Today we’d like to introduce you to Karren Hodge.
Karren, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
There have been a variety of things that have helped lead me to where I am today. Thinking specifically back to my time in college, I completed two marketing-related internships one of which changed my life in many ways. This internship was with the United Way of Denton County and by far, sparked my passion for marketing and philanthropy. At the time, the impact was so great that I changed my minor to Leadership of Community & Nonprofit Organizations and picked up a certificate in Volunteer & Community Resource Management. Of course, I graduated college thinking I would be employed by a nonprofit organization, but we all know that things do not always pan out as we might hope. Despite not immediately entering the nonprofit sector, my passion to serve my community didn’t waver. In 2012, I had the opportunity to join the Board of Directors for Denton County Friends of the Family, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing services to individuals impacted by violent relationships and sexual assault. I served on this board for 4 years. Since moving back to Dallas, I have been able to use my experience gained coupled with my skills in marketing, public relations, fundraising, and community outreach throughout community partnerships and the other boards I have served on.
These experiences led me to start Dallas Does Good earlier this year. Dallas Does Good is a social impact and nonprofit marketing agency for the Visionaries, Government Agencies, Change Makers, Social and Conscious Entrepreneurs, Humanitarians, Nonprofits and businesses who believe in promoting social good in Dallas, TX and beyond.
The goal of Dallas Does Good is a simple one, help our partnered organizations make a true and positive impact on the lives in which they serve and to inspire others to take action, to volunteer, to donate and to support our clients in some way. Through Dallas Does Good, I am able to elevate my passion for people, philanthropy and all the things Dallas Does Good for the people who call it home. Currently, we are working with a local police association and a business incubator for social entrepreneurs.
In addition to my work with Dallas Does Good, I am the creator of SoDallas.com, a blog, which features a variety of “must do’s” in the Dallas area as well as keeping its readers aware of things happening within the community.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s been an interesting road thus far, but I’m really enjoying it. Getting a business off the ground has its challenges. I am constantly telling myself to push through the doubts, negative self-talk, the insecurities, my introversion (just to name a few), but all the wins along the way make it extremely worthwhile. In such a short amount of time, I have grown in many ways and I’ve learned a lot from difficult situations. Most difficult situations can be worked out through clear and more specifically, concise communication. I can’t lie, it’s honestly been fun trying to figure out how to navigate through starting a new business. I feel myself growing as a businesswoman and becoming more confident in myself and what my business has to offer. I still have a long way to go but I’m getting there.
Here’s some advice I would give young women starting their journey in starting a business:
• Know your worth.
• Be direct.
• Stand your ground.
• Don’t budge on the things you know are right and don’t compromise yourself.
• Be prepared to walk away from things that don’t align with your brand, mission, and values.
• Know not one person/business will make or break you… and act like it.
• Consult those who have started successful businesses. You will need advice. Yes, Google and other resources help but it’s nothing like seeking wise counsel from people who have already gone through what you are currently experiencing.
• Get out there and network! When they say your network is your net worth, they aren’t lying.
• Encourage yourself.
Please tell us about Dallas Does Good.
Dallas Does Good provides marketing, public relations, and community outreach services to social impact and nonprofit organizations. Honestly, we do a lot. You can check all of the services we offer here: https://www.dallasdoesgood.com/ourservices/
Nonprofits and mission-driven organizations have one thing in common. It all comes down to their purpose. It’s their reason for existing and that purpose provides a necessary foundation for meaningful storytelling that will inspire potential supporters to take action, volunteer and give. If you have a story to tell, we want to help you tell it. That’s OUR purpose and that’s what we do.
Currently, I am most proud of the new community outreach program we’ve established with the Black Police Association of Greater Dallas. This program is geared towards overcoming the obstacles that arise in home buying and getting minorities into homes. The Black Police Association of Greater Dallas is on a mission to bridge the gap between community and law enforcement. Community outreach is an integral part of the problem-solving and crime prevention strategies which are essential for crime reduction and public safety. Our next seminar is June 9th at 211 Centre Street from 12 to 2 PM.
We are looking forward to establishing new programs in the future and partnering with other business leaders and organizations around Dallas. If interested, please send me an email.
As far as what sets me apart – I believe it is my hustle and heart (lol that rhymes). I genuinely care about the organizations, communities, and people I work with and I am always keeping them and their mission in mind.
We all have a longing within us to do something great. Some people may stop short, by referring to this longing as a hobby or a passion. But I am encouraged to take it a step further and dive into what I believe is my purpose. Through Dallas Does Good, I hope to walk in my purpose leaving a legacy of meaningful philanthropy for my children and their children.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
I started 2018 reading a book called “The 10X Rule”. It is about taking massive actions every day to achieve your goals. It’s helped me tremendously!
I start my day listening to a podcast. Here are a few in my current rotation: Leading Good, Before the Millions, The Protégé Podcast, Smart Passive Income, The Thought Leader Revolution and Boss So Hard. There’s definitely more but this is a good start.
Apps that I love and cannot do without: Asana, Airtable, Canva, Grammarly and, UberEats… Sometimes you find yourself so wrapped up in your work, and let’s be honest, sometimes it’s great to know that you don’t have to leave home or work to grab food – UberEats to the rescue 🙂
Create & Cultivate and HubSpot are also great resources. Create & Cultivate is both an online platform and conference for women looking to build the career of their dreams. They’ve also built an incredible community for women on Facebook. The HubSpot blog is a great all-in-one resource for marketing, sales, customer acquisition and, success.
- Address: 211 Centre Street, Dallas, TX 75208
- Website: www.DallasDoesGood.com
- Phone: 469-619-7456
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Personal: @karrenwhitney business: @dallasdoesgood and @dallasdoesgoodevents
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/dallasdoesgood/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/DallasDoesGood
- Other: www.SoDallas.com
Joel Shakespeare, Terri Butcher of W Photography, Benita Ilesanmi