Who do you want to tell the world about?
Talking GOOD helps business, nonprofit, and community leaders build recognition for people who they know are making a difference in the world.
You tell us about someone who deserves recognition for the good they’re doing. We interview them. Then we start spreading the word. All free. And that’s just the beginning...
Do you know someone so inspiring that you want to share their story with the masses?
Unless your name is Oprah, shining the spotlight on others with that kind of immediate reach and impact is nearly impossible. That’s where we help. Talking GOOD invites you to recognize people who are making a difference, by giving them a shot at widespread exposure. Here’s how the free program works:
- YOU NOMINATE someone who deserves recognition for their cause-related work (either on a professional basis or in their free time).
- WE INVITE your nominee to answer 3 interview questions as the basis for their Talking GOOD profile.
- WE POST all profiles on the Talking GOOD platform, alongside dozens of amazing and inspiring “citizen philanthropists.” Anyone can search profiles and share them with their networks.
- WE SPOTLIGHT select profiles based on their “inspiration factor.” They are featured on our homepage, pushed out through our Ambassador program, and “pitched” to an ever-expanding list of interested media outlets, including Huffington Post, CNN, Christian Science Monitor, Good News Network, Daily Good, and more.
Check out some of our Talking GOOD success stories (below) and see Our Story for more details.
Founder & DirectorRich Polt, Communicate Good
This site would not be possible without the generous contributions of many people’s time, resources, services, talent, expertise, motivation, and wisdom. Special thanks to the following:
Website CreationHunter Barrington, Andy M. Chen, and team, FTW Development
Graphic DesignNina Merkel, Merkel Design Studio
Legal CounselJonathan Wachs, Offit Kurman
Ambassador ProgramThomas Neuberger, Social Toaster
Voices of Reason, Critical Feedback, and Motivation
On the power of “thank yous”Katie Stagliano, Katie’s Krops.
What is the fundamental purpose of Talking GOOD?
Recognize people who are making a difference and multiply the impact of their work by spreading the word about them.
At the risk of sounding corny, we emulate the words of Edith Wharton: “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.” We want Talking GOOD to be a giant mirror that anyone can use when they find a candle.
Why did you start Talking GOOD, and how have you grown?
Rich Polt started Talking GOOD as a blog in early 2012 as a way to publicly acknowledge and generate awareness for the many inspiring people he’d meet in the course of work and life. Every week, Rich would interview a purpose-driven individual who was championing a cause and leading by example.
Then, something really amazing happened. The blog’s small group of followers began nominating do-gooders who they wanted to see spotlighted. People like Daniel Brannon, who escaped a life of drugs and prison and now dedicates his free time to addiction counseling. Or Katie Stagliano, the 14-year-old hunger activist who recently became the youngest recipient ever of the Clinton Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Civil Society.
As the “inspiration-factor” of our interviewees multiplied, so did the attention Talking GOOD receive from fellow bloggers and mainstream media outlets. Just one year into the program, our interviewees were already being regularly showcased in regional and national online news outlets. Turns out, people like to be inspired! With more and more people, businesses, and organizations wanting to recognize “good,” and ever-increasing demand for compelling and inspirational content, the idea for the new Talking GOOD platform was born.
Who runs Talking GOOD?
Everything you see here was accomplished by a small group of contributors who accept nothing or next-to-nothing for their services. The “conductor” of Talking GOOD is Rich Polt, principal of the Baltimore-based Public Recognition (PR) consultancy, Communicate Good, LLC Rich has grown Talking GOOD in the wee hours of the morning, late at night, and (with the permission of his family) on the weekends.
How do you pay for Talking GOOD?
Great question! We’ve been able to grow to this point with relatively few cost outlays, and what we have spent has been self-funded. If we are to scale this further, we will eventually require a more suitable and reliable source of income, but the mechanism for achieving this remains one big TBD… for now.
Does Talking GOOD receive compensation for profiling individuals?
Talking GOOD has established itself as a credible resource for inspiring content because, in part, we do not accept compensation, goods, or services in exchange for the profiles that we feature. Everything we do is with an eye towards fostering the continued growth of a credible, robust, transparent, and diverse community.
What are your plans for the future?
Whoa, slow down there. We’re just launching the new Talking GOOD website and want to make sure this is working smoothly before adding more to the mix. Right now, we’re focused on growing an amazing community of inspiring “citizen philanthropists,” fueled by our collective desire to recognize people who are making a difference. If we can do that, everything else will fall into place.
Whom do you like to feature on Talking GOOD?
We profile a group of people known as “citizen philanthropists” (no, we did not coin that phrase). These are purpose-driven individuals who champion causes and lead by example. These are regular people with jobs, families, and responsibilities, but their commitments to a cause are a central aspect of their being. They’ve learned that giving to others is also one of the greatest things they can do for themselves. Some are grandparents, while others are still in high school. Some are professional do-gooders, while others do “good” in their spare time. They inspire us. They remind us that anyone can make a difference, and that to be a philanthropist one does not need money– just passion, energy, and belief in a cause.
What are the criteria for being profiled on Talking GOOD?
Our goal is to interview and post a profile on Talking GOOD for every nominee. Why? Who are we to say if someone is making a difference or not? If a nominator is inspired by someone and takes the time to nominate them for a profile, we believe it’s our responsibility to honor that gesture. It’s what Talking GOOD is all about.
Still, we have an official nomination process to: (1) confirm that nominations are both legitimate and generally inoffensive to our community (a safeguard that is very similar to a blog where comments must first be approved before they go live), and (2) more efficiently collect all relevant information in our system. For more information on this topic, please read our Terms of Service.
But while we strive to include all profiles on Talking GOOD, it’s true that only a subset of this group is selected to be featured. Right now, we have the capacity to feature roughly one person every week. But that can certainly change in the future. The decision to feature someone is based on a variety of factors– some tangible, and others less so. For example, is there something about the person and their story that makes featuring them timely? Is there something unique about the person that makes their story extra compelling? How much adversity has the person overcome to do what they’re doing?
What constitutes “purpose-driven” work?
This is something that is highly subjective, so we therefore try to avoid defining it. Purpose-driven work means different things to different people. By way of example, Rebecca Kerins fosters cats for numerous Baltimore-area animal shelters in her free time. To date, she has bottle-fed and nursed to health 65 kitties (and counting). Spencer Kympton, a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot, walked away from a lucrative position as a business consultant to helm a national organization focused on veteran service work. While the scope and impact of Spencer’s work may be more extensive than that of Rebecca’s, who are we to dare suggest that the passion and sense of purpose which Rebecca brings to her fostering is any less or any more than that of Spencer?
Do you maintain nominators’ anonymity?
During the nomination process, nominators can select if they want their identities disclosed to the people who they’ve nominated. Separately, nominators can elect to keep their identities disclosed from the public. If nominators want their identities withheld from nominees, their identities will automatically be withheld from the public. Should a Talking GOOD nominee wish to know the identity of a nominator who has requested anonymity, Talking GOOD will reach out to the nominator on behalf of the nominee with a one-time request. For additional information on how we may use the information collected about our nominators (and nominees), please read our Privacy Statement.
Can I nominate more than one person?
Yes, but please don’t abuse this right. Talking GOOD is still in its nascent stages, and we are excited about growing a vibrant community of inspiring people from around the world. To the extent that you want to shine the spotlight on a variety of deserving individuals, we welcome your nominations.