The Coco Canary Monthly Newsletter
Welcome to the Coco Canary Newsletter!
Hello from Molly O’Connor, the CEO and founder of Coco Canary Consulting, LLC (CCC), an evaluation & communications firm based in St. Paul, MN.
Our Mission is to use our expertise to inspire inclusion, support social justice, and promote anti-racism culture in all the work we do.
You may ask, how do social justice and racial equity relate to evaluation or communication? Well, from our experience, we have seen evaluation be designed, and communications reported in ways that harm, undervalue, and take advantage of the communities being served. This is our current status quo, and it is not okay. It has to change. This is why we do our work differently because we want to be apart of the solution, not the problem.
Please visit Community Centric Fundraising for more information. It is a new movement that has inspired thousands (including Coco Canary) to do better. For extra credit, visit Consulting With a Racial Equity Lens too.
[TONIGHT, 12/16 7 PM CENTRAL] Listen to my Business Pitch!
In the last couple of newsletters, I have mentioned that I have been a part of a 10-week business development cohort run by CO.STARTERS and hosted by The Coven. Well, TONIGHT is pitch night, and I want you to join us! Eight other amazing women and I will be sharing our stories, pitching our business ideas, and competing to win prizes. Each of us will get 3-minutes to pitch and then 2-minutes for Q&A. You can register here OR reply to this newsletter, and I’ll send you the Zoom link.
Let me briefly introduce you to these amazing women. All of which are based in the Twin Cities area.
Meet Bobbi Jo and her wife Rebekkah. They co-own Sweet Troo Vī Waffle, a Liege waffle shop. Their mission is to Eat Deliciously. Love Freely. And with every transaction, a portion is donated to local causes in need. Follow them at @sweettroovi
Meet Deja, the owner and lead photographer of Jamias Vu Photography. Their mission is to highlight your business and create a visual connection between you and your clients. To me, your legacy is more than just an image. It’s a feeling, a memory, and a conversation starter! Follow them at @dej_did_it.
Meet Michaella, the founder and principal producer of Lucent Blue. They are nationally known for their event planning, and now due to COVID, they are trying something new. BEAM BOXES. With Beam Box, they invite you to brighten your day, and unwrap some sunshine. Follow them at @lucent.blue.events
Chriselle is the owner of Women Empowered, an online clothing boutique that focuses on sustainable fashion for women. Every dollar earned at the company gets invested right back into their business to develop business programs for underprivileged young women. Follow them at @WomanEmpowered.us
West Point Auto
Carrie is the co-owner of West Point Auto, a soon-to-be brick-and-mortar car resale establishment in the West St. Paul, Area. They utilize their skills and connections to fix up auctioned cars for reasonable prices. Solid lady, great business! Keep an eye out for their business grand opening!
Anastasia is an Integrative Holistic Health Coach, Yoga Instructor, Wellness educator & and mother of 3. Her mission is to Live With Joy. Live With Energy. Live With Purpose. And Live on your Terms. Follow them at @anastasiagalkahealthcoach
Meet Jordyn, the owner and founder of Vermillion Ink Press. Proudly BIPOC owned and operated, Vermillion Ink Press is a literary multimedia collective and independent book publisher of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from underrepresented voices. They seek to increase empathy, foster discussion, and cultivate community through the power of the written word. Follow them at @VermillionInkPress
Meet Emily, the owner, and founder of She is Love: Locally Global. Their mission is to create a healthier global community by supporting local artisans and brands and Fair Trade businesses. We proudly feature Twin Engine Coffee, a Fair Trade specialty coffee grown and roasted in Nicaragua. Follow them at @sheislovemn
Meet Grace, the owner and founder of Lexington Writing Firm. Her team creates humanizing content for healthcare organizations. Their innovative, equity-focused approach makes content that truly connects. Their mission is to change how healthcare content is imagined, strategized, and written.
Other Business Updates
My 3-minutes of fame. I was on Minnesota Public Radio!
MPR had a news special called Starting a new business during the pandemic. I called in to share my story and was interviewed by Chris Farrel. You can listen to my brief snippet at this link. Fast forward to 36 minutes and 20 seconds for my bit. I’d recommend listening to the whole episode too!
I co-presented at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Annual Conference with AR Lopez Consulting, and we got glowing reviews!
In my last newsletter, I announced that my colleague, AR Lopez, and I were presenting at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Annual Conference. Our session was called “Centering Community: A Radical Discussion for Nonprofit Change.” Well, I am happy to report that our session went VERY well! We received some great feedback, and everyone left the meeting wanting to discuss more. Which, I always feel like is a good sign. Thanks to all who joined our session AND to those who joined my newsletter after attending!
1. Why It Is Important to Ask People You Don’t Know To Give Money To Racial Justice Causes
Here’s a funny story. Every year, I participate in Reddit’s worldwide Secret Santa. If you didn’t know, Reddit’s Secret Santa is the most attended Secret Santa (SS) in the world, even breaking a Guinness Book World Record. When you sign up, you write a bit about yourself, and then you give your SS some gift ideas. For example, I told them I was interested in trying new spices, coffee, or cooperative board games. Also, I said to them that they could donate to a local racial justice cause.
Well, my Secret Santa did something very special. I got matched with someone who lives in India but lives part-time in Washington, DC. They sent me a message last week saying that their gift wouldn’t arrive until after the holidays. They then sent me an image of a donation they made to a nonprofit called Girls for Change. And they donated $1000!
Isn’t that amazing?? Lesson learned: Ask strangers if they’d consider donating to racial justice causes. The worst they can say is no or ignore the request. The best-case scenario is that they say yes and donate!
Let’s Stay Connected!
To keep up to date with my business news, connect or follow me on Linkedin. Don’t forget to follow my blog, as well! And, of course, if you know of anyone who may benefit from my services, send them my way. Referrals are always welcome!
Be well and Happy Holidays,
Molly O’Connor (she/her/hers)
CEO – Evaluation & Communications Specialist
direct: (612) 868-0364
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