Our Better Angels (OBA) is a nonprofit community devoted to leadership education and philanthropy. An initiative of the Wisconsin Leadership Institute (WLI), the Better Angels Community galvanizes what Abraham Lincoln called “the better angels of our nature” and helps to spread the contagion of honesty, courage, compassion, continuous learning, and community service. We fight back against fear, hatred, ignorance, apathy, and greed. We choose collaboration over competition, hope over cynicism, harmony over unity. We believe that the meek have already inherited the earth.


We support schools, libraries, service clubs, youth groups, faith communities, and Good Causes of all sorts, but especially those which foster leadership development among young people. We depend on their credibility, their integrity, and their trusting relationships with individuals to nurture the Better Angels Community. Members of the Community are invited to choose other Good Causes to support in addition to the Better Angels Community itself. We also encourage members to invite their friends, family members, neighbors, associates, and social-media partners to join, which is the primary way we emphasize constructive leadership behavior.

In collaboration with our members, partners, and sponsors, we devote our time, energy, and resources to the following challenges:

  • Producing and distributiung educational materials about transforming leadership, servant leadership, effective collaboration, the Positive Psychology Movement, and productive communication behavior, especially for young people.
  • Crowdfunding for Good Causes chosen by members of the Better Angels Community.

Abraham Lincoln is universally regarded as the most revered president in American history. Lincoln ended his first inaugural address as follows: "We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

The Better Angels Declaration of Interdependence: 

Our Mission, Vision, and Values in Eight Bullet Points

  • We share stories about our core values – courage, compassion, continuous learning, community service, and fun.
  • We challenge others to fear not, pay attention, think twice, and help the helpers.
  • We celebrate education, moral behavior, servant leadership, and good humor.
  • We fight against fear, hatred, ignorance, apathy, and greed.
  • We choose collaboration over competition, hope over cynicism, harmony over unity.
  • We believe that the meek have already inherited the earth.
  • We help others help others.
  • We trust others to help us help others help others.