Are you ready to jump into 2017?

Are you ready to jump into 2017?

It’s 2017! A fresh new year, a fresh new start. Everything feels new and invigorating. We hope your 2017 is off to a safe and happy beginning.

For the first Friday Five of 2017, we’ve taken a tour ‘round the cosmos (“cosmos” meaning internet, in this case) and pulled together a sampler of five great reads from and about the nonprofit world. Here they are:                                     

1) NONPROFITS AND THE TECH WORLD: A ROCKY NEW MATCH:Silicon Valley has created a new young class of charitable donors, but they may be demanding results faster than the nonprofits they donate to can provide them. As Jane Sullivan, spokeswoman for the nonprofit Build says, “They want results. They’re not necessarily thinking ‘We’re going to eliminate poverty over the next several decades.’ They’re like, ‘We want to change high school right now.’” How are nonprofits handling this culture clash? The San Francisco Chronicle has the details:

In New Jersey, Ryan McFadden is making a difference, one computer at a time. His nonprofit organization, the Electronic Access Foundation, takes donated computers, wipes their hard drives, updates the software, and donates the computers to other nonprofits and charitable organizations. How does the Electronic Access Foundation find organizations and people in need?

What strategies can nonprofits use to defend their interests in the new political climate? They may have to be completely rethink everything and upend their past strategies, says The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Among the ideas floated is working to simplify federal contracts. Why is that so important?

Does your nonprofit organization have a plan if something should happen to your CEO? Illness, resignation, alien abduction? A classic article from Nonprofit Quarterly reminds everyone that organizations should have a solid succession plan and not be dependent on a single person. Find out how to ensure your any organization’s stability here:

Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, has a reflection on the beginning of 2017 that takes as its jumping off point the famous Langston Hughes poem. As Walker points out, there’s a continual tension between the optimism of America and the other -isms that can generate pessimism. But Walker seems to have figured out how to navigate that tension:

That’s it for the Friday Five. We’re off to enjoy the days left in the year (359. But who’s counting? We are. We’re counting).

In the meantime, you can follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and send your questions about the nonprofit world to We’ll be back in next week!