The Promise of a Pencil: 3 Simple Ways to Make a Difference (Today)

3 Simple Ways To Make A Difference

Over 57 million children went without access to primary education in 2011.

That’s the bad news. The good news is:

“We have the ability to provide quality education to every child on earth right now.”
– Adam Braun, Founder of Pencils of Promise

In other words: We can totally do something about it.

In this video (AKA the most meaningful book report I’ve ever presented…), I’ll tell you THREE specific somethings you can do to make a difference TODAY, along with:

  • why I’m confident donating (what was formerly) an entire year’s salary to Pencils of Promise
  • how Adam turned his original $25 investment into over 200 schools in just five years
  • a super-powerful, three-word recipe for purpose-driven success (inspired by the PoP story)

Click below to watch:

Ready to do something?

I’ve got some ideas for ya.

Something 1: Buy the book.


I recommend hard cover. Much more fun to highlight.

If you’ve got a dream and a purpose you KNOW you’re called to share, you’re going to love this book.

(PLUS, all proceeds benefit Pencils of Promise, which is absolutely amazing.)

Put your inspiration pants on + click here to grab YOUR copy. (aff link)

UPDATE: It’s now a New York Times Bestseller!(!!!) Amazing.

Something 2: Spread the word.

Click below to tweet your fave #PoPbook gems, courtesy of your buddy @nikkielledge :)

“In moments of uncertainty…immerse yourself in the life you would be most proud to live.”

“For one day a week, it’s important to allow yourself to be a human being, rather than a human doing.”

“I wasn’t sure what my purpose was, but I suddenly knew that it both existed and hadn’t been fulfilled.”

“True self-discovery begins where your comfort zone ends.”

“The purest joys are available to all of us, and they’re unrelated to status, recognition, or material desires.”

“Your life should be a story you are excited to tell.”

On a roll?

Click here to check out (+ SHARE!) over two dozen more.

Something 3: Make a donation.

I’m committed. I’m working. It’s happening.

And it’ll happen even faster with your help.

To join me in funding a school with PoP this year, click right here:

Nikki PoP Fundraiser


It’s time for us to do something, friend.

Do Something by Matthew WestIn fact, I’ve had this song actually called “Do Something”  by Matthew West in my head all weekend as I wrote this post for you.

We can consider it the book report soundtrack:

If not us, then who?
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something

If not now, then when?
Will we see an end
To all this pain?

It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something.

So you ready?

In the comments today, do tell:

  • Which of these somethings will YOU do to make a difference today?
  • What’s one of your favorite #PoPbook quotes?

Can’t wait to see what you come up with :)

To pencils and promises,





P.S. If you’re wondering how I set up my faux-pro “studio” (for the white background in this and all of my A Course About Copy videos), I share my full shopping list right here. ENJOY!



  1. Tamsen

    Perfect day. Perfect Inspiration. Perfect message. Thank you!

    I’ve got my book on backorder (so thanks or posting all the excerpts … I feel like it’s my own personal screening while I wait!) And am spreading the word. As a very proud teacher’s wife — putting the tools into hands that can help spread the learning bug has always been one of my passions in life. I love being able to work with friends :) (wink wink) and change this world in some major crazy pants :) ways!

    You are truly an inspiration of someone walking their walk and inspiring others to do the same!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      You inspire ME in so many ways, sweet friend! Thank you so much for joining me in this :)

  2. Shanna

    Hey Nikki, I’m glad there’s a way for us to support your specific fundraiser…during your ACAC launch I was actually going to email and ask how I could support your fundraiser even if I couldn’t purchase your course. I knew launch was crazy, so I decided not to bog down your email at that time, but now this is perfect!!! I got my copy from Amazon a few days ago and can’t put it down! One of my fave quotes is: “People think big ideas suddenly appear on their own, but they’re actually the product of many small, intersecting moments and realizations that move us toward a breakthrough.” pg 70

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thanks so much for your heart AND your donation, Shanna.

      Thrilled you’re loving the book!!

  3. Fraciska

    I really enjoyed your video about the Pencil of Promise and I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THE cause! What you are doing is wonderful!

    I actually stumbled upon your page as a recommendation for copywriting and have referred you of course :-)

    I am a VA just starting up and am creating a Giving Back page and wanted to help the POP organisation, with donations.
    So I am reaching out to you hoping you could guide me in the direction how to get in touch with the responsible person I would greatly appreciate it.

    In meantime, I have contacted Pencil of Promise through LinkedIn but haven’t gotten a response.

    1. Franciska

      Man spelled my name wrong – it’s Franciska – gees, sorry!

  4. Rachael

    This is great work! That’s my dream as well, to provide schools for children in such places. I am in the beginning stages of opening my own learning center in the Caribbean. Keep up this good work!

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