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national council of nonprofits


Friday Five: March 16, 2017

Four leaves may bring you luck, but three leaves are just as beautiful.

Four leaves may bring you luck, but three leaves are just as beautiful.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Supposedly on this day St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland, which is less impressive when you realize that Ireland never had any snakes to begin with.  Nevertheless, it’s a day to celebrate Irish heritage and culture, including their famous gift of gab.  We must have some of the Irish in us, for we have a need to gab about these stories in nonprofit news.

1. Nonprofits Matter (in California, at Least) 

As one of the largest states in the country by almost every metric, the California legislature has a lot on its plate. It’s heartening, then, to see that they still make the time to focus on nonprofits. The California Association of Nonprofits has announced that the legislature has created an assembly select committee to focus on the nonprofit sector, helping to connect the various parts of the nonprofit universe and strengthening the state’s commitment towards nonprofits. You can learn more at the Association’s announcement.

2. You’re Always Your Own Best Advocate 

Today’s political climate has been pushing more and more nonprofits into an advocacy role, but many nonprofits find themselves with an outdated set of skills for the job, or worse, no advocacy skills at all.  Writing at Social Velocity, President and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits Tim Delaney lays out a few ideas to help get you started on the journey towards advocacy, including a reminder that you may already know more than you realize.

3. Singing in the Rain is More Fun with an Umbrella

Donations are a notoriously unreliable form of income.  People are wonderfully generous, but they aren’t always generous in a sustained, standardized way, and that makes life difficult for balance sheets. Writing at the Nonprofit Quarterly, Hilda H. Polanco and John Summers discuss the importance of building up a reserve for when times are difficult, as well as how you can start building up your rainy day fund without negatively impacting the important work you’re already doing.

4. Speaking of Rainy Days

The White House released its budget blueprint on Wednesday, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy is already hard at work combing through the details to find out how it could affect nonprofits. Initial reports indicate that numerous federal programs that fund work in poverty, education, the arts, the environment, rural development and foreign aid may be cut or in some cases completely eliminated. While the full budget proposal, complete with line items, has yet to be released, this initial blueprint serves as a useful metric for nonprofits to know what the President’s budgetary priorities are.

5. Be All That You Can Be 

Activism is important and drives much of the work we do, but there are ways to be the best activist you can be. Ruth McCambridge of the Nonprofit Quarterly discusses a recent article in Curbed New York about the best ways a new activist can get involve and be of the most help. With the new wave of civic activism in America, these suggestions are more important than ever. Read more at Nonprofit Quarterly and the original article that inspired Ruth at Curbed New York.

May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back, and may you be in Heaven half an hour before the Devil knows you’re dead. See you next week!

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