Hi everyone. I was going to write a Very Serious Post about something Very Serious, but then realized that this week (beginning February 5th) is the start of the Lunar New Year, an important celebration in many cultures. This is a time for new beginnings, joy, celebration, and, for some mid-age men, getting drunk on rice wine and passing out onto a plate of sticky rice cake (However, I did apologize and would appreciate it if we all moved on).
Our friends at Fakequity.com wrote an informative article on the Lunar New Year, so this post here delves into your organization’s fortune, as fortunetelling is a custom in some parts of the world for around this time. I did some “thorough research” on the Chinese Zodiac and came up with these “fortunes” for your “organization.” To find out which animal your organization is, go here and enter the date your organization was officially incorporated or signed the MOU with your (first) fiscal sponsor. Then find your org’s fortune below:
Rat: Rats are clever and resourceful and are prolific breeders, which explains why so many of us have rat and mice problems at our office. That, and also because people keep leaving gummy bears lying in drawers and forgetting about them. Rat organizations are often underestimated because they tend to not seek the limelight, preferring to be in the background. They are intuitive, always able to sniff out both catalytic grants, as well as restricted funding. Rats and pigs get along, so this is a good year for Rat organizations to join a coalition and maybe write a white paper about Equity or something.
Ox: Oxes—oxen? Oxi?—are hard-workers, always steady and consistent. Sure, they are slow as heck, but reliability counts. The year of the Pig is a safe year for Ox organizations to be bolder in fundraising, maybe launch a new campaign or try something different at the annual gala, something involving hot soup. Unfortunately, this year staff dynamics might be challenging, but this can be mitigated with a Chore Wheel. Board development will go well if you mainly stick to recruiting people with double first names who are also allergic to pistachios.
Tiger: Tigers are proud, strong, and assertive. Unfortunately, that also makes them impulsive. Tigers always prey on pigs, and since this is the year of the Pig, it is not going to be a good year for Tigers. It is best to lay low and de-dupe the database. Strengthen existing relationships and programs instead of starting new ones. Spend some time removing stains from the office carpet. Also, reflect on all the Pig organizations that you have wronged in the past and profusely apologize. They are coming for you.
Rabbit: Rabbits are so cuddly and cute! They are sweet and compassionate, kind to everyone. But watch out; they may seem soft and mild, but they are also…very fluffy. The Year of the Pig is good for rabbit organizations. That is, unless you are starting a strategic plan. Then there is only pain and darkness and a pervasive, all-consuming cloud of despair, followed by abject failure and misery. Fundraising, however, will be great! Unless you are doing a house party on a Thursday, in which case your event will lead to a catastrophe that may end your organization.
Dragon: Dragons are considered the best sign of all, as Dragons are natural leaders: smart, strong, and smell great. At least, that’s what Dragons want you to believe. Unfortunately, like Tigers and other animals that prey on Pigs, this will not be a good year for Dragon organizations. If this is your org, stick to doing things that are basically neutral and won’t have an effect on anything; for instance, a community engagement event that involves voting with sticky dots, or a panel on Equity, or rebranding. This is also a good year to open a line of credit for cash-flow emergencies—but when isn’t, am I right?!
Snake: Snakes are charming, quick-witted, and diligent. They’re like Dragons, but without all the pompous arrogance. This will be a good year for Snake organizations. Fundraising will be good. Board members will read meeting packets. Staff dynamics will be tough in the first three months, but it’s nothing that a teambuilding exercise that involves cooking won’t solve. If your organization wants to open a social enterprise to bring in earned revenues, this is the year to do it, because the success rate for Snake organizations will be .5%, versus .2% for other signs.
Horse: Horses are wild, majestic, and usually have great hair. They are independent, self-sufficient, and hate to be confined. Horses and pigs tend to be natural friends, so it’ll be a mostly good year for Horse organizations. In fact, your programs will be so incredibly successful that your waitlist will double, staff and volunteers will stick around, evaluations will indicate how impactful your interventions are, and the media will start paying attention. Unfortunately, fundraising will be awful this year unless you drop your existing programs and do something innovative.
Goat: Goats are natural thinkers, deeply intellectual, very creative, sometimes chaotic, occasionally eats garbage. Like most EDs, haha! The year of the Pig will bring Goat organizations great success in fundraising. All grant proposals are three times as likely to be funded this year, and major donors are also much more likely to renew or increase their gifts. However, all this success will come with a terrible price. I can’t tell you what it is. But it is terrible. So terrible…
Monkey: Monkeys are optimistic, happy, smart, and have a great sense of humor. However, they can also be silly, impulsive, and distracting. This is a great year for Monkey organizations to have a mindset of abundance. Increase professional development budgets for each staff and get a decent chair for everyone whose chair has more than 12 inches of duct tape. If you are thinking of merging with an organization, this is the perfect year to explore it. Just make sure no one named Gary joins your board.
Rooster: Roosters are proud, resourceful, and diligent. They are astute and extremely perceptive. Rooster organizations are the same way. It will be a good year for Rooster organizations if they plan well and work diligently. For instance, fundraising will be successful if you work hard at it, and it will not be successful if you do not. Programs will also be successful if you plan and execute them well, but they will not be if you don’t plan and execute them well. Staff dynamics will be great, as long as you work hard to build a strong culture, and will not be so great if you don’t.
Dog: People born under the sign of the Dog are loyal, faithful, warm, kind, and sometimes lazy. Dog organizations are the same way. The year of the Pig is a good year for you in everything except office plants’ survival rate. If you are putting on a large event such as a conference, it will go well. If you plan to launch a capital project, this is a great year to do it. This is also a great time to maybe open a thrift store. Everything will be good. Just do not hire anyone whose favorite movie is Fight Club to join your team.
Pig: People born under pig are thoughtful, gregarious, and community-minded. They are always the first to volunteer to help, and their potluck dishes are delightful. Traditionally, when it is the year of your sign, you have terrible luck. Do not believe it. It is the Year of the Pig, and the Heavens favor your organization. It will not happen again for 12 more years. Use this opportunity to destroy individuals and organizations who have wronged your org. Those who took credit for your work, funders whose grantmaking or reporting requirements caused you anguish, condescending and micromanaging board members—all must be made to pay! Vengeance is yours! Crush all who are in your way!
I hope that was helpful. Happy Lunar New Year everyone. May the Year of the Pig brings you health, wealth, happiness, and, if applicable, vengeance
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