Category Archives: Special Events

12 types of people who get on everyone’s nerves in nonprofit

cake-916253_640pdHi everyone, this Thursday (3/12) is my birthday, and I’m going to use it as an opportunity to shamelessly promote my organization, Rainier Valley Corps, which is trying to bring more leaders of color into the sector while supporting existing leaders. We are a nine-month-old start-up nonprofit that takes nothing for granted; we wept with joy upon finding a working dry-erase marker last week, and I’ve been sneaking into conferences to stock up on pens. If you like this blog, please consider investing in RVC’s work with a donation based on how old you think I am. That’s right, if you think I’m 45, give $45. If you think I’m 36 and a half, give $36.50. If you think I’m 86, why…you genius, that’s exactly how old I am! (And I won’t be offended if you think I’m 1,000 or 5,000 years old).

Also, because it’s my birthday this week, I am going to take a break from serious topics like equity or capacity building or performance reviews, and instead start an annual tradition of poorly-edited ranting about people in the sector who get on everyone’s nerves. Look, we have an awesome field full of smart, very good-looking, and extremely humble people. Still, there is room for improvement. If you are one of these people below, please change your ways before I form a shadow organization that will hunt you down and bring you to justice: Continue reading

Three nonprofit ghost stories to send chills up your spine

As Halloween approaches, we’ll continue to tell scary stories. Last week’s tale about a special event filled with hipsters was enough to induce nightmares in many of us for months. However, if it failed to scare you, here are three stories guaranteed to make the hairs on the back of your neck to stand on ends. Do not read these by yourself at the office late at night: Continue reading

Scary nonprofit ghost stories: The Honey Badger’s Paw

halloween-1702531_1280Halloween is coming up, arguably one of the best holidays ever. There is so much that I love about Halloween. The decorations. The smell of apple cider and pumpkin spices. The license to stuff our faces with candy. The fake body parts carved out of homemade seitan, dyed to look bloody, which we then go around eating all night as part of our zombie costume. (What, like you’ve never eaten a bloody fake hand stump that you made out of wheat gluten, cornstarch, and red dye).

However, Halloween has gotten less scary and more…sexy. So I say we bring back the tradition of telling scary stories. Gather your coworkers into your conference room, turn out the light, turn on a candle app, and prepare to be chilled by the tale of the “The Honey Badger’s Paw”: Continue reading

7 challenges inspired by the Icebucket Challenge

Ice Bucket ChallengeUp until now, I’ve managed to avoid talking about the Icebucket Challenge. First, because I don’t have a personal Facebook page and thus have been spared videos of friends and celebrities pouring freezing cold water over their heads to raise awareness and funds for ALS.

Second, I’ve been very jealous at the humbling success of this viral campaign. Over 100 million raised?! Can you imagine what most nonprofits could do with $100,000,000? Five words: Unlimited. Breadsticks. During. Committee. Meetings.

Honestly, I’m not really sure how I feel about it all. On one hand, it’s inspiring that so many people—people of all races and classes, kids and adults, celebrities and the unwashed masses—are participating in addressing a terrible and incurable disease. It’s great that an important message is able to cut through the noises and get some needed attention. Continue reading

Really-high ropes courses and other uses of legal marijuana in the nonprofit sector

Cookies shaped like marijuana leafs are pictured at the Cannabis Carnivalus 4/20 event in SeattleHi everyone. Before we launch into today’s topic, I want to invite you to Rainier Valley Corps’s open house this Wednesday evening, July 9th from 6pm to 8pm. If you’re in Seattle, come on by and learn about the project. And I’d love to meet you. Details at


Every week, when I publish a new post, inevitably two to five readers will unsubscribe their email from this blog, probably in protest against something I said (“How DARE you disparage hipsters blah blah you’re just jealous because your fat vegan legs don’t look good in skinny jeans blah blah scientific studies show that wearing skinny jeans for just two hours a day can vastly improve fertility rates blah blah you and your blog suck, etc.”) It’s OK, because new readers subscribe, so there is usually a net gain.

As a warning, this week’s topic may be sensitive to some readers, because, dude, recreational marijuana will be available for sale in Washington State this Tuesday! For some, it is the end of the world. But for others, it’ll be like Black Friday, where you wake up extra early, grab an empty Snapple bottle, wait in line for hours, and then shove aside the weak and elderly to get your hands on that sweet, sweet 32GB flash drive for $5.99. Except replace “32GB flash drive” with “legal weed” and “$5.99” with “about $400 per ounce.”

Now, whether you support or oppose legalizing pot, the fact is that the tides are turning, and pot use will grow and affect the way we do our work in the nonprofit sector. Continue reading