Every field has its coded messages: When the bank says it’s shortened its hours "for your convenience" they really mean "for our bottom line." By the way, we aren’t defending these; in fact, we find them annoying to maddeningly offensive. Here is a Rosetta Stone for some of the culprits in the nonprofit sector:
- Charismatic means . . . bad manager. Example: "We have a charismatic executive director."
- As you know means . . . "as you don’t know." "As you know from our grant report . . ."
- Articulate means . . . well-educated, polite African American: "He’s very, you know, articulate."
- Bright means . . . young and well-educated. "Will you do an informational interview with my cousin? She’s very bright."
- Seasoned means . . . old. "Will you do an informational interview with my cousin. She’s quite seasoned."
- Extend the deadline . . . no one is signing up: "We’ve extended the deadline to be a sponsor for our fall fundraiser!"
- Good reputation . . . they don’t have money troubles: "I want to work for a nonprofit with a good reputation."
- Strategic (from a foundation) . . . less responsive to nonprofits: "Our ten-month planning process has resulted in a decision that our grantmaking will be more strategic."
- Tough decision means . . . unpopular decision: "He just can’t make the tough decisions."
- We’ll start promptly at 9 means . . "We’ll start around 9:15."
This issue we have two articles especially for boards: a Board-Staff Agreement for Financial Accountability, and how to Manage Board Email. And just in time for the CFC campaigns, an article on easy CFC fundraising. Plus a few guide dog puppies for your desktop.
And congratulations to us: Rick Cohen and Blue Avocado have just won a Min Online Editorial & Design Awards in the category of Editorial & Design for our articles on the Decline & Fall of the Vanguard Foundation! It’s great to see Rick’s terrific investigative reporting recognized. –Jan Masaoka