This will be my final month as Editor. In this time of great uncertainty and strife, I’m honored and excited that our publisher, Nonprofit Insurance Alliance, has made the strategic decision to bring Blue Avocado in-house while continuing to run the magazine as an independent publication. I want to thank all of you for your attention and good work these past couple of years. I hope you’ve found insights, tips, and tools that have enabled and equipped you to better advance your missions and am grateful for the opportunity to serve. With that, I’ll hand it over to Nahida Nisa, the new Editor and a masterful curator of helpful nonprofit content!
—Darian Rodriguez Heyman, Editor-in-Chief, Blue Avocado, 2018-2020
In systems theory, a common observation is that “structure creates behavior.”(1) The structure of our organizations and governing bodies pervasively impacts not only the results we can expect to achieve, but the conflicts, beliefs, intricate relationships, and strategic partnerships that serve as vehicles for our nonprofit missions. During the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve seen on personal and organizational levels that adapting structures to reflect our values—specifically, values of safety and inclusivity—is both necessary for progress and achievable on a higher level. The May 2020 issue of Blue Avocado explores structures in various forms.
“How to Do Legislative Advocacy—and WIN” by Rachel Sumekh provides fun, practical guidance on creating policy change that begins with testing models to prove they work.
“In the Shadow of the Pandemic, Nonprofits Form Partnerships to Expand the Meaning of Healthcare” by Gayle Nelson is a provocative exploration of how recognizing multifaceted problems liberates us to serve our communities with a holistic approach. We invite you to share stories about how you’ve formed partnerships during the pandemic to expand your services.
“Against the Current: Eunice Lin Nichols” is an interview by Robert Egger that discusses bridging intergenerational divides through joint approaches on a policy level to foster connection and collaboration.
“Ask Rita: During Covid-19, Do We Furlough or Layoff Staff?” by Ellen Aldridge, J.D. answers a popular question nonprofit employers are asking during the pandemic.
“IRS Tax Form 990 [Deadline Extended]: How to File It, When to File It, and Why It’s So Important” by Deanna Euritt informs you about the extra time you have to file your 990 and the key elements involved in the form.
We’re also introducing a new section of Blue Avocado—“Discussion Corner.” Here, Blue Avocado readers like you have an opportunity to make your voices heard to your communities and interact with our readership. This month, we’re running inquiries about court-ordered community service opportunities, mediation between an organization’s president and board, re-entry plans, and budgeting and programming during Covid-19. Respond in the comments online. If you would like to submit to the Discussion Corner, please contact us.
As you think about the interaction between structural and behavioral change, we are here to answer questions, refer you to resources, and provide a platform for you to connect to your nonprofit community. Stay safe and take care.
Nahida S. Nisa
(1) Writer Simran Sethi introduced her synthesis of the concept to Blue Avocado.