HSL Properties

Loving Something Enough To Let It Go

For this LGBTQ SMB owner, it’s the level of commitment needed to start a non-profit.


Warren Davis, principal of Warren Davis Consulting, is the recipient of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) grant, funded by UPS as a part of the Be Unstoppable campaign, Proudly Unstoppable.

Meet Warren Davis

He’s made a career of giving back. With more than 25-years of working in the nonprofit sector, Warren knows the ins and outs of the nonprofit world —from idea inception to purpose expansion to postmortem on success. He knows how to navigate and overcome obstacles faced by many non-profits.

“I’ve always gravitated towards organizations struggling with purpose and scope that needed to get unstuck,” says Warren.

It became clear to Warren early in his education to be wary of silos. “I tend to be a generalist and follow broad interests instead of working in just one specific area.”

He says people should make an intentional effort to see beyond their local group or area perspective. “Being eclectic is a good thing.”

Warren says people tend to compartmentalize others.

Whether intentionally or not, they assume the role, circumstances, or job a person has, is because it’s what they
want, or even worse, all that an individual may be capable of achieving.

Expanding his ability to help others, in 2017, Warren became a small business owner. “Rather than work for one organization, consulting allows me to help multiple organizations and causes,” says Warren.

Targeting the small to medium non-profit startups, Warren Davis Consulting provides advisory services, help with writing grant and sponsorship proposals, project management, and short-term staffing. Warren says COVID-19, which has wreaked havoc on many nonprofits, forced them to re-evaluate their purpose and goals.

A member of the LGBTQ community

“People are more likely to stand up and defend a person who is gay or lesbian if they know a person who is gay or lesbian,” says Warren.

He believes this is the main reason why advocacy and inclusion are so important. And that LGBTQ businesses should work towards certification with the NGLCC.

“It’s about representation and being able to see others like yourself that are successful.”

He says hopefully, one day, there will be no need for an organization like the NGLCC. “Just like today, gay bars are becoming obsolete because younger generations see no need for it —they are inclusive of all diversities and minorities.”

He also understands the power business has to open minds and doors.

“People want to know that the companies they work for and the businesses they frequent are inclusive of the communities they live in,” says Warren.

A heart for a cause

Warren leads from the heart. For him, it’s not the monetary gain or even the footprint. It’s more about the idea and purpose.

“Sometimes I get myself into trouble because I want to help, the smallest non-profit with a great cause. It makes me feel good to be a part of their success.”

He starts the conversation by asking, “Why do you want to start this nonprofit? Because it’s not easy, it’s hard, and there is little recognition.”

He also has them take a look at other non-profits already filling the niche they want to fill. He makes them define what they want to accomplish, helps them assess if they have a viable idea, and suggests measurements for success. He asks the question, “Should this be a non-profit or a for-profit business? What are your long-term goals?”

Warren says it’s more than having a passion or a great idea. Non-profit founders must be
willing to let it grow without them. “People don’t realize that technically, Society owns non-profits. All non-profits have boards, and eventually, many founders either move on or separate from the boards —by choice but sometimes not.”

He also believes strongly in volunteerism. “Everyone should volunteer for the causes they believe in,” says Warren. “It’s called sweat equity. It’s the best way to assess the value of a non-profit and if it’s a fit for you.”

Moving our world forward by delivering what matters

Artwork1UPS is partnering with the NGLCC to provide direct financial support to LGBTQ-owned businesses in the U.S., with plans to expand to the U.K. and Germany later this summer. An initial donation of 11 grants totaling $100,000 will be presented to struggling small businesses. UPS also hosted a webinar with the NGLCC on the importance of certification as an LGBTQ-owned business.

Love Delivered: Artist Fernando Volken Togni creates Proudly Unstoppable Image Celebrating Pride Month.

Like all creators, illustrator and graphic design artist Fernando Togni had a vision when he sat down in his studio and turned on some music. The process of creating an image to capture the essence of what Pride Month means was important.

“When you create something for Pride, you always want to be vibrant. I wanted to create this rainbow connecting everything,” Fernando said. “In the end, the main aspect of it was to try and focus on camaraderie, joy and love … a theme that connects everything.”

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