You can’t have “Generous and Sexy” without Gen X

tape-1138088_960_720Hi everyone, before we launch into today’s topic, here’s a very important announcement on something that may affect the future of our entire sector: Double-spacing after periods is dead. Dead, I tell you! Here’s the Proclamation I wrote after receiving over 500 comments on the subject. Please print it out and post it in your bathroom or another high-traffic place.

I wrote a few weeks ago, in 15 lessons for the nonprofit sector we learned in 2015, “Let’s stop stereotyping generations and instead treat people like the uniquely beautiful, or crappy, snowflakes that they are.” Since then, however, I’ve encountered even MORE articles on Millennials: “How to Get Millennial Donors to Give,” “How to Manage Millennials,” “How to Manage Yourself When a Millennial is Managing You,” “Studies Show Productivity Increase When Millennials Fed Sriracha-Flavored Craft Beer After Hot Yoga,” etc.

Depending on the definition, I am either Gen X or Millennial, but I’ve been an Executive Director long enough that I’ve aged twice as fast the last few years, placing me squarely into Gen X territory. However, I don’t care what generation you belong to as long as you do stuff and do it well and do it on time and you are pleasant, so I’m sick of all this handwringing about Millennials, and, to an almost equal degree, Boomers. But since the articles and books and documentaries and puppet shows about the generations are not going to go away any time soon, we as a field might as well bring some balance, and pay a little more attention to the Gen Xers. Here are some facts from Nonprofit Tech for Good and MarketWatch that all nonprofits need to be aware of: Continue reading “You can’t have “Generous and Sexy” without Gen X”

9 annoying nonprofit trends that need to die

light-bulb-503881_640pdHi everyone, I am heading to Vietnam this week for a much-needed vacation. I’ll still be writing each Monday, but can’t guarantee the quality of the blog posts, since I’ll be stuffing my face with street food and coconut juice. But, before I go, let’s address some irritating trends that have surfaced in our sector. Below are a few that the NWB Facebook community came up with. See if you agree, and for the love of hummus, if you are guilty of any of them, cut it out right now.

Ignite-style presentations: “Ignite” involves a five-minute Powerpoint presentation with 20 slides, where the slides advance themselves every 15 seconds. It cuts off long-winded people, and it’s kind of fun to see how speakers match up their speech with the slides. When done right, and used mostly for humorous and easy-to-understand stuff, it can be great. But I’ve seen it too often used for novelty’s sake to explain difficult nonprofit concepts or missions, in which case it becomes “presentation by karaoke,” underestimates the intelligence of the audience, wastes endless hours of speakers’ time in preparation, and makes me want to punch the event organizer in the neck. I once attended an event feature five of these short presentations. People had a great time—“Ooh, that lightbulb graphic appeared JUST when she said ‘I had an idea!’ That’s so, like, awesome!”—but by the end of the night, no one in the audience remembered anything the speakers said. Continue reading “9 annoying nonprofit trends that need to die”