Rants

An Objective Analysis of Why This Will All Probably, Maybe be Kinda Fine for Nonprofits, Based on Science and Facts

Nonprofiteers… we have nothing to worry about. Trust me, I am a thought leader. I have looked at the numbers, and the situation is looking incredibly rosy. In particular, the Dow index on February 13 was well over 29,000. Any reporting on the numbers since then is false news. You can see for yourself, here:

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Why is this important? Well of course, the economy is booming. Companies are all roaring and open for business! With more Americans currently at work than ever before, that means they are bringing home significant financial resources, which means they are donating more money to nonprofits. We know this is true, because science. Come 2021, GivingUSA will show this as the most successful philanthropic year in history, period.

I have heard a number of my colleagues in the nonprofit sector arguing signs of caution. Literally there are dozens of hyper-liberal opinion pieces out there trying to instill fear and organizational rioting in our industry. They are all “turning on the news” and “talking to donors” and “seeing the impact of a catastrophic global health crisis” and are, in my opinion, being a bit dramatic. Even if things were rough right now — and I am not saying they are — that’s no reason to start panicking. We need to let the next five to 10 years play out before we make any rash decisions about spending, hiring, strategic planning, programmatic expansion, capital campaigns, etc.

As a point of grace, we should look to the periods of time in our great American history when our economy was strongest, like the late-1920s, 1940s, early 1980s and the late 2000s. What happened during these times? Did we retrench? Did we pause? No. We were America, and we are America. So hear me when I say, we have nothing to worry about, because facts.

UpdateEvidently there is a pretty massive pandemic wreaking havoc on the entirety of the world right now, so please disregard.

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Rants

RIP, Fundraising Event

Fundraising Event, 156, died February 26, 2020 in Kalamazoo, MI, where it was born, with 95,400 nonprofit fundraisers by its side. A memorial service was held Thursday evening at kitschy renovated firehouse event spaces everywhere, replete with discount Chiavari chairs, bone-color linens, and cold chicken.

Fundraising Event was born as “Kalamazoo Sanitary Fair” on November 10, 1864, the lovechild of Ladies Soldier’s Aid Society of Kalamazoo. As a youth, Fundraising Event moved frequently around the United States until 1948, as a teenager, arriving in New York City under the name “Met Gala.” For the next quarter-century, it found its way until meeting Diana Vreeland, who really cleaned it up. It received a M.A. in philanthropic studies from the Lilly School at Indiana University, though never really did much with the degree.

Fundraising Event was at its best in the evenings, during the months of spring. As a young adult, it was mindful and full of purpose; its closest friends knew it as “modest,” “effective,” and “not a tremendous burden on staff.” As it aged, its tastes grew more refined and elegant, and it started spending time with a more exclusive crowd, which it charged for the pleasure of its company.

Over the past century-and-a-half, Fundraising Event was actively involved with thousands of American nonprofit organizations, particularly arts, culture, social service, and healthcare. Its interests included silent auctions, cloth napkins folded like birds, and imposing upon friends to sponsor high-cost gala tables.

Fundraising Event is survived by its siblings, GivingTuesday and 5k Run/Walk. Though estranged, it is also survived by its cousin, Girl Scout Cookie Drive. It was preceded in death by Haseki Sultan Imaret in Jerusalem.

Donations may be sent to your local chapter of Association for Fundraising Professionals, in support of National Philanthropy Day — fair market value of $45 per person.

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Rest in piece, dear friend.

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Rants

Nonprofit Apps We Didn’t Know We Needed

Technology is a wondrous thing, especially the apps we use on our little nightmare pocket rectangles. Here are a few someone should create to make our nonprofit lives easier. It would have to be a volunteer though, because we don’t have the budget this fiscal year.ComputerGuy

  • Oopz: Sends strongly worded emails to staff who have the audacity to tell you how to do your job, when they can’t be bothered to do their own
  • OopzPro: Sends strongly worded emails to board members when they overstep their boundaries
  • DonorImperfect: Aggregates publicly available data to discern whether the donor was actually inspired by your organization, or was just making a test gift
  • LolNoThnx: Delicately shoots down (via text, obviously) incredibly naive program ideas presented by millennial staff with less than five years experience
  • Fundr: Immediately lets you know if a corporate sponsor is actually interested in your mission, or if they just want logo recognition on print collateral
  • FundrPro: Translates foundation RFPs into simple terms, letting you know exactly what they want, when they want it, how many copies, on what color and weight paper, what random PO Box to use for mailing, and what board members are comfortable being secretly and inappropriately pitched because you “already have a relationship with them”
  • Coupl: Helps figure out if you should list the donor wife or husband’s name first on stewardship materials
  • NegotiatR: Helps effectively negotiate job offers which propose salaries at or below the poverty line
  • DoctR: Automatically locks Susan’s office door and flashes a “GO HOME” sign when she tries to come to work with massively contagious viral bronchitis
  • ThatIsUrJob: Finds YouTube videos which explain simple tasks like mail merges and replacing the Xerox paper when the office administrator claims those things are not his responsibility

What else do we need, nonprofiteers? How about a social media platform where we get together and vent about the absurdities of our work? Oh, wait, that already exists.

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