May 2013 Nonprofit Blog Carnival

carnival masksStep right up . . . step right up! It is time for the May 2013 Nonprofit Blog Carnival.

You will be amazed by what many non-profit experts had to say in an open letter they composed to non-profit board volunteers.

What is even more unbelievable is how some of this month’s carnival participants were able to skillfully weave Dr. Seuss inspired ideas into their posts.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ~Dr. Seuss

Jeff Brooks at Future Fundraising Now wrote his letter to board members who don’t like your fundraising program. Did I mention how much he seems to like eating green eggs and ham?

The always positive and upbeat Marc Pitman (aka The Fundraising Coach) addressed the issue of board volunteers who are reluctant to fundraise. He included a neat link to a free asking styles profile tool at the end of his post. You gotta check it out!

On mBlog, Jenifer Snyder wrote her post to board volunteers on the value of getting more involved in mobile. I was especially impressed with this post because it is composed 100% in Dr. Seuss rhyme format. Big gold star for Jennifer!

Susan Chavez also earned a big gold star for writing her post in rhyme and offering social media advice to non-profit board volunteers.

Over at Wild Apricot blog, Lori Halley’s letter was written from the perspective of a new volunteer who openly wonders why veteran board volunteers sometimes resist new ideas and cloak themselves in the old fashion “that’s not how we do it here” defense.

Two Plus Two Can Be Five blog wrote their letter to board volunteers from the perspective of an ex-board volunteer who is one of those silent volunteers who has much to offer but never gets properly engaged. They ask the always powerful question: “Have you ever wondered why people resign from the board and move on like I’m going to?”

Sandy Rees at Get Fully Funded blog also took inspiration from a variety of different Dr. Seuss quotations. Her letter was written to new board volunteers and offered a treasure trove of advice on how to be a great non-profit board volunteer. She ends her post with an awesome training link that speaks to the topic of basic board roles and responsibilities.

Terri Holland wrote her letter from her own perspective as a fundraising professional. She ticks off four very common things that get in between boards and resource development staff, and she asks for their understanding and cooperation. This post is very honest and refreshing.

While not in the form of a letter, our friends at Big Duck blog offered “Three tips to help reinvigorate your board meetings“. This post reads like a letter to board volunteers. I included it in the Nonprofit Blog Carnival because I thought some of you might want to share it with your board governance committee and board president.

love stampLove letters to board volunteers

One of my favorite bloggers of all time, Joanne Fritz at, wrote “A Love Letter to My First Board of Directors“.  Joanne undoubtedly speaks for all of us who’ve had the luxury of hindsight to look back at our past experiences.

Over at Non Profit Evolution, Dani Robbins also penned a love letter to her former board and exclaimed from the mountaintops: “I am the leader I am today because of the tools you gave me.  I promise to pay it forward.”

At the Laramie Board Learning Project blog, Dr. Debra Beck penned an Open letter to an exemplar board expressing her appreciation to a board for allowing her to study their work, their learning processes and their motivations to serve (and serve well) for her doctoral dissertation research.

But wait . . . there’s more!

As many of you know, DonorDreams blog dedicated the entire month of May to non-profit professionals and volunteers who wanted to write anonymous letters to their boards.

There were a ton of great entries, and I encourage you to click over and start reading. However, for those of you with limited time for reading blogs, the following were the top six most popular posts:

Again, these submissions were not from bloggers. These letters were from real, live non-profit professionals and board volunteers. Their honesty is a window upon which you can see the things with which the non-profit sector struggles every day.

dr suessSo what should you do next?

Dr. Seuss reminds us:

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.”

In yesterday’s DonorDreams post titled “I meant what I said and I said what I meant! ~Dr. Seuss,” I encouraged everyone who wrote letters (and those of you who have unwritten letters in your heads) to take it a step further and TAKE ACTION. Take a moment to click over to this post and give some consideration to what you’re next steps should be. Architects for change (as was Dr. Seuss) would consider this moment of reflection necessary if you plan on growing the organizational capacity of your agency.

Our fellow blogger Febe Galvez-Voth at might have summed it up best when she submitted the following Dr. Seuss inspired entry about developing your organization’s case for support (which I encourage you to read in a broader context of developing a case for addressing any of these board issues):

Wherever you are

State your case
On a bus in a fuss
Tell the world that you care
Tell the world why you share

State your case
In a chute in a suit
Make your smarts lead the way
Make your smarts sway the nay

State your case
In a home with a gnome
Speak with love and respect
Speak with love and connect

State your case
In a room with a broom
Lead away from the fray
You’ll go up, up and away

State your case!

carnival2“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” ~Dr. Seuss

OK . . . I am stretching this quotation from Dr. Seuss a little far. There is not another Nonprofit Blog Carnival tomorrow, but there will be another one in June (as there is every month).

Lori Halley at Wild Apricot blog will be next months host the next Nonprofit Blog Carnival. The theme will be “Data for Good“. Click here for more details and how to submit your blog entry for consideration.

As I say at the end of all my blog posts . . .

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847


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