Nonprofit Life & Style

Seen & Heard
Blue Avocado Readers Test It
Worth Reading & Why
Take a 3 Minute Vacation Right Now

Give Someone a 3-Hour Vacation!

What does everyone need more of? Answer: time! So set up a meeting with your boss or a co-worker, or someone you know in another nonprofit. Make it for December 22 or 23. Say it's really important and will take 2.5 to 3 hours. If they ask what it's about, say (in an urgent tone of voice) that you'll tell them at the meeting but they needn't worry.

Then, at 10 am on December 22 (or whenever you made the appointment), announce that there's no meeting and they now have three hours to go Christmas shopping or get a massage!

Many thanks to my CompassPoint co-workers Mike Allison and Andrew Goldfarb for this gift several years ago . . . which I still appreciate having been given. Jan

Take a 3-Minute Vacation in Flight Around the World

Take yourself away from the hot, stuffy (or over-cooled) office. Get away from the financial projections. Give yourself a break. In fact, take a flight high above the earth and enjoy these photographs of our earth: Earth From Above.

To see more than 2,600 breathtaking photos by Yann Arthus Bertrand -- each one downloadable free -- go here and select a county in the upper left hand corner.

The Automatic Nonprofit Salary Calculator

Jon Pratt of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits uses a tongue-in-cheek version of the familiar Salary Calculator model to comment trenchantly on the indiscriminate -- and not so indiscriminate -differences in how nonprofit staff get paid:

How much should you be paid for your nonprofit job?

What . . . you want to get PAID? You mean an actual salary, not just a stipend, and for a nonprofit job that is not solely volunteer? Don't forget to factor in all of the psychic income you get knowing you are making the world a better place! After all, you are doing the Lord's work, so your reward may not be in this life but in the next. Plus, there is the prestige and halo effect - that has to be worth something!

Even after taking these not inconsiderable intrinsic rewards into account, you might still wonder whether you are getting paid the right amount of actual money (probably not) or whether one of your co-workers is getting paid the right amount (probably too much). The following fourteen data points provide a "scientific" formula (created by someone with two advanced degrees, neither of them in a scientific field) that you can use to check your salary against cruel reality:

1. Start by entering your organization's total budget here: ____________
Then enter the . . .

Take a 3-Minute Vacation through 60 Years of Social Work History

"Social work" is not only a profession, it's a college major, a license, an established part of any human services organization. We should not forget its history as a daring, progressive, unconventional movement . . . one that changed our collective thinking so deeply that we don't even realize its contribution.

We love that the Social Welfare History Project is capturing the voices and stories of the innovative and caring social worker movement. Take a few minutes to read Catherine Pappel's story -- "More than 60 Years with Social Group Work: A Personal & Professional History" -- featuring the debates and controversies that have swirled through the field over the years, and think about how our debates and controversies will be seen 50 years from now!

Take a 3-Minute Vacation to 500 Years of Art

Go to a virtual museum for three minutes and see Five Hundred Years of Female Portraits in Western Art . . . you'll see everything from classical painting to Impressionism to Cubism and more. It probably says more about art than about women, especially since nearly all were painted by men and nearly all are of white women. After you watch, take a few seconds with your eyes closed to imagine yourself as one of the women whose portrait we can still enjoy.

How to Get a Job at a Foundation

An old joke: How do you get to become a judge on the Supreme Court?
Answer: Be the college roommate of a future U.S. Senator.

In this article we don't address the pros and cons of foundation jobs, but simply how to go about getting one.

Many nonprofit folks like the idea of working at a foundation...and why not? Foundations jobs typically are easier, pay better, and have better benefits. And, as one person put it, "I'd like to try being the person being sucked up to instead of being the person doing the sucking up."

(We know foundation staff often work hard. We also know it's one thing to work until 10 pm prepping for the foundation trustee meeting and another to work until 10 pm trying desperately to keep a Sudanese mother from being deported away from her children, or writing a grant proposal, that if it's not funded, will mean you have to lay off two staff.)

Like many employers, how foundations say they hire is often different from how they actually go about the hiring process. When we interviewed foundation staff for this article, we asked two questions: a) what advice should we give to people seeking foundation jobs, and b) how did you get your job?

Most gave similar suggestions about how to get a foundation job, but almost none of them got their own jobs that way. For example, one program officer gave the usual advice about experience in the field, but she herself got her job by coming in as the foundation's human resources manager and was then transferred to grantmaking in a field where she had no prior experience.

Mostly, it seems, foundation program staff and executives get their jobs because of who they know, not necessarily what they know. But that doesn't mean that it's impossible to get a program job if you want to make the leap from a community nonprofit and you're not particularly well connected.

So, how do you get a job at a foundation?

1. Be related to the founding donor. You may have already made the strategic mistake of not having been born into the right family, or . . .

Cooling Thoughts

"Suzumi" is a Japanese word referring to sights, tastes, and sounds that make a person feel a bit cooler in the oppressively hot days of summer. We like taking this 3-Minute Vacation to Ice Hotels of the World, where visitors can sit at a bar made completely of ice, sip an icy martini in a glass made of ice, and munch on local arctic char on an ice plate in a hotel in Norway made from ice blocks (and rebuilt new each year from over 15 tons of ice).

Although fanning oneself with a magazine is a little suzumi, too.

Pages