23 quotes by famous people if they had worked in nonprofit


[Image description: A grey-scale drawing of Muhammad Ali’s face. He is looking to his left. Image obtained from Pixabay.com]

Hi everyone. I was on vacation this week, so did not have the mental energy to write a serious post. So here are quotes by famous people if they had worked in nonprofit. Check out the previous installments and write yours in the comment section.

  1. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a grant rejection.” Muhammad Ali
  2. “Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but still need to build the relationship with a potential major donor.” Erica Jong
  3. “Don’t ever wrestle with a pig. You’ll both get dirty, and your staff will never let you choose another teambuilding activity again.” Cale Yarborough
  4. “Believe those who are seeking Equity. Doubt those who find it.” Andre Gide
  5. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, and they can do it better and faster if they got multi-year general operating funds.” Margaret Mead
  6. “Before I was in nonprofit, I had six theories about how nonprofits should run; now I have worked at six nonprofits and have no theories but a whole lot of random pens.” John Wilmot
  7. “Beware of monotony; it’s the mother of all deadly retreats.” Edith Wharton
  8. “You can imprison a man, but not an idea. You can exile a man, but not an idea. You can kill a man, but not an idea. And unfortunately, that idea sometimes involves a golf tournament.” Benazir Bhutto
  9. “Normal is not something to aspire to, it’s something to get away from. Except on a financial audit.” Jodi Foster
  10. “When I’m hungry, I eat. When I’m thirsty, I drink. When I feel like saying something important to my board, I get a consultant.” Madonna
  11. “I don’t mind what social entrepreneurs do, as long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses.” Victor Hugo
  12. “Imagination was given to man to compensate for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to help him cope with some foundations’ expectations.” Oscar Wilde
  13. “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become emails. Watch your emails; they become meetings. Watch your meetings; they become more meetings. Watch these meetings; they become your destiny.” Lao-Tzu
  14. “The most effective way to ask for money, is to do it.” Amelia Earhart
  15. “Success is getting a grant that you want. Happiness is if it renews for several years.” Ingrid Bergman
  16. “Always remember: If you’re alone in the kitchen preparing for a house party and you drop the hummus and veggies platter, you can just pick it up. Who’s going to know?” Julia Child
  17. “What the nonprofit sector needs is more brilliant nonprofit leaders with humility. There are very few of us left.” Oscar Levant
  18. “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget that you got drunk at a gala.” Maya Angelou
  19. “Grantwriting is not a matter of counting the words, but making the words count…And also counting the words.” Michelle Amand
  20. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are, and don’t forget self-care.” Theodore Roosevelt
  21. “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and they often join boards.” Bertrand Russell
  22. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. OK…never mind what I said.” Confucius
  23. “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. This is why nonprofit people are so attractive.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


25 quotes by famous people if they had worked in nonprofit

20 quotes by famous people if they had worked in nonprofit

10 Game of Thrones quotes you can use at work

Support the maintenance of this website by buying NWB (Now NAF) t-shirts and mugs and other stuff.

Make Mondays suck a little less. Get a notice each Monday morning when a new post arrives. Subscribe to NAF by scrolling to the top right of this page (maybe scroll down a little) and enter in your email address (If you’re on the phone, it may be at the bottom). Also, join the NAF Facebook community for daily hilarity.

Also, join Nonprofit Happy Hour, a peer support group on Facebook, and if you are an ED/CEO, join ED Happy Hour. These are great forums for when you have a problem and want to get advice from colleagues, or you just want to share pictures of unicorns. Check them out.

Donate, or give a grant, to Vu’s organizationRainier Valley Corps, which has the mission of bringing more leaders of color into the nonprofit sector and getting diverse communities to work together to address systemic issues.


13 thoughts on “23 quotes by famous people if they had worked in nonprofit

  1. Ellen LaPointe

    “The only thing we have to fear is a trust fall at a retreat.” – FDR

    “To apply for the grant again or not to apply for the grant again, that is the question.” – Hamlet

    “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And pasta. And a steak. And a nice salad. Because man, are you good at stretching a lemon.” – Anon

  2. Susan Kushner Resnick

    You’re awesome. Thanks for the morning chuckles and subsequent wisdom.

  3. Sandra Gines

    Brilliant, Vu! LOL throughout!

    “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop offering logo buttons.” — Albert Einstein

  4. Robin Bradford

    It’s not over until the fat lady completes her multi-year pledge. – Yogi Berra

    “Patience you must have my young development assistant.” – Yoda

    “Our life is frittered away by detail… plan the gala, plan the gala.”–Henry David Thoreau

  5. Leah Johnston

    “Ring the bells that still may ring,
    Forget your perfect offering;
    There is a crack in every free government phone,
    That’s how the static gets in.”

    -Leonard Cohen, who can’t hear a thing when his homeless clients call for help.

  6. Dawn Butterfield

    “Reporting, and reporting, and reporting creeps in this petty pace until the last syllable of recorded time…” -Shakespeare

  7. Theresa Nelson

    “The highest form of greatness is the wisdom and generosity to multiply the effectiveness of others, especially through a matching grant where you don’t have to match the full amount to get the grant.” Tom Corcoran

    “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results, and then hire another strategic planning consultant.” Winston Churchill

    “You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother, and then present it in 250 characters with spaces.” Albert Einstein

    “We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark, especially during the fund-a-need portion of the gala.” Whoopi Goldberg

  8. Anna Rosenbaum

    “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had spent far too much time on my grant applications.”

    -Henry David Thoreau+

  9. travelgirl28

    The column was wonderful, so many great quotes. And so many more in the comments! Thanks for starting my Monday off right.

  10. betty barcode

    My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some unrestricted funding.
    -Maya Angelou

  11. Rosemary Caruk

    “Write concisely, write to woo, always check for the hidden character limit.”
    — Anonymous

  12. johnkitui

    “Don’t cry because the grant is over, smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss

    “Two things are finite: grants and foundation’s stupidity; and I’m not sure about the grants .” Albert Einstein

Comments are closed.