Consultant helps turns visions of a better world into reality Ringwood consultant seeks to turn women's visions into reality
Kirsten Bunch, a Ringwood-based consultant, works with women entrepreneurs and executives who are looking to make a positive impact on their community, or the world.
By Ginny Privitar RINGWOOD -- Kirsten Bunch is a veteran of more than 28 years in the non-profit world, starting and managing projects for social good and change. Now she plans to help others succeed in that field. Through her Ringwood, N.J.-based consultancy, Kirsten Bunch Initiatives, she works with women entrepreneurs and executives who are already involved in charity in some way, through giving time or money, but who are looking to make an even greater impact in their community or in the world. She'll help them create a blueprint to make their vision for social change a viable entity whether it is community outreach ventures or projects, social enterprises, foundations or other endeavors. Bunch said the first thing clients should do is decide the area and kind of impact they want to have and she will help develop a plan to bring that to fruition. Sometimes clients may already have established a social-good endeavor, but need help with course corrections. Projects can be anything from a community art project, to working with kids or an environmental program. She also works with socially-focused businesses, for example, ones that hire refugees. She speaks to women’s professional groups in New York and New Jersey and offers insights into the non-profit world via her original story series, “Ordinary, Extraordinary Changemakers,” which documents ordinary people making extraordinary change in the world and can be found on her website. She also offers helpful tips to aspiring social entrepreneurs on her Facebook page, Kirsten Bunch Initiatives. Bunch has worked all over the world and traveled to over 50 countries. She worked for VisionSpring, an organization that provides affordable eyeglasses to people in countries like Bangladesh and India. She developed a startup plan for a global collaborative music program for low-income children. She's worked for Rainforest Alliance, an important environmental conservation group. She has been involved in "Aid to Artisans," assisting artisans in bringing their products to market. In 2006, she started a design center in Afghanistan for women who produced handcrafts, helping them develop products and finding markets for them. She traveled back and forth, mentoring the group for a year and a half. Another organization Bunch worked for is the EastWest Institute, an international nonprofit focusing on international conflict resolution. Bunch has a master's degree in Public Administration and specializes in non-profit management. "I absolutely love the work and spent the past (decades]) working and traveling for different organizations and meeting people. And doing my part to do good things in the world," Bunch said. Now she's using her knowledge of the social-impact and nonprofit sector to help others become change makers in their communities. "People may have a great idea on how to fix a problem in their community, whether it's a program to combat bullying or to create public artwork or start a healthy food movement in their community, state or the world," Bunch said. About a year ago, Bunch said she was moved with concern for the health of our country, the safety of her immigrant friends and discrimination against the LGBT community and other minorities. She wanted to do something to make the world better. In February, Bunch will start a new program "Changemaker Mentorship," where people from all over the country can come together via phone and video conference, and eventually on retreats. For those new to social causes, Bunch offers her "Pathfinder" program, which helps clients determine which issues to focus on and walks them through the steps they need to take on their path to creating social change. Bunch says she loves people with innovation and creativity. "How do you solve a problem that nobody else has thought of, or put a twist on things?" Bunch said, and noted that doing good for the community is also good for business. "I have a great life," she said. "I worked hard to make it interesting and do new things and I'm excited to show others how they can make an impact in their community." For more information visit kirstenbunch.com or call (917) 754-0274.