Letter from the Editor

Welcome to Blue Avocado 2.0! I'm honored to serve as the new Editor-in-Chief and first and foremost, I want to assure each and every one of you that we will maintain BA's high standards and stay focused on providing tactical, practical tips and tools for small- and mid-sized nonprofits.

So stick around and stay tuned: this newsletter is the first of six we have planned over the next year, plus we'll be rolling out a new website shortly to make our incredible repository of content easier to peruse. On that note, please take a sec to complete this survey and let us know exactly what content you're most excited to see in future issues and highlighted on the new site.

Welcome From Our New Publisher

As with most nonprofit ventures, Blue Avocado has taken some interesting twists and turns in its first ten years. As the major funder of Blue Avocado throughout its history, the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group has always been cheering for the success of Blue Avocado from the sidelines, with no intention of taking it on as a project. However, when American Nonprofits recently launched its Bridge to Bridge Loan Fund for nonprofits and decided it needed to focus on that initiative, our boards of directors at the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group gladly welcomed Blue Avocado into the fold. We are determined to help Blue Avocado remain the best free source of practical information for small- and mid-sized community nonprofits everywhere.

The Best Route to Approaching Donors: Hand-Head-Heart

As someone who began her career as a fund raiser and migrated to become a funder as head of a large corporate foundation, I have a somewhat unique vantage point on the struggle many nonprofits endure when engaging funders and major donors to support their cause. In speaking with executive and development officers who are charged with fundraising, I find it most helpful to convey some simple principles that I applied to maximize the return on the time and energy I put into achieving optimal fund development results.

Achieving Equity: We Need a New Approach to Funding

Lately there has been a lot of focus on the issue of equity. "Equity" is obviously a broad term that encompasses a range of issues including income and wealth inequality, as well as economic opportunity. But at its core, equity is ultimately about creating a level playing field and ensuring that everyone has an honest chance at achieving their potential regardless of their race, gender, economic status, or zip code.

Succeeding When You’re Small: Lessons Learned from DonorsChoose.org

Although the Blue Avocado audience consists of community-based organizations, we can still learn from the experience of those who started a nonprofit out of their basement and grew to be nationally recognized leaders in the field.

DonorsChoose.org is one such organization. Started by Charles Best in 2000, it's a crowdfunding platform for public school teachers. The nonprofit was started in his own Bronx classroom when Charles needed resources for his students, and he found a way to connect people who want to help.

Ask Rita: Are Summer Helpers Employees, Contractors, or Interns?

Dear Rita in HR,

We are a small nonprofit looking to add extra help to further our cause this summer. Usually we hire high school or college students to do special projects or catch up, support employees that have fallen behind, or cover for staff vacations. What's the right way to classify our help? Can we use summer helpers like high school students to work full-time and just pay them a stipend (or not) as interns, or can we write up a contract with them as independent contractors? It seems like a lot of work to add people to the payroll each year when they only stay for the summer.


The Dog Days of Summer

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