Cards! Scarves! Pointy hats! All the signs say the holidays are approaching.

Cards! Scarves! Pointy hats! All the signs say the holidays are approaching.

Exactly two weeks and two days until Christmas. Not that we're counting or freaking out about all the things we still need to do. Just in case you, too, are also not freaking out about everything you still need to do, we have five articles from the nonprofit world to help calm you down and keep you informed.  

1) Gene Takagi wrote a rap about nonprofits and crowdfunding in the style of the musical Hamilton’s opening number. Think of this as an early holiday gift from the Friday Five to you:

             How does a program, project,
             dream of a board and a concept, 
popped in the middle of a popular site on the Internet
             by management, unsupported, no hollers,
             Grow a big force of supporters and dollars…

Find the total Hamilton riff here:

2) Americans gave a record $373 billion in charitable donations last year.  Before you cheer at how much more generous individual Americans have become, however, you should know that the driving force behind that figure is the rise of mega-donors. Here's National Public Radio's interview with the Institute of Policy Studies’ Chuck Collins to find out more about philanthropic trends for 2016:

3) Nonprofit Quarterly’s editor-in-chief Ruth McCambridge brings us the story of donors to a donor-advised fund who were not allowed to designate where disbursements from their named fund will go, a highly unusual situation. Lisa Greer found out that the Jewish Community of Foundation of L.A. would not be making a donation from the fund to the younger Jewish group IfNotNow. The story expands from there:

4) Is your organization keeping its electronic protected health information (ePHI) safe? In this age of hackers and data corruption, you can’t be too careful—especially if you’re a nonprofit organization that provides health or health-related services to your clients. Nonprofit Quarterly runs through the necessary compliance steps, the dangers and costs of not complying (including the potential loss of federal funding), and potential problems nonprofits need to look out for. Given our constantly shifting technological landscape, this is a must-read for organizations that deal in ePHI:

5) As we approach the new year, many people will naturally find themselves thinking about changes they want to make in themselves and what kind of people they want to be in 2017. Nonprofit With Balls, the outfit of writer and speaker Vu Le, brings us a timely look at the nine qualities of leaders we need in this time and place, including having “strength in uncertainty” and believing that we’re all tied to each other. Do you have the traits it takes to be a leader?

That’s all for the Friday Five. We’re off to do some holiday shopping while drinking a candy cane latte and continuing not to freak out about how few days there are until Christmas. We’ll return in a week (when there will be only one week and two days until Christmas).                             

Want to know more about nonprofits? Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to See you next week!