Am I just preaching to the choir? Maybe

[Image description: Three cute puppies with white/pale-yellow fur, in a basket placed on some grass. Image by chathuraanuradha on Pixabay]

One of the comments I often receive online and in-person after my various baby-animal-picture-punctuated rants is, “Vu, I agree with all the stuff you’re saying, but it seems you’re preaching to the choir. Shouldn’t you dress better and yell at the people in power who are not in this room?”

I can understand the frustration. Many of the issues I point out—grantmaking shenanigans, the archaic focus on overhead, the need for better tax policies, the ridiculousness of infinity scarves, etc.—are things many of us have been ranting about for decades. To hear someone bring them up again can invoke feelings of exasperation over how little progress we’ve made in many of these areas affecting our work.

However, I am not sure we’re actually a choir. I don’t know much about music, and I have the singing voice of a blender trying to puree a handful of fidget spinners, but I think choirs overall has members who show up at the same time, sing songs that are agreed upon in advance, know who is singing which parts, and start and finish each song at the same time before starting another one. I am not sure that accurately describes any audience I’ve spoken to.

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Fundraising experts: Enough with the donor sycophancy!

[A red panda, which looks a lot like a raccoon with reddish fur, lying on a tree branch. Image by tanimachisan1 on Pixabay]

Hi everyone, if you’re available on April 10th at 12:30-1:30 Eastern Time,  please attend this free public webinar on the Fearless Fund lawsuit and its potential implications for nonprofits and foundations. Get details and RSVP.

Today, please grab your favorite beverages and snacks and get ready for a rant. Recently, a fundraising expert posted a post on LinkedIn, written in the the perspective of a jaded, exasperated donor, chastising nonprofits for how they treat donors. Excerpt from this post:

Why are you so incurious about me, about where I came from, what forces shaped me and what differences I seek to make? Why, when you do respond, is in with forms and templates. Why do I feel you’re just checking boxes? Gift receipt: check. Thank you (now AI generated): check. Annual report: check. Why do you assume that is all I want? […] I am philanthropy. I am weary of knocking on non-responsive, hollow or narrowly creaked open doors. I have resolved to knock on fewer, to be more careful where I lay my tokens, to put more stipulations on my giving and to be more explicit about your accountabilities to me.”

He did end with a poetic flourish: “I have become what you taught me to be.”

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Greek myths if they were set in the nonprofit sector, Part 3

[Image description: A statue of two figures, one holding a sword, the other holding a large round shield. It looks like it could be Athena holding the shield, guiding Perseus, who has the sword. Image by Couleur on Pixabay]

Hi everyone, before we get into today’s blog post, a couple of things. If you’re free this Thursday March 28th at 11am Pacific Time, join me and Nonprofit VOTE for Rally the Sector: Nonprofits and Election 2024. We’ll be talking about nonprofits and the role we play in getting people to vote. It’ll be fun! Register here. It’s free, and automated captions will be available.

Also, please let me know that you got (or didn’t get) email notification of this blog post. It’s been weeks of tech issues, with no one getting notifications for two months, and I hope it’s finally resolved now.

This week, we have more Greek myths if they were set in nonprofit and philanthropy. Make sure to read Part 1 and Part 2.

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Here are the Nonprofit AF posts you missed over the past two months because of tech issues!

[Image descriptions: Four or five fluffy ducklings in a group, looking cute and happy. Image by JonPauling on Pixabay]

Hi everyone, over the past two months, my blog traffic plummeted. Though I was still writing each week, no one was reading, even when they included the usual picture of cute baby animals. Feeling betrayed, I started plotting a sector-wide scheme of revenge.

But it turns out that none of my email subscribers had been getting any email notices when new posts were published. Thanks to the tech experts I’ve contracted with (shout out to Jordan!), we got to the bottom of it, and everything is better now. So no revenge. Sorry that the first thing I thought of was revenge; I will now return the 20,000 praying mantises I ordered online.

Anyway, because notices hadn’t been sent since January 22nd, you probably missed these the last eight blog posts or so. Here they are below, so you have a chance to catch up.

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Testing: Please tell me you got email notice of this new NonprofitAF blog post!

[Image descriptions: Two very cute bunnies, one that’s brown and white, and one black and white, munching on wild flowers. Image by castleguard on Pixabay]

Hi everyone, I’ve been having issues with the email notification system, which is why email subscribers hadn’t been getting notices for the past two months!

I’m working to resolve it, and I think it’s been fixed now, thanks to the tech experts. Please, a few of you who are subscribed by email, let me know in the comment section that you received an email notice that this blog post was published!

(It’s been a surreal few months. I was wondering why my traffic plummeted and just thought people hated me or have started disliking pictures of baby animals! I mean, I wrote an amazing article on codpieces, and only about 8 people read it!)