Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells…

…jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to be in the nonprofit sector. (Yes, I may have lost it there.) My attempt at holiday humor tied to nonprofits is not that great. Often times, I am the only one hysterically laughing at my quips. Now I won’t be starting stand-up comedy anytime soon. However, there is a very funny person who does writes about the nonprofit sector – Vu Le. He is the Executive Director of Rainer Valley Corps, a Seattle nonprofit whose mission is to “cultivate leaders of color to strengthen the capacity of community-of-color-led nonprofits and foster collaboration between diverse communities to effect systemic change.”

Vu is author extraordinaire of the blog – “Nonprofit With Balls.” How did it get that name? I was wondering the same thing. The short story is that we in the nonprofit sector are always juggling balls. Of course Vu tells the story much better here.

jugglerEvery Monday Vu posts a unique piece based on his experiences and research. His posts are a worthwhile read not only for the content but for the humor. Just read his tag line for subscribing – “Follow NWB by email. Make Mondays suck less.” This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Staying organized in our sector can be a challenge. We are “do good” people with lots on our plates. Vu posted one week on how to manage emails. I was looking forward to his suggestions. For example he said, “Put up a signature line to warn people that it might take you a while to respond, or that your response may be short. In my emails, for example, I have a signature that says, “Due to the high volume of emails, Vu’s responses may be terse. Please ignore the tone and assume that he thinks you are an awesome unicorn. Because you are!” Seriously, that’s what I have. Feel free to use it.”

My favorite Nonprofit with Balls post is titled 10 rules for dating in the nonprofit sector. Should I say more?! How about rule #7 Ensure your date has been trained on racial equity, gender identity, disability, heterosexism, cultural competency, privilege, power, and intersectionality before introducing them to your teammates.

Ultimately, Vu’s posts are meaningful and beneficial for everyday life in the nonprofit world. They cover topics from capacity building, community engagement, fundraising, grant writing, office culture, board, funder, and donor relations, unicorns (yes that’s right – there is a category dedicated just to Vu’s use of the word unicorn), special events, staff dynamics, and more. There is also a section about cultural competency in which you can read all about it and as Vu says gain “CC points” to earn “cool titles.”




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