DID YOU KNOW? The Berlin Wall, prior to its demolition, was 66 miles of concrete sections that stood 3.6 meters high, with 41 miles of barbed wire fencing and more than 300 manned look-out towers.

DID YOU KNOW? The Berlin Wall, prior to its demolition, was 66 miles of concrete sections that stood 3.6 meters high, with 41 miles of barbed wire fencing and more than 300 manned look-out towers.

Yesterday marked 28 years since the Berlin Wall was torn down. This imposing, well-known symbol of the Cold War stood for almost thirty years before being reduced to rubble. The barrier was constructed overnight to keep East Germans from defecting—an estimated 2.5 million people flooded into West Berlin to escape the socialist state of East Germany. On August 13, 1961, the morning after the wall was erected, Berliners woke to find themselves separated from friends, family, work and their homes. It wasn’t until November 9, 1989 that East German officials opened the Berlin Wall to allow travel between East and West Germany. Celebratory crowds of German people began to demolish the wall—pieces of which can still be found scattered throughout various museums and institutions around the world. The obliteration of the Berlin Wall was a significant step towards ending the Cold War. And now that we’ve taken you for a trip down memory lane, check out these five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Serve First, Lead Second

Starting a nonprofit is no easy feat. Full of complexities and unknowns, the task of creating a successful nonprofit is one that requires more than a great idea. A nonprofit leader needs to possess an entrepreneurial mindset as well as have a strategic development plan, financial backing and the ability to figure out unexpected challenges. But according to Forbes, the most important characteristic that every nonprofit leader needs to be successful is the spirit of servant leadership. Want to know what it means to be a servant leader? Click on the link above to discover four qualities of a servant leader and tips that may help you succeed in the nonprofit world.

2.  We the People

Tuesday’s election day was one of progress and inclusion. The results that came in from communities across the United States told a hopeful story of ending divisiveness and bigotry. An upsurge of underrepresented people running for office this year gave rise to unprecedented election results. According to Nonprofit Quarterly, the diverse set of winners—Asian American, Latina, Lesbian, Transgender, African American and the like—pledged to fight intolerance and exclusion in their victory speeches. A government that looks like the people it serves? Imagine that! Check out the link above to read more about Tuesday’s election results.

3.  Nonprofit Leaders: This One's for You

According to The NonProfit Times, four out of five nonprofit organizations struggle with leadership and management issues. This information is derived from “The Stanford Survey on Leadership and Management in the Nonprofit Sector,” which lists weak board governance, fundraising, impact evaluation, and strategic management as among the most common challenges for nonprofits. Follow the article linked above for a list of seven essential components of strategic leadership necessary to maximize impact.

4.  Young Leaders Strengthen Community Disaster Response

In the wake of the natural disasters that have wreaked havoc across several cities throughout the world, it is no surprise we are reading about the urgent need to invest in more resilient infrastructures to safeguard our communities. While those investments are undoubtedly necessary, we too often underinvest in human capital. According to Forbes, investment in human capital is the key to seeding resilient systems that enable effective disaster response. By training and supporting individuals and networks, young leaders can rise to meet challenges by assisting one another and finding solutions to crises. Does your nonprofit have a community development strategy in place to help foster young leaders? The link above identifies the short- and long-term benefits of investing in young talent and tips for how you can get started today.

5.  Latinx: The Word is Out

Perhaps you have noticed the use of the word Latinx (pronounced “La-teen-ex”) lately—a term that has been popping up in mainstream outlets as well as in Hispanic media. The word is meant to be a more inclusive, gender-neutral term for people of Latin American heritage who are outside of the gender binary. While many millennials and college students have begun to embrace the term, it is still being resisted by those who see it as a first step toward the neutralization of the Spanish language. Does your nonprofit use the term? It could a difference for people in your community who are traditionally marginalized. Click the link above from Nonprofit Quarterly to read more about the rise of Latinx and why the term has been both embraced and scorned.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re headed into Veteran’s Day with sincere gratitude for all of those who have served our country, and for those who contributed to the fall of the Berlin Wall. See you next week!

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