“I meant what I said and I said what I meant!” ~Dr. Seuss

letterFor those of you who regularly follow DonorDreams blog, you know that for the last month I’ve been publishing real letters from real non-profit people. These letters have been anonymous and all center on the theme of things that non-profit boards do that drive the letter writer a little nuts. Rather than just making this a good old fashion “rant,” each author was asked to incorporate a suggested solution into their letter.

I hope you enjoyed this month’s series. If the data analytics for this site are any indication, it looks like many of you enjoyed it A LOT!

As you can see from all of this month’s posts, I incorporated a “mask” theme for a few reasons.

  • This theme was inspired by the fact that I am the Nonprofit Blog Carnival host this month, and I thought incorporating masks as a visual would tie the ideas of “carnival” and “anonymous letters” together perfectly.
  • Additionally, humans have used masks for an assortment of things for millennia including ceremonies, protection, medical protection from plagues, disguise, and performance.

Interestingly, I’ve been on an Alaskan cruise for the last two weeks (I just got home last night), and everywhere I turned in all of the gift shops I encountered native Alaskan masks. So, for your enjoyment, I snapped a whole bunch of pictures and included them at the bottom of this post for your enjoyment. (Keep scrolling down below my signature block to enjoy those pictures)

Tomorrow is Wednesday, May 29th, and it is the day we’ve all been waiting for. Tomorrow is the day we celebrate the Nonprofit Blog Carnival. As you know, I asked the nonprofit blogosphere to consider writing an open letter to non-profit boards about something concerning to them along with a suggested solution. I also challenged them to incorporate something from Dr. Seuss into their post because this iconic children’s author is considered by many people to be an “architect of social change“.

If you couldn’t tell, I am hoping this month’s series of posts culminating with tomorrow’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival will become a blueprint for “change” regarding how you engage your non-profit board on a variety of issues.

I titled this blog post with an inspirational quotation from Dr. Seuss that I believe sums up this entire exercise.

I meant what I said and I said what I meant!

Now that we’ve got whatever it was off of our chest, I encourage you to shift your thinking to the following questions:

  • What will you do about it?
  • How will you tactfully engage your board in addressing the issue you’ve identified as critical?
  • Can some of these issues become generative questions and conversations that get incorporated into your board meetings?
  • Do you have a board governance committee that does more than just recruit new board volunteers? If so, what is their role in addressing some of these issues?
  • How can you use this exercise to develop a system focused on continual organizational improvement?
  • Have you given any thought to asking your board volunteers to write anonymous letters to you with suggestions on how to improve aspects of your job?

I hope you’re looking forward to tomorrow’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival hosted here at DonorDreams blog. I’ve seen the submissions, and I’m hopeful that you will enjoy them as much as I have. In the meantime, please start thinking about the questions I just posed and use the comment box below to weigh-in with your thoughts keeping the following quotation from Dr. Seuss in mind:

“Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s a great balancing act.”

Here’s to your health . . . See you tomorrow at the carnival!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC

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If you are a lover of this kind of art from the Northwest coast, then I suggest you visit Hill’s Native Art online to check out their large selection.

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