18 tips to help you become a kickass writer!

[Image description: A cat sleeping with their eyes closed and their head resting on a silver laptop. Image by beauty_of_nature on Pixabay]

Hi everyone, before we get started on today’s topic, if you’re free on December 7th at 4pm Pacific Time, please join me and Sandy Ho of Disability Inclusion Fund at Borealis Philanthropy, for a conversation called “Dismantling the Culture of Professionalism,” sponsored by the Longmore institute on Disability. This is a series of conversations sparked by Alice Wong’s brilliant and hilarious new book, Year of the Tiger. It is FREE, and ASL and captions will be provided. We will talk about how the concept of professionalism plays out in work culture, hiring processes, philanthropy, communications, etc. It’ll be informal, Sandy and I will be cussing, and at least one of us will be dressed in a unicorn onesie, you have been warned. Register here.

People often ask me for advice on writing. (No one ever asks me for my skincare routine, which is understandable, but hurtful). First of all, you don’t need to make writing your main form of communication if writing is not your thing. There are others, possibly more enjoyable and effective ways for you to get your ideas out into the world. Videos, for example. Or Vietnamese water puppetry. I always say we don’t have enough Vietnamese water puppetry in our sector. 

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20 Nonprofit Dad Jokes to Brighten (or Possibly Ruin) Your Day

[Two brown mountain goats peeking over a rocky ridge. There’s a larger adult goat staring at the camera and a cute little baby goat looking off to the side. Image by Dušan veverkolog on Unsplash]

Hi everyone, before we get started, here are a couple of cool and free webinars that you can register for. If you’re interested in exploring shared leadership, check out this session on December 1st, led by Ananda Valenzuela and Roshni Sampath, two brilliant thinkers on the subject. Meanwhile, if you need a jolt of energy, join the virtual Nonprofit Day celebration on November 30th; I’ll be delivering a short pep-talk there. Both events are free thanks to various sponsors, and captioning will be available.

I got feedback earlier that Nonprofit AF has gotten a bit too serious over the past few years. You’re right, this blog needs more humor! And what is the highest form of humor? Dad jokes! I hope you enjoy these below. Contribute your own in the comment section or go on twitter with the hashtag #NonprofitDadJokes and add to the fun before Twitter collapses.

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10 terrifying tales set in nonprofit and philanthropy guaranteed to give you shivers

[Image description: Three jack-o-lantern pumpkins with menacing faces, one directly facing the camera. Image by Vladvictoria on Pixabay.]

Happy Halloween everyone! Below are the 10 winners of the Nonprofit AF Scary Story Contest 2022. Thank you to the dozens of colleagues who sent in entries. I read them all under a blanket with a flashlight, shivering with mounting fear and dread as if I was creating a budget using a funder’s budget format set in Word. It was a very difficult task to choose the 10 winners. We have some talented writers (and at least one amazing actor, as you’ll see in a video below) in our sector. These stories won based on creativity, scariness, and originality. Understandably, many colleagues asked to remain anonymous. I did very little editing, except to add Oxford Commas. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

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Greek Myths if They Were Set in the Nonprofit Sector

[Image description: A stone statue of Heracles against a blue sky. He is standing, clad with a cloth around his waste, one hand resting on the head of a lion. Image by FelixMittermeier on Pixabay]

Over the past several months, my kids have been obsessed with Greek Mythology, thanks to a podcast they listen to called “Greeking Out.” Greek myths are awesome, and there’s a lot they can teach us. Actually, many of the terms we use in this sector have Greek origins. For instance, the word “philanthropy” comes from the Greek “philos” which means “love of” and “anthropos” which means “burdensome and pointless grant applications.”

Anyway, while listening to Greeking Out with the kids, I couldn’t help but imagine these iconic stories being set in the nonprofit sector, so I wrote some of them out below. Enjoy. (And stop judging. Like your Saturday nights are so much more interesting.)

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What Loot, the show on Apple TV+, gets right and wrong about nonprofit and philanthropy

[Image description: A yacht at a port in Corsica France. Image by markusspiske on Pixabay]

Hi everyone. It’s been a while since I’ve written about a TV show. I was scarred by Game of Thrones and its outlandish, horrifying ending (turns out Daenerys, Mother of Dragons, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, stole classified nuclear documents, kept them at her castle, and engaged in espionage for the White Walkers). But so many people (2) have asked for my opinion on the new show Loot, that I am compelled to dust off my TV analysis skills, which got a significant number (4) of endorsements on my LinkedIn profile.

For folks who have not seen it, there will be **SPOILERS** so please feel free to skip this post if needed. We will be back to regular rants and shenanigans next week.

Loot stars the amazing Maya Rudolph as Molly Wells, who lives a ridiculously lavish life—she gets a yacht on her birthday, and David Chang is her personal chef—with her billionaire tech tycoon husband John Novak (played by Adam Scott). She finds out Novak has been cheating on her, files for divorce, and keeps 87 Billion dollars. Hurt and untethered, she parties hard, embarrasses herself in public, which leads to a phone call from Sofia Salinas (played by Michaela Jaé Rodriguez), the ED of her foundation. Molly had no idea she even had foundation. The ten short episodes follow her as she learns about philanthropy and nonprofit, rediscovers love, and grows as an individual. Clearly this is at least partly inspired by MacKenzie Scott.

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