Bunnycorn!! (Unicorn-Bunny hybrid!)

bunnycornHi everyone. Apparently I’m having some technical difficulties with the blog. Most NWB email subscribers did not receive notice of the latest post by email. One reader received it, but it was way late in the evening.

This is a test post to see if you’re getting email notice of new posts. (It’s a bunnycorn! Extreme cuteness combined with total awesomeness! It’s kind of like all of us in the nonprofit field).

OK, I’m trying to get this fixed. In the meanwhile, please check out this week’s post. “Why we should rethink Accountability as an organizational and societal value.”

PS: Dear Santa, I want a bunnycorn for Christmas…

Why we should rethink Accountability as an organizational and societal value

white-tailed-eagle-416795_960_720Every once a while we nonprofits have a retreat to select or reevaluate organizational values. Invariably during the brainstorming, someone will scream out “Accountability!” and feel very proud for thinking up such an awesome value, and others will nod their heads in agreement. Accountability has become as American as organic gluten-free non-GMO apple pie. Which is why politicians use it all the time. If I ever decided to run for public office, my speech will probably go something like this: “Middle class! Small businesses! Patriotism! Accountability! America! Bald Eagle! Accountability! Vote for me!”

But every time I hear it, it grates on my nerves. Sure, at first it sounds great. I mean, who doesn’t like it when people do what they say they’re going to do and take the consequences for their mistakes and failures. But as we look closer, Accountability sucks as a value, and society’s focus on it has led to more bad than good. Consider: Continue reading “Why we should rethink Accountability as an organizational and societal value”

The Baker’s Dilemma and the inequity of restricted funding

chefHi everyone, before we begin this week’s discussion, I just want to point out that this Thursday, 2/19, is the Lunar New Year, a very huge and important holiday in many Asian countries. There are some things you need to do—get a haircut, clean out your car—to ensure your year starts off right (See “Tet: What it is, and 10 things you need to do for it.”) I encourage you to take at least Thursday off if you can, since to work on that day is extremely culturally insensitive. Do you want to offend billions of people in the world? Of course not. Wear something red and take a day off.

Today, I want to talk about unrestricted funding. A couple of weeks ago, Paul Shoemaker published this piece speaking against what he calls “Quite Damaging Dollars” (QDD), funds that come with burdensome restrictions and are not just unhelpful, but actually detrimental to nonprofits’ work.

Paul and I once had a “Fireside chat” in front of an audience of 80 funders, and we drank and riffed on the merits of general operating funds and cultural competency. I don’t remember exactly what we said, because there was no vegan food there, but the wine was vegan, so that’s all I had for dinner. I think I said something along the lines of, “I love you funders—you’re so shiny!—but can you please stop restricting funds? Where am I? Shoemaker, ‘sat you?” (This may explain why I haven’t been invited to many of his org’s events lately). Continue reading “The Baker’s Dilemma and the inequity of restricted funding”

“I Can Write the Saddest Grant Proposal Tonight” and other nonprofit love poems

heart-700141_640pdHi everyone. OK, I think I’ve almost recovered from the Seahawks’ Super Bowl defeat. I can now eat Skittles without bursting into tears. All of you were very helpful throughout this grieving process, giving gentle encouragement like “Get over it! It’s a ridiculous football game!” and “Ha ha, your team lost! Go Patriots!” (If you haven’t joined the NWB Facebook community, you’re missing out on daily hilarity and unicorn jokes.)

Valentine’s Day is coming up this week. Last year, I wrote “Nonprofit professionals, you are each a unicorn,” sort of a Valentine to all the dedicated, smart, and highly attractive people in our field. This year, I thought I would try poetry. Below are three love poems dedicated to various people in the sector. I hope they inspire you. Happy Valentine’s Day, you sexy nonprofit muffins, you. Continue reading ““I Can Write the Saddest Grant Proposal Tonight” and other nonprofit love poems”

5 lessons for nonprofits from the Seahawks’ bizarre Super Bowl loss

seahawksHi everyone. I am trying to calm down enough so that I can write this week’s blog post. But I can’t. This post is going to be crappy. Because the whole City of Seattle, probably the whole world, is wondering “WTF, Seahawks?!!!!” This is painful. They were half a yard from touchdown, and from winning the game, and they decided to THROW the ball?! The Patriots intercepted, sealing the most ridiculous ending to a football game ever.

Everyone in Seattle is going through the stages of grief right now. Of course, this is Seattle, so the stages are: Denial, Righteous Anger, Hot Yoga, Organic Juice Cleanse, Bargaining at a Farmer’s Market, Composting, Existential Despair, Biking to Happy Hour, and Acceptance…of Marijuana.

Seahawks, did you forget that you have the most effective running back—Marshawn Lynch—in the history of football?! Was he invisible?! Why didn’t you just give the fricken ball to Marshawn so he can barrel through the Pats and win us our second Super Bowl so that I could polish off my third Corona and write “What nonprofits could learn from the Seahawks, Super Bowl Champions, part 2”?!!! (Read part 1 here) Continue reading “5 lessons for nonprofits from the Seahawks’ bizarre Super Bowl loss”