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!)

We need to talk about suicide among nonprofit professionals and social justice activists

Two hands cradling a lit wax candle in the dark. Image by janwardenback on unsplash.

Hi everyone, this post will be more personal and serious than usual. Content warning: I will be talking about suicide, trauma, and grief. Please take care of yourself, and skip this post if you need to.

Over the past two months I have been struggling with the suicide death of a friend. She was a nonprofit professional and social justice activist. She was 30 and had been battling depression and anxiety and suicidal ideation for most of her life. A traumatic childhood led her to cutting ties with her family at a young age and being homeless for several years. Despite various challenges, she got a master’s degree, became an educator, and dedicated years of her life to advancing social justice through her nonprofit and community work, affecting the lives of many people, especially the numerous kids she taught and mentored.

Grief does a number on you, and grief when someone dies of suicide brings different feelings of guilt and regret. I run through various scenarios of what I could have said and done. Maybe if I hadn’t stayed up so late the previous night, I wouldn’t have slept through the last time she tried to call me. Maybe if I had invited her over for Christmas, she wouldn’t have spent it alone, and things might have been different. Until recently, I sometimes woke up, and unable to sleep, scanned through our text threads. Some of the messages were happy: trading vegan recipes, discussing TV shows. Others involved us arguing over various things. The later ones were of me begging her to get professional help. She had bought a gun, and I and her other friends couldn’t convince her to get rid of it. The last text she sent me was “I’m sorry. Goodbye.”

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10 condescending funding practices funders need to stop doing

[Image description: A closeup on a meerkat’s face, staring at the camera. This meerkat is puzzled by many grantmaking practices that seem to be the norm but that are actually patronizing and ineffective. Image by hansbenn at Pixabay]

Hi everyone, before we get started, I have exciting news: It took over a year and tons of dark chocolate, but I’ve compiled a bunch of Nonprofit AF ramblings into a book “Unicorns on Fire: A Collection of Nonprofit AF Blog Posts Finally Edited for Spelling and Grammar, Volume 1” which you can order on Barnes and Nobles. All revenues generated from sales from now until the end of June will be donated toward relief efforts for the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

This book makes a great present for birthdays, wedding anniversaries, as an ominous warning sign for funders or board members you don’t like, or as bathroom reading material for your household. Special thanks to editor Norea Hoeft for putting up with my shenanigans, Stacy Nguyen for designing the cover, Kishshana Palmer for penning the foreword, and all of you for inspiring me to write over the past 11 years.

Now, onto today’s topic. In this line of work, I have met lots of amazing funders. Shoutout to all the brilliant philanthropy professionals who are working hard and often without much fanfare to change the ridiculous systems that make fund seeking so painful and ineffective.

On the other hand, many foundations have a condescending belief that they know what’s best for nonprofits, and that they are like a mentor to these poor misguided organizations. A sort of “benevolent paternalism.” It leads to some terrible funding practices that we need to do away with. This is not a comprehensive list:

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Nonprofit AF taking a break this week; here’s a picture of a kitten

[Image description: A sleeping orange-striped kitten. Image by super-mapio on Pixabay]

Hi everyone, this morning I woke up with a kidney stone flare up and spent almost the entire day doubled over in pain on the couch, and nearly went to urgent care. I was trying to power through to write this week’s blog post, considering how important it is to rally our sector in light of the Supreme Court’s leaked draft decision to overturn Roe vs Wade, and the horrifying floodgates it would open.

But a friend, Mari Kim, reminded me that “you taking a break will give others permission to take a break when they are in DEBILITATING PAIN!” She’s right. So, no blog post this week. Here’s picture of a kitten for reading this notice. We need to rest up and take care of ourselves and gather our energy. We are in for the fight of our lives.