Feature Friday-Females Who Inspire Us: Heidi Johnson

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!

coffee female entrepreneur nonprofit charity

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?

The workplace continues to become a better place for women from when I first began. My hope is that this evolution continues and that we see more women in leadership roles in the future. 

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. 

And why is it important to you and your family?
As a mother of three sons and being married to a tri-athlete, we are a family in action. My husband and I have always placed a huge value on exercising, eating well, and being outdoors. Now, as our sons are older, it is so great seeing them living healthy lifestyles and working out regularly. We tell our sons that health is a bank that you need to make daily deposits into. 
What does your typical daily wellness routine look like?
My morning begins with gratitude and an intention for the day. These days without the gyms, I am on my Peloton three mornings a week and doing weight routines and hiking the other two days. I eat really clean, except for a little sugar fix. Most nights I end the day with a bubble bath and meditation.
What drove you to become an entrepreneur?
 I never intended to start a nonprofit but once the problem was presented, I knew I needed to be a part of the solution.
 Do you see Charity Matters as your only entrepreneurial endeavor, or do you have plans/goals to be a serial entrepreneur?
I laugh because my husband has his MBA in entrepreneurship and somehow I became a serial entrepreneur. First starting a nonprofit, then Charity Matters, we recently launched the Charity Matters Podcast and are now working on a television project. I think that makes me a serial entrepreneur? I know it makes me giggle a little.
charity matters volunteering nonprofitcharity wellness mindfulness volunteering podcast
 To learn more about Charity Matters, please visit their websiteInstagram, or Facebook. And be sure to check out the Charity Matters podcast for more inspiration. 

1 comment

  • David

    Heidi and her family were my neighbors for a number of years. I’m so proud of the work she’s done and continues doing. And grateful to call her my friend.

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