It’s time we pay interview-stage job applicants for their time

[Image description: Four string puppets standing in front of a yellow background flanked by blue curtains. Three appear to be wearing dresses, one with a shirt, pants and boots. All have beady, soul-less eyes, their arms outstretched as if they’re beckoning to be hugged. Image by epicioci on Pixabay]

Quick note before we start: Join me for “Friends with Money: A Fireside Chat for 501c3s & Philanthropists” on Wed, June 9th, 5pm to 6pm EDT. Free via Zoom. We’ll be discussing philanthropy, equity, power dynamics, etc. Also, several groups across the country are putting on a PEEP (Party to Enhance Equity in Philanthropy) event around the summer solstice. I’ll list the ones I have information about at the end of this post. If you’re planning something, please fill out this form, and I’ll mention it next week.

Over the past few years, I keep hearing horror stories from people applying for jobs. Someone had to go through eight rounds of interviews. A friend had a four-hour interview that included an essay followed by a one-hour PowerPoint presentation. A colleague had to come up with a marketing plan for an organization, didn’t get the job, but found that the org had used their ideas without asking for permission. Another person mentioned having a personality test and six interviews that culminated with them writing and performing a one-act puppet show to demonstrate their creativity.

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Fundraising and the problem with “you”

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Hi everyone. This post may be shorter and more disjointed than usual. Like many of you, I have been affected by all the human rights violations in Palestine, including the murder of Palestinian children. Here are some ways you can help. If you need more information, Decolonize Palestine is a great resource.

I’ve also been thinking of the CDC’s recommendation that fully vaccinated people can go mask-free. While this seems like progress, it moves us out of a “we’re all in this together” mentality and back into an “individual choice” sort of deal, which will endanger more lives. It furthers the issue identified in this article, which highlights how the CDC switched its messaging from how wearing masks protects others, to one that emphasizes individual self-protection.

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12 ways “all lives matter” manifests in nonprofit and philanthropy

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Hi everyone, before we get to this week’s topic, thank you to those of you who voted on the new name of our annual sector-wide event where nonprofit and philanthropy leaders get together to get snacks and hang out to help break down some of the pervasive power dynamics between us. (We’re changing the original name—BEER, Beverage to Enhance Equity in Relationships—to be more inclusive of colleagues in recovery). We got over 1500 votes! The clear winner, with nearly 40% of the votes, is PEEP—Party to Enhance Equity in Philanthropy. So there you have it. Some of you are hilarious, providing suggestions like Party to Enhance Equity, and Party to Open Others to Philanthropy.

Anyway, I hope you’ll host a PEEP event sometime around mid-June. If you plan to have one, please fill out this form, so that I can help promote your event. And so help me MYGOD (Multi-Year General Operating Dollars), if you call it a “PEEP Party” (like “ATM Machine” or “PIN Number”), I will rain hellfire on you and your communications team.

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10 ways to make executive leadership searches and transitions better and more equitable

[Image description: Three meerkats, huddled together, each looking in a different direction. They appear pensive. These meerkats have nothing to do with the content of this post. It’s just that it’s been a while since NAF featured meerkats. Image by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash]

Hi everyone, quick announcement before we dive into this week’s exciting topic about executive search. If you’re free this Wednesday, April 21st, at 10am PT, please join me in this discussionMoving to Racial Equity: What’s Getting in the Way!?! | A Conversation with Nonprofit Leaders.” It is cosponsored by Castellano Family Foundation and Silicon Valley Community Foundation. I’ll be flipping over tables as usual, but I’m trying to cut back on swearing, gosh darn it. It’s free; register here. Captions will be provided.

Last week, I got this note from a colleague: “I work in philanthropy and was talking with a friend working at a non-profit, and we were sharing our frustrations about how opaque the search process was/is for new leaders at both our orgs, and how little staff and community involvement there was in the decision-making process. I’d love to see you tackle the way these searches happen and search firms and Board committees work currently, and suggest ways that we might work differently (even given the need for confidentiality about candidates to a point, etc).”

This has been on my list of stuff to rant about for a while, so I appreciate the nudge. Last August, Nonprofit Quarterly’s Editor-in-Chief Cyndi Suarez wrote this brilliant piece on the topic, “What Does an Equitable Executive Leadership Transition Look Like?” It points out the inequity of our current philosophies and practices and proposes some new ways of doing things. I highly recommend everyone reads it.

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Racialized and marginalized people are exhausted. We need a break from talking and thinking about inequity and injustice all the time.

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Hi everyone, the weather is finally nice in Seattle, so I want to finish this blog post quickly and take my kids to the playground. They are growing up fast, and I know there will come a day when they will stop asking me to take them to the playground. Apologies in advance if this post is not as eloquent or have as many citations as might be expected of this topic.

If you’re in fundraising and on social media, chances are you’ve been following this situation. I am so grateful for all the colleagues who are calling out problematic behaviors, asking for our sector to be better, to be more aligned with equity and justice. Because, frankly, I am very tired. My friends at Community-Centric Fundraising and I did not ask to be dragged into this battle. We were all minding our own business. I was watching “Waffles and Mochi” with my kids, learning about how potatoes are cooked in a huatia.

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