Oh, the dog days of summer....

Oh, the dog days of summer....

While the sweltering heat is enough to leave any pup on the sidewalk panting, the “dog days of summer” is actually a phrase that derives from ancient Greek and Roman mythology. The hottest time of the year (early-July through mid-August) represented fever, famine and devastation in the ancient world. It was during this time of year that the brightest star in the night sky, Sirius, the “dog star,” would appear to rise and set with the sun. It was believed that the collective energy of Sirius and the sun were responsible for the scorching heat of summer’s hazy peak. Not eager to venture outside into the heat? We don’t blame you, it’s ruff out there. Check out these five headlines from nonprofit news this week.

1.   Welcoming a Millennial to Your Nonprofit? Read This.

More than the stereotype of living in their parents’ basements, Millennials bring knowledge of technology, access to younger demographics and enthusiasm to the workplace. Standing strong with 80 million in numbers, they represent the largest population in the U.S. workforce, meaning the likelihood that you’ll be welcoming one into your nonprofit is… well, unavoidable. Perceptions and expectations can vary greatly from one generation to the next. So how does an employer help to lessen the workplace divide? First impressions are pivotal; Millennials are more likely to determine whether or not to stay long-term at a job during the first day of work. Try providing a few business cards on day one to help them visualize a successful career with your organization. Clear communication of expectations is also essential, as Millennials entering into their first full-time job may need a bit more guidance in order to get the ball rolling. Want more tips on bridging the generational gap in your nonprofit workplace? Click on the link above.

2.  Hey, Nonprofits! Take Your Cues from Comic-Con

What started as a one-day “minicon” in 1970 has evolved into a world-renowned convention that is now hosted in 20 cities. Comic-Con, a nonprofit educational convention for comics and related art forms, is providing an interesting event model for generating revenue and brand enhancement. Pop Culture Classroom (PCC), a Denver-based nonprofit, has found success in running its own 3-day Comic-Con, which attracted 115,000 attendees to its 2016 convention, and produced approximately $10 million dollars in economic benefit to the city of Denver. And it doesn’t have to stop there. There seems to be plenty of room for other enterprising nonprofits to explore the benefits of this type of social enterprise. Interested in discovering more about the benefits (and risks!) of this type of event? Check out the link above to learn more.

3.  For a Good Time, Text...

Museums have been flirting with technology for quite some time now, but the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has taken things to the next level in an effort to connect on a deeper level with its public. The museum’s newest undertaking allows the public to engage with SFMOMA’s extensive collection in a way that’s personalized and addictive (believe me, we can’t stop!). By sending a text to 572-51 with the phrase “Send me _______,” you can receive a piece of art that is selected from the museum’s 35,000 pieces and curated based on your request. No elaborate descriptions are necessary as the technology responds to emojis, emotive words and even colors. What are you waiting for? Text a request... or three, now!

4.  The Battle for the Donor: Direct Mail vs. Email

People say the written word is dead but in the nonprofit sector, that may not be the case at all. A collaborative study between Grey Matter Research and Opinions 4 Good called “The Donor Mindset Study III,” found that in certain instances, donors are more likely to read direct mail as opposed to email. The study states that paper holds several advantages over correspondence of the digital kind when it comes to communicating emotional, touching stories and conveying facts and information. Direct mail, the study points out, is also favored by those giving less than $100 donations. Want to know whether or not your organization should be emailing or sending out direct mail? The above link provides a more detailed run down of the study.

5.  Step One: Admit You Have a Problem

A new report from the Building Movement Project found that nonprofits perform just as badly as the rest of the workforce when it comes to navigating issues of race, sexuality and gender. Because there is no legal protection against discrimination for members of the LGBTQ community in many states, many nonprofits openly discriminate against LGBTQ people, particularly those of color. Find out three recommendations for how your organization can tackle this bias by taking a look at the linked article.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’re off to pant alongside our furry friends in front of the fan. See you next week!

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