You know, it seems you can't live with New Year resolutions and you can't live without them. On one hand, you know the importance of goals and habits to accomplishing anything worthwhile. On the other hand, you know that you'll end up abandoning your New Year resolutions by around January 3. So why bother? If you're an achiever (Type A) personality (like me), you're in double trouble. For a few years in my 20s, I recall making pages--pages!--of resolutions each December. You
About three months ago, I became executive director for a little nonprofit called Voices for Earth Justice. After four years of contract project management for big nonprofits, I was eager to get back to the kind of high-impact local work a small nonprofit can do. Voices for Earth Justice formed in 2002 when two Catholic women, Patty and Sister Janet, saw that nobody was helping the faith community engage in environmental issues. Over the next 15 years, Patty and Sister Janet
"Have to..." burns up a lot of energy, money, and time. "Want to..." generates limitless resources. "Have to..." waits until the last minute to do something and then only to get it over with. "Want to..." can't wait to take action. "Have to..." gives as little as it possibly can. "Want to..." always wants to give more than it reasonably can. "Have to..." hates to see you coming and eventually stops coming around. "Want to..." always shows up and wants to know about next time.
Your small nonprofit has a crucial role to play in the chaos and conflict of American politics. I recently wrote about how nonprofits bridge the divisions in our country. I believe our traditional "public square"--civic organizations, houses of worship, and public schools--are increasingly homogenous and protective of their homogeneity. Homogeneity, however, is deadly to small nonprofits. It takes people of surplus means and privileges to source the mission of a nonprofit tha
In the United States, there are 1,571,056 nonprofit organizations. That's one nonprofit for every 202 people who live in the United States. This year, about one out of every four U.S. residents will volunteer at one of those nonprofits. Friend, if you're leading one of those nonprofits, I hope you see just how influential you can be. Most of the time when we talk about nonprofits, we talk about the difference they make in the lives of the people their programs serve. We talk