12 predictions for nonprofit and philanthropy for 2023

[A hand holding up a shiny crystal ball. Or possibly a large frozen soap bubble. There are interesting patterns that look like ice crystals on it. Image by Uki_71 on Pixabay]

Hi everyone! I hope the new year is treating you well. Since it is a brand new year, I thought I would use my Pisces power to predict what’s in store for our sector over the coming months. As everyone knows, we Pisces are attuned to the vibrations of the universe and are often blessed with clairvoyance. (We are also known to be kind, caring, sensitive, artistic, humble, and good-looking in unconventional ways.)

Here are the predictions, based on the alignments of the stars, planets, and a proprietary divination method that I like to call “surfing the internet and then guessing.” Please read with a critical eye and consult with your doctor, lawyer, or astrologer before acting on any of these predictions below:

1.Artificial Intelligence will bring hope and fear to many: AI will be on the forefront of many minds. It is exciting! It is terrifying! It is coming! Will it allow us to quickly take care of pointless and time-consuming tasks such as writing grant proposals? Will we see a spike in creepy, unsettling images on websites and donor solicitation letters, creepier and more unsettling than just the usual white savior surrounded by kids of color? Is this the beginning of a tech Renaissance…or possibly the beginning of a Matrix-style robotic revolution that we will probably need to work into our theory of change and then fundraise to resist later? Be on the lookout for more of these discussions.

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A Christmas Carol, Updated for Our Times

[Image description: An illustration of Scrooge, sitting in an armchair in his robes and floppy hat, being visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley, who appears to be shackled with chains and money boxes. Image by Prawny on Pixabay]

Hi everyone, this will be the last post of 2022. I will be back on January 3rd.

Charles Dickens’s novella a Christmas Carol is a timeless classic. It was first published in 1843 and has never gone out of print. But 1843 is nearly 180 years ago. It’s time for us to update the story to be more relevant to our times:

STAVE ONE:

The story opens at a large foundation’s headquarters on Christmas Eve. Ebenezer Scrooge is the president of the foundation’s board of trustees. He is a miser who hates spending money, Christmas, and people in general. Bob Cratchit, Scrooge’s executive assistant, is looking at some documents. “Mr. Scrooge,” he says, “it seems we haven’t met our legal minimum for how much money the foundation has to spend each year. What do you say we give some extra money to a few nonprofits in the area? Look at this one. Tiny Dem. It’s a small organization working to end voter suppression, gerrymandering, and corruption in politics. This is the fifth time they applied to us.”

“Tiny Dem? Bah humbug!” grumbles Scrooge, “that is the most ridiculous name for a nonprofit! And their mission doesn’t align with the foundation’s main priority, which is teaching financial literacy to toddlers. If children learn early, they won’t grow up to be impoverished hornswogglers suckling at the udders of society. No, just put enough money into a Donor-Advised Fund to meet the legal minimum.”

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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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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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