DID YOU KNOW? January is named after Janus, the god of beginnings, transitions, time and endings. He is usually depicted with two faces—one looking forward to the future and one looking back at the past.

DID YOU KNOW? January is named after Janus, the god of beginnings, transitions, time and endings. He is usually depicted with two faces—one looking forward to the future and one looking back at the past.

New Year’s Day was celebrated for the first time in history on January 1, 45 B.C. with the introduction of the Julian calendar. Prior to the new, revised calendar the traditional Roman calendar attempted to follow the lunar cycle, but frequently fell out of phase with the seasons and needed to be altered. Moreover, the Roman body in charge of overseeing the calendar, the pontifices, would often abuse its authority by adding days in order to interfere with elections and extend political terms. Sosigenes, the astronomer who was enlisted to aid in the design of the new calendar, advised Julius Caesar to do away with the lunar cycle altogether and follow the solar year, as the Egyptians did. This change resulted in the new year beginning on January 1, instead of March. We’re hoping your first week of the new year was as good as the following five nonprofit headlines from the news this week.

1.  Bosses, Beat Burnout!

Most nonprofit leaders and staff members continually strive to stretch the resources they have. Passionate about the work at hand, it can be easy for leaders to lose sight of when work ends and life begins—leading to burnout. Because philanthropic work often inspires greater emotional investment, self-care is particularly important. According to Forbes, it is vital for leaders to remember that accomplishing the goals of their nonprofit is not a sprint but a marathon, and that a healthy self, time for loved ones and a positive lifestyle help to make leaders more effective. Interested in a few great tips that will aid you as a nonprofit leader? Click on the link above for five productivity hacks to help beat burnout.

2.  Webinar: After the Donation

Simone Joyaux, an internationally recognized expert in fund, board and organizational development, teamed up with Nonprofit Quarterly to present a research-based workshop on retaining donors. “After the Donation” offers practical steps for nonprofits to take, particularly in the height of fundraising season, to keep donors long-term. According to Joyaux, a one-time gift from a donor is the beginning, not the endgame. Could your nonprofit use a refresher course in retaining donors? Follow the link above to watch the webinar and download a list of Joyaux’s favorite resources.

3.  "We Come Together, 'Cuz Opposites Attract"

Most, if not all, of us have heard the saying: “opposites attract.” But what happens in the workplace when complications arise due to differences in philosophy, management and work styles. According to The NonProfit Times, group work offers possibilities above and beyond those of working alone. And while working in teams can create a synthesis that results from each party contributing their best, it can also lead to ruin as personality differences cause conflict. Do you want to learn how to work cohesively through differences? Check out the link above to discover five steps from Jennifer B. Kahnweiler’s book “The Genius of Opposites” to learn how to draw upon the genius of the opposites within your organization.

4.  Nonprofit Alignment

The development of an organization’s strategic vision generally falls into the hands of its leadership. According to Forbes, leaders must first define the path forward, then develop strategies to help their nonprofit reach its goals. Not a one-time undertaking, leaders must continually strive to turn their organization’s vision from imagination to reality. Moreover, leaders must work to efficiently and effectively disseminate their vision to each member of the organization. Do you want to be a more effective nonprofit leader? Explore the link above for four guidelines to create a team that fully shares your vision.

5.  Research First, Give Later

According to the Nonprofit Quarterly, a small study in the United Kingdom has indicated that younger donors (those younger than 24 years old) are more likely to require background information on the charities to which they intend to give. This research from the UK Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator surveyed 2,000 respondents, and found that people between the ages of 18 and 24 years old are more likely than any other age group to research a charity prior to making a donation. Would your nonprofit pass the background check of younger supporters? Click the link above to discover insights from the study that may benefit your organization.

That’s it for this week’s Friday Five! We’ll be spending the rest of the afternoon fine-tuning our New Year’s resolutions. See you next week!

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