Seen & Heard
Blue Avocado Readers Test It
Worth Reading & Why
Take a 3 Minute Vacation Right Now
Although we seem to be told constantly that we should be using Facebook and Twitter, a powerful application is quietly making its mark in nonprofits without much fanfare. Instant messaging (IM'ing) is the old-but-new tool that is moving from tech companies to Main Street and to nonprofits.
"Our organization uses IM'ing all the time as a quick way to have short conversations, ask questions, etc. without having to run down the hall every time," says Hannah Wallisch of Danceworks (Milwaukee). "IM'ing is also useful when staff members are working from home, so they can still be in constant contact with staff in the office without tying up phone lines," she continues.
IM is for grown-ups now
Instant Messaging used be known as the communication vehicle of choice for . . .
In the last issue (9.1.09) of Blue Avocado, we heard from Edie Boatman about Switching Careers at the Worst Possible Time. In addition to the comments that readers posted to her article, one sent a job-seeking question straight to Edie, and her thoughtful answer is worth sharing with everyone, especially people who are uncertain about raising money:
Dear Blue Avocado: "A friend sent me a copy of your newsletter, and I greatly enjoyed it, especially the article by Ms. Edie Boatman about switching from a for-profit position to a nonprofit position. I have an 18+ year history in for-profit Marketing, and would dearly like to get involved with a nonprofit here in Idaho. What can I do to make the same change? Sincerely, K."
reply from Edie Boatman:
Dear K: . . .
We are pleased to announce the winners of the Blue Avocado 6 Word Novel Contest. We received more than 200 entries! Ordinarily, reading 200 novels would have been very difficult, but luckily they were all short. Some were even disqualified for being only five words.
"We're a clever but dark bunch just now," commented judge Kathleen Enright, noting that many of the novels match the current zeitgest. And judge Lynora Williams pointed us to Wikipedia's definition of flash-fiction: "Flash fiction differs from a vignette in that the flash-fiction work contains the classic story elements: protagonist, conflict, obstacles/ complications, resolution . . . The limited word length forces some of these elements to be hinted at or implied."
Given 200+ entries and eight judges, a surprising outcome is that there was a tie for first place: each will receive a box of fresh avocados delivered to their door!
First place winner #1: Man walks on moon. Mars thrives.
Written by Joanne Gerow, New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators. "I see this as a just-discovered novel of the late Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.," commented contest judge Rick Carter. "Love it!"
First place winner #2: My secret discovered. Plane ticket purchased.
Author Anne Ackerson, Museum Association of New York (in Troy). Judge Janis Lane-Ewart noted this novel's "ability to capture my imagination, sense of escapism, and mystery."
And now for the finalists
And now for the remaining finalists, along with amusing and enlightening comments from our judges' panel:
Dissastisfied, inspired, catalyzed, satisfied, sustained, dead. --Liisa Hale, BlueSkies for Children, Oakland, California. Judge Paul Sussman commented: "Best of class in the straight-on novel arc, brought up a notch with "catalyzed," so dear to our activist nonprofit hearts."
Aliens appeared, searched for intelligence, left. --Bob Greenberg, Congregation Kol Tikvah, Parkland, Florida. "Just snide enough," commented judge Umni Song. Judge Alana Conner wrote this 6-word rejoinder: "Meanwhile, natives continue their futile search."
He loved, lied, and . . .
Planet 501c3 is a great place to visit . . . the people are fun; they don't take themselves too seriously, and you can get there and back in a 3-Minute Vacation.
Reader Tom Battin turned his hand to quiz development and contributes this evaluative experience of life in the nonprofit ocean. All the challenges of the world swirl about us and navigating it is hard! This quiz will help you determine whether you are:
Feng shui consultant Alison Marks wants you to be happier at work:
Work at a nonprofit? When's the last time you gave some love to your work space?
We in nonprofits often suffer from the misconception that just because we don't have a lot of money and time, we have to make do with so-so -- or even junky -- offices. It's not true!
Our environments are mirrors for us, reflecting back to us the intentions we put into them. The "style" of nonprofit offices tells the world and ourselves whether what goes on within our walls is important enough to deserve a little attention.
Enhance the energy
Here are a few quick feng shui tips that will help you feel better -- and perform better -- while at work . . .
To mark our first year of chronicling the ups and downs of nonprofit life, we asked readers to enter our competition for the a wacky nonprofit moment. Congratulations to Toronto fundraiser and AIDS educator Ann Rosenfield, for her story "Personal Use." Ann would have received a box of tasty avocados, but tells us that they can't be shipped to Canada from the U.S., so graciously suggested we give the crate to a local nonprofit. We have two runners up, as well: Davina Grace Hill's "Purse to Hip" and Paul Danicic's "First Week Blues." Here's Ann's story of Life on Planet 501c3:
Winner: Personal Use
In the 1980s, I was on the board of an international human rights and health education charity. Our executive director was going on a trip to the Soviet Union to do HIV prevention education work. She was bringing 30,000 World Health Organization condoms with her . . .