About Blue Avocado

We bring you news and insight every few weeks via our Blue Avocado email magazine. Don't miss a thing by coming to the website between issues.


What is Blue Avocado?

Blue Avocado is the bimonthly newsletter of American Nonprofits, a membership organization that provides practical financial information and support to U.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, staff, stakeholders and volunteers. It is created by and for community-based nonprofits.

Blue Avocado publishes six times per year through an HTML newsletter delivered to more than 64,000 subscribers. American Nonprofits is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit. Donations are tax deductible.

Blue Avocado speaks for and from the people in community-based nonprofits.

There are a lot of "experts" trying to tell community-based nonprofits how to operate. Funders, governments, university professors, and the nonprofit consulting industry, all have plenty of advice directed at nonprofits about how we can be better, smarter, more efficient, more effective, and do more with less.

But, we think that there is plenty of wisdom and knowledge among the leaders and staff of the community-based nonprofits themselves. We just need a place through which to share it. Blue Avocado is that place.

And "community-based" isn't the same as "small." While many community nonprofits are small, some have budgets in the tens of millions and thousands of staff and volunteers. Some small nonprofits aren't community-based; they may be the vehicles for individual expression, or have been set up for technical reasons.

Large or small, most community-based nonprofits are complex and complicated with conflicting demands from constituents including (but not limited to!) boards of directors, employees, clients, and government and other funding sources.

Community organizations come out of constituencies and hold themselves accountable to those constituencies.

Nurturing these community organizations, Blue Avocado gives voice broadly to the mission of American Nonprofits:

"We strengthen the financial health of nonprofit organizations."

We believe that nonprofits can only be vibrant, healthy and effective when they have access to financial resources and practical know-how shared by experts and peers.

This applies not only to financial resources, but also to support from other smart and passionate peers that promotes a diversity of ideas, people and practices in our organizations.

Blue Avocado is practical.

At Blue Avocado we take every effort not to talk in the abstract jargon that dominates our sector and deadens our senses.

Blue Avocado might sound overly blunt or direct. We're just trying to help you convey what's on your minds.

Above all, our aim is to provide practical information and insights that are easy to understand, easy to implement that can improve your effectiveness and that of your organization.

We know that you are not the same as your organization.

At Blue Avocado we know that nonprofits are comprised of individuals who carry out an organization's mission--people with all sorts of experience and backgrounds, with complex hearts and multifaceted minds.

We work to connect with individuals and the interests and concerns they have beyond the nuts and bolts of operating an organization.

You have learned a lot from the struggles and successes of leading or serving at a nonprofit. Let us help others learn from you.

To register to become part of the Blue Avocado community and to receive all of our great tips, tricks and posts, click here

Got some thoughts and advice for us? Let us know what you think.

Become a Member

Join with us at American Nonprofits and get Blue Avocado for free! We are experimenting with a public television model. You know how it works: public TV is free to watch, but thousands of people support it with modest and large donations. By joining, these members support independent programming and get access to loads of interesting information for the cost of a monthly cup of coffee. In the same way, it's free to register (to comment) at Blue Avocado, and we're also asking you to support Blue Avocado by becoming a member of American Nonprofits. We need a little help from a lot of you as we go forward. Become a member today. Memberships start at just $20.

Contributor Guidelines

Why do readers come to Blue Avocado? Let's ask one:

"The issues Blue Avocado addresses are important and relevant; they offer good advice; and they cover issues in a real way, in a funny way. Blue Avocado is not self-righteous and the advice it offers is balanced and wise."

Those are awfully nice things to have said about us.

The fact is though, Blue Avocado bubbles with practical, provocative and fun food-for-thought for nonprofits because our writers are practical, provocative and exceptionally fun.

And we want you to write for us too!

We invite pitches on nonprofit finances as well as all those topics at intertwine with money in our organizations, like human resources, executive leadership, board governance, fundraising and funders, and life in middle management. We love new perspectives and interesting conversations.

The mission of our publisher, American Nonprofits, is to strengthen the financial health of nonprofit organizations.

A great pitch offers practical information from practitioner to practitioner. Ideas that small and mid-sized nonprofits can quickly read and put into action. Questions can often be as good as answers, so we don't expect our writers to "know it all." Certainly remember to have fun.

Please don't try to use Blue Avocado to pitch a product or service.

Editorial Requirements

  • Target word count is 500-800 words
  • Write for easy online reading. Use subheads and bullet points and avoid long text blocks.
  • Articles may be original or adapted from a personal site or the website of your organization
  • Attribute content drawn from other sources
  • Style: Insight, perspective, advice, case study, first-person perspectives, checklists, quizzes
  • Send your pitch here: https://goo.gl/forms/m0xBA94PwMa7YQFg2
  • Article submissions may be sent as Word files or Google Docs

Reprints: We will consider work for republication that has appeared on a personal site (including Medium) or the website of your organization or company, as long as you can authorize such republication and it otherwise meets the standards and guidelines we look for in original contributions.

Blue Avocado Reprint Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in reprinting an article from Blue Avocado! Here are our simple guidelines:

All content and materials on the Blue Avocado website, such as articles, images, illustrations, posts, audio clips, or video clips, are protected by copyrights owned or licensed by American Nonprofits.

With permission, articles can be reprinted at no charge by nonprofit organizations that agree to the following:

  • Send us your request in writing. We will try to respond within 24 hours. Email your request to the Blue Avocado editor at editor@blueavocado.org.
  • At the top (or near) the reprinted article, use the following or similar wording: "This article is reprinted with permission from Blue Avocado, the practical and readable online magazine of American Nonprofits, for nonprofits. Subscribe free by visiting www.blueavocado.org."
  • If you are reprinting an article in a print newsletter, please mail two copies of the newsletter to: Editor, Blue Avocado, c/o American Nonprofits, PO Box 1018, Santa Cruz, CA 95061.
  • If you are including an article in your own e-newsletter or posting an article to a blog or listserv, please "copy" the link or post to the Blue Avocado editor.

Sponsor and/or Advertise in Blue Avocado

Blue Avocado's target audience is the staff and volunteers of community nonprofits -- approximately 5 million people.

The email newsletter is sent to more than 64,000 subscribers every other month. In addition, the website replicates the email newsletter on publication dates, and is updated even more often.

Advertisers: Every one of Blue Avocado's 64,000 subscribers sees all the ads in email, without having to click on anything else. Advertisements are a great way to reach them as well as thousands of web visitors.

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