Service and The Jefferson Award for advocacy and community outreach for the curriculum design she created. In the same year, she was featured in the Senate’s report to the White House on volunteerism in America. In 2013, she was chosen as Business Woman of the Year from the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus, and in 2016, she was appointed to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards’ Economic Development Transition team where she worked with 16 other business leaders from across the state to create recommendations for economic growth in the state of Louisiana. 

As well as being a contributing writer for Entrepreneur and Inc. magazines, Sevetri is heavily involved in her community, serving on the board of directors for UNCF-NOLA, Downtown Development District, YWCA and LSU AP Tureaud Black Alumni. She is also an active member of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, New Orleans Black Chamber of Commerce and Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc. You can contact Sevetri On Facebook, Twitter and on her website.

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