Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Those of us who are in nonprofit, philanthropy, and other fields focused on making the world better rely on his words as a beacon for our work. Which is why this week we will be inundated with MLK quotes.
Before we quote him, though, let’s do some serious reflections about Dr. King and what he said and what he stood for. Otherwise, we run the risk of choosing the least controversial quotes, the ones that don’t make us uncomfortable or force us to confront our privileges or change the way we do things. Then we feel good about ourselves and continue perpetuating the injustice he fought against.
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.
Hi everyone, I know today is a rough day, since many of us are getting back to work after, hopefully, a decent few days off spending time with our family and/or watching White Lotus 2. That’s why I have (poorly and at the very last minute) written a guided meditation to help you get back into the swing of things and start 2023 off right. Find a comfortable spot, such as under the cover in your bed, or perhaps in the fetal position in your supply closet, and scroll along.
Let us begin by taking in a deep, full breath. Breathe in. Hold your breath for several seconds. Now slowly exhale. Let any negative energy of last year go.
In and out. Today is a brand new day, it is a brand new year, and this is a brand new you.
In and out. Not that the old you was bad. Actually, the old you kicked some serious ass! In fact, let’s take a moment to appreciate the old you.
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:
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.”
Hi everyone, just a quick reminder that this week on December 7th, the amazing Sandy Ho and I are having a conversation called “Dismantling the Culture of Professionalism,” part of a series of talks in celebration of the brilliant Alice Wong’s new book, Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life. Join us for this fun discussion. I think a few lucky people in the audience will also get Alice’s book for free, which I have read and which fills me with awe, joy, and gratitude, and not just because she uses the Oxford Comma consistently. Register here. ASL/CC will be provided.
It is December, which means that many of us are thinking of gifts for the people in our lives, thanks to the joy of capitalism and consumer culture. Now, if you work in this sector, especially if you are an executive leader, board member, or funder, you may be trying to figure out the best gifts for your staff or grantees. They can be so hard to shop for! That’s why I’ve compiled a list of gifts sure to please even the most discerning of nonprofit professionals: