This week, we are delighted to share with you all the story of female entrepreneur, Heidi Johnson. Back in 2003, Heidi recognized a need within the nonprofit realm. She became impassioned to share the stories, give further visibility to, and help the millions of nonprofits in existence gain connections with donors, volunteers, and more. Heidi is a positive, uplifting, force to be reckoned with in the nonprofit space. We cannot wait for you to hear about Heidi's nonprofit called Charity Matters, her story, what motivates her, and more. We know that you all will be fascinated by Heidi and her journey. Okay, enough anticipation...a|dash now presents Heidi Johnson!
Hi, I’m Heidi Johnson. I’m a storyteller, nonprofit founder, and believer in good. After starting a nonprofit to provide chaplains at our local children’s hospital in 2003, I became fascinated with the other 1.7 million people who start nonprofit organizations and was determined to find them and tell their stories.
In 2011, I launched the Charity Matters platform to do just that and to no surprise, I have had the pleasure of sharing hundreds of women's entrepreneur stories. In January, we launched the Charity Matters Podcast to give further voice to these stories of innovators and modern-day heroes who set out to solve the problems of humanity. We, as women, are helpers and when you combine our innate passion to serve one another with an entrepreneurial spirit, the result is a nonprofit organization or business that serves others. Charity Matters is a filter for goodness that connects people and causes. In highlighting these nonprofit founders our goal is to inspire each of us to give the best of ourselves to one another, and to the world.
Who are some people who inspire you daily, personally or professionally?
The women I interview for Charity Matters consistently inspire me. Each of these modern-day heroes uses their entrepreneurial skills to build a business/nonprofit that serves humanity.
Who has been the most influential woman in your life, in becoming the person you are today, helping you discover and pursue your passions?
My mom. She showed me that I could do and be anything I wanted and that I was only defined by my limitations, not by others.
Is there anything that you wish/hope will be different for girls growing up than it was for you?
What has been your proudest moment personally or professionally?
There have been a few but the one that stands out was the opening of the new Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The first moments of the ribbon-cutting ceremony included leaders from all religious faiths across Los Angeles. Only a few years prior, the hospital had one chaplain and Spiritual Care was not part of the institution's culture. The opening ceremony showed that we had moved the needle with our nonprofit organization. More importantly, a group of determined women changed the culture of a one-hundred-year-old organization. I will never forget it.
What has been your most challenging moment personally or professionally and how did you overcome that challenge?
My most challenging moment personally was the unexpected loss of my 60-year-old mom from a car accident in 2002. Service healed my grief. Starting a nonprofit that provides chaplains of all faiths to Children's Hospital Los Angeles gave me an opportunity to focus on others rather than myself. It also gave me endless ways to find daily gratitude which has forever changed my life.
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness to me means self-care. Caring for body, mind and spirit.