Donor Spotlight on The Shift Network
The Shift Network, an online transformational learning center, believes its educational programs and philanthropic work are intimately connected. Both are designed to unleash each person’s full potential and create a healthy and harmonious world that works for all.
To date, the company has donated to 85 charitable causes and has set aside two million shares of founding stock to nonprofit and philanthropic organizations that fall under the societal impact categories of Indigenous wisdom, racial healing, women’s empowerment, sustainability, peacebuilding, and democracy 2.0.
One of Shift’s top philanthropic priorities is helping Indigenous people across the globe. A Shift spokesperson explains why: “We believe that it is essential for the wisdom of Indigenous communities to be honored and at the forefront of conversations and efforts for societal transformation. Because of this, we are committed to playing a role in healing the wounds caused by the violation of their people and cultures, supporting Indigenous communities, and collaborating with Indigenous leaders.”
In 2020, Shift donated to First Nations’ COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund― the largest monetary donation it has ever given to any one charitable organization.
“Since many Native American communities were suffering disproportionately and being denied necessary protections and support, we knew that we wanted to focus our efforts to have a maximum impact for as many Tribal communities as possible,” says Lila Johnson, Shift’s senior impact program manager.
The company’s significant donation to First Nations went a long way in helping Natives across the country weather and recover from the pandemic. “We are so grateful to The Shift Network, and to our other partner organizations, for contributing so generously to our COVID-19 fund,” says Michael Roberts, First Nations’ president and CEO. “We were able to award 453 grants to Tribes and Native-led organizations across the country, including Alaska and Hawaii, to help with COVID-related services, as well as response and relief efforts.”
How the Shift Began
Some time ago during a meditation retreat, Stephen Dinan had a vision about how he could make a lasting, positive impact on humanity. “I saw little lights all over the world that needed to be linked together so we could amplify new, conscious ways of being to help create the planet we all want to live in―one that’s peaceful, sustainable, healthy, just, and prosperous.”
In 2010, his inspired vision from that weekend retreat evolved into The Shift Network, which he co-founded with Devaa Haley Mitchell. The idea behind Shift is that we can make the world a better place, one enlightened, awake individual at a time.
“I believe we are one global family, and we are just waking up to that. We are erasing some of the barriers between us and remembering our divinity as one human family,” says Dinan on a 2015 service trip to Ecuador.
Since its founding, the organization’s educational programs, media, and events, have served more than 3.2 million people in 180 countries.
Shift offers virtual summits, courses and trainings taught by more than 1,000 carefully vetted, leading thought leaders in spirituality, holistic health, business, parenting and Indigenous wisdom, to name a few course categories. Well-known faculty include self-help pioneer Barbara Marx Hubbard, Deepak Chopra, a prominent doctor and advocate of alternative medicine, and Marianne Williamson, a spiritual leader and political activist.
“We want to create this synergistic movement of conscious change agents,” says CEO Dinan of Shift’s mission. He and Mitchell, the company’s chief impact officer, aim to reach over 100 million people in the next five years. “We think over 1 percent of the people on the planet can really move the needle toward a healthier society. One that we know is possible.”
Shifting the World Together
Donations are just one of the ways Shift supports the causes it cares about. The network also aims to provide a platform for nonprofit leaders to share their knowledge, with opportunities to gain broader exposure and support. It has invited dozens of teachers from Indigenous traditions to teach classes and speak at its many summits and festivals.
The Global Indigenous Wisdom Summit has attracted more than 20,000 people online to participate with Indigenous leaders in prayers, sacred songs, and spiritual teachings. The summit’s resource library of audio and video interviews with Indigenous leaders is available online to access at any time.
Through Sacred Reciprocity, one of Shift’s core values, the company works closely with Native leaders here and abroad to co-create a new age in which every human being is treated with respect, understanding, compassion, and justice.
Rev. Aliah MaJon, Shift’s chief inclusion officer, writes a column on the company website around healing, reconciliation, and repair for marginalized populations. In a recent post, she paid tribute to First Nations’ efforts to counter discrimination against Natives through “Reclaiming Native Truth,” an extensive research project launched in 2016 to better understand the prevailing narrative around Native communities in this country.
“Their work evolved to tell the truth about who First Nations peoples really are, in their own words and using their own stories. I was delighted to see this taking place,” writes MaJon in her blog post. She says she looks forward to possibly collaborating with First Nations “because Shift is continuing our support!”
Thank You from First Nations
“The Shift Network’s passion to support Indigenous communities and provide a platform to showcase the accomplishments of Indigenous peoples ensures that our authentic voices are heard throughout the world, helping to positively shift the narrative,” says First Nations’ Development Officer Marisa Page.
Through the empowerment of its people, Shift has become a catalyst of change, aiming to build a healthy, peaceful, sustainable, just, and prosperous world.
Creating meaningful partnerships with institutions like The Shift Network is pertinent to First Nations’ continued success. By forming these allyships (and friendships), we help to generate distinct paths that advance our mission to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities.
Our sincerest gratitude to Shift for being an advocate of our organization.