Meet a Connector: Amanda in Fayetteville, Arkansas
by Celeste Hamilton Dennis on April 29, 2014
Amanda Bancroft connects people all the time. Locals come to her to find jobs, organizations to volunteer with, and more.
“I’m an introvert. I’m not a social butterfly. So it’s not based on
me having a huge network of friends,” she says. “It’s more based on the
way I think about the layout of cities and the layout of resources: what
already exists out there, what events are coming up, what organizations
are doing what and when.”
A former AmeriCorps VISTA
volunteer, Amanda is obsessed with capacity building—that is, making
sure people and nonprofits have the know-how to do more with the
resources they have or fill in the gaps where needed.
When she’s not working at a clothing store downtown or studying to
become a master naturalist, Amanda’s full-time volunteer gig is
developing and blogging for Ripples.
She describes it as “a loose global network of capacity builders and
others who want to make positive impact with small droplets that lead to
Amanda on a hike at Ozark Natural Science Center. (photo courtesy Amanda Bancroft)
Amanda and her husband Ryan are currently creating a checklist of 30
questions for people to ask themselves before they take action. They
range from “Does this action help or hurt the environment?” to “Does it
support diverse communities?” to “Is there a foundation for long-term
Amanda sees this accessible methodology as a way to encourage others to take their first step.
“Knowing how to think about making a difference might help people
utilize these resources that are just flying all around us. There’s
almost an overabundance,” she says.
Fayetteville has hundreds of nonprofits, tons of people motivated to
do good, progressive values, a lot of creative types, grantmakers and
donors, and in general, a culture of helping others.
But in Amanda’s opinion, people aren’t taking full advantage of all
that’s there. For example, despite the large amount of nonprofits in the
area, only a dozen or so are listed on Idealist.
Additionally, projects pop up and die all the time. Amanda would love
to see lasting change, more ripples of action, and a shift in thinking
“The Idealist Network could offer Fayetteville a lot in terms of
connecting,” she says. “The trick and challenge will be to help people
understand why connecting will get them what they want.”
Want to learn more about how Ripples might help you or your Team? Get in touch with Amanda: MakeSomeRipples@gmail.com.