Welcome to this special YNPN Edition of Blue Avocado! We've partnered with our friends over at the Young Nonprofits Professional Network to deliver you a special edition of Blue Avocado featuring young, insightful writers from around the country.
What will you do to begin again this fall?
For me, autumn always meant starting over with big ideas and new projects. I used the change in weather and the back-to-school sensibilities to redefine priorities and goals. For those who work in this sector, fall can be a good time to take stock. Maybe that means planning a board retreat to hash out the year's plans or perhaps it's finally scheduling those meetings for that new project.
One good way to make the most of the year, is to make sure your organization approaches its governance holistically. Doing so can assist you in finding spots that might need more focus. For example, is your board operating as effectively as it could? Are your programs still fresh? Have you paid enough attention to strategic goals? What about the day-to-day? How might you grow your audience or be a better partner?
Happy summer, Avocados!
While for many, the season represents outdoor barbeques and long vacations, we in the world of not-for-profit know that summer is no time for ease. Fiscal years may have just begun, and that means a whole new set of strategic goals to get underway. As we learned from our last issue, having a good strategic plan can help with this process, but there's still lots of work to do.
Welcome to the latest Blue Avocado! As a longtime reader, I'm thrilled to be serving as guest editor. I know that I've often used Blue Avocado as a resource, a reminder, and a refuge during those stressful nonprofit emergencies, and I'm happy to present an issue that can be the same for you.
April is here and we have a new issue just for you that's all about change. Change is exciting! Change is scary. We have articles this month that provide a little stability.
How do you keep a firm financial footing as a nonprofit? Strong leaders have options when it comes to getting loans and funds to help cover operating costs. If you go the traditional route, we have a helpful article on working with your banker. If that doesn't work or isn't appropriate, we have an article on a new lending program which only serves nonprofits. Worried about federal funding cuts? Take the Blue Avocado survey and we'll share the results next issue.
On top of ALL that, we have a terrific article on resilient leadership and an equally great essay on facing new challenges. Next month, we welcome our new editor, so tell us what you want to see, what's happening in your organization and how Blue Avocado can help! We're always listening at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As we get ready to welcome our new guest editor, we want to hear from you! What kind of avocado do you want to see?
Let's face it, sometimes running a nonprofit can feel about as easy as folding a fitted sheet, but here at Blue Avocado, we want to help. For years now, we have been a practical and straightforward source for information related to running a community nonprofit, and now we're moving forward into our next iteration. We're so thrilled that you're still with us as we continue to grow, and we want you to be a part of the process.
Everyone else was getting ready to ring in the New Year, but you were in the office. Checking email on your phone. Making a final post office run to pick up mailed checks. Those and a million other invisible things we do at nonprofits are what make year-end campaigns a success. When others count down to midnight, we count up -- our donations!
But that also means we need an special jolt of energy come January, and this issue of Blue Avocado delivers. Discover an interview with one of the true visionaries in the field, practical advice for all of you living in newly 420-friendly states, engaging stories of personal growth and what Blue Avocado readers think about the financial outlook for 2017. It's all full of get-up-and-go goodness.
We considered offering up a Pumpkin Spice Avocado this month, but thought better of it. We'll leave peak Pumpkin Spice to the coffee and pastry purveyors of this world and focus on what we do best: practical provocative and fun food-for-thought for nonprofits.
Want to stage a show about office politics? We've got the characters to cast. Want to play your board like a crime procedural? We'll push the kibosh on that idea. Want to.. Well you get the idea. This issue is all original and all about terrific, from-the-trenches advice about the questions, big and small, we face working at nonprofits.
It sure is good to be back with all of you!
Our mission at American Nonprofits, where the two of us serve on the board, is to strengthen the financial health of nonprofit organizations. Over the last twelve months, the board has been working through changes in leadership and operating models and gathering information about what Blue Avocado means to you, our readers. Today we are pleased to begin offering the benefits of that work with a new issue of Blue Avocado, featuring two terrific new articles and some of our favorite pieces from the archives.
Every two months, a new issue will be published. Each issue will bring you new perspectives and interesting conversations about the issues facing our sector. Popular columns like "Ask Rita" are here to stay, but we hope you will keep us on our toes and tell us when we hit the right notes and when we don't. And we're on the hunt for writers. We can help you shape your idea and make your words shine. Email email@example.com.
I don't know about you, but it's been a long time since we had some Blue Guacamole. Susan Sanow and I have had a lovely sabbatical and we're also very happy to be back. Break open that bag of chips and a couple of beers for us, too? :) This issue:
- A Tiger Escaped Today . . . and I'm on the Zoo Board: First Person Nonprofit
- Everything We've Been Taught About Major Gifts is Wrong by Jan Masaoka
- Why Don't Foundations Build Capacity in Fundraising? by Aaron Dorman
- Ask Rita: Can We Fire Someone for What They Said in Personal Email? by Pamela Fyfe
- Nine Nonprofit Trends that Need to Die by Vu Le
You might notice our new look, too. The changes are minor but they allow Blue Avocado to look better on those electronic devices that didn't exist when we started in 2008. And please: let us know what you're up to! -- Jan Masaoka