To see the immense hole in the budget, immenser without you
And the outcomes fall to the page like hummus to a plate.
What does it matter that we are an existing program?
The night is cold, and strong is the illusion of sustainability.
In the distance, a program director weeps. In the distance.
—I Can Write the Saddest Grant Proposal Tonight
I am proud to announce the first-ever Nonprofit With Balls Nonprofit Poetry Contest. Write a few verses and stanzas, and you too could win big bucks. Even better, the grand prize winner will be bestowed the title “Nonprofit Poet Laureate of the Milky Way Galaxy.” You probably have some questions, so I am going to try to answer them here:
Question: Why the heck are you doing this?
Answer: April, coming up, is National Poetry month, and the world aches for more poems about the nonprofit sector. There is so much beauty and complexity in our work. It is time we crystalize into stanzas the grandeur of the nonprofit world.
Question: What are the prizes?
Answer: Grand Prize, $750, and the title of Nonprofit Poet Laureate of the Milky Way Galaxy. Second Place, $500. Third Place, $250. All winners’ poems will be published on nonprofitwithballs.com. Honorary winners will also be chosen, but sorry, no cash.
Question: Where the heck is this money coming from?
Answer: The Nonprofit Poetry Contest is sponsored by innovative healthcare broker Nonstop, who is changing the way healthcare is delivered to the nonprofit community through its Nonstop Wellness program, an innovative health plan designed just for nonprofits. With Nonstop Wellness, your nonprofit will save immediately on premiums, get platinum-level benefits, and reduce employee out-of-pocket expenses. Check it out at nonstopwellness.com
Question: Are there restrictions on what I can spend with my prize money?
Answer: Yes, you can only use your winnings to buy hummus. The grand prize, a year’s supply of hummus, is calculated out to be approximately three containers of hummus per week for 52 weeks at $4 per container. Kidding. It’s unrestricted, and it goes to you, not to your organization, so go wild. Buy yourself a new chair, treat your coworkers to some organic kombucha tea, rent a bouncy house and not share with anyone, take up scrimshaw, the ancient art of whale bone carving.
Question: What is the process?
Answer: First, you must submit a haiku to the review team. If your haiku aligns with the priorities of this contest, you will be asked to submit a full poem. Kidding! Submit here in this nifty Google form.
Question: When is this due?
Answer: All submissions must be in by 10pm PST on 3/27/16
Question: Who are the judges for this contest?
Answer: I and at least two other nonprofit leaders whom I will need to bribe with beer.
Question: Can I submit more than one poem?
Answer: Sure. You can submit up to three. Each poem will need its own entry form, though.
Question: Is there a word or character limit?
Answer: Yes. Each poem cannot be longer than 500 words.
Question: What can I write about?
Answer: We will accept any poem with nonprofit as the theme. This could be a parody (here are some samples), or an original poem. It can be humorous or serious. It can reveal small moments in our work, or speak broadly about our sector. Just don’t make it a haiku or series of haikus. Haiku parodies have been done to death.
Question: When will winners be announced?
Answer: Winners will be announced, and their poems will be published on this website on April 11th.
Question: What the hell does being Nonprofit Poet Laureate of the Milky Way Galaxy entail?
Answer: Immortality, that’s what. Your name will echo throughout the universe, whispered with hushed reverence, passed down from generation to generation. You will also, if you are interested, be asked to provide three more poems throughout the year to be published on NWB, especially during occasions of grave importance. The Pope may contact you.
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