The Rundown 6.21.2017

The life if a nonprofit professional isn't easy. We see problems, we find ways to address them and all the while we showcase a rare kind of confidence to allure supporters, donor, volunteers and anyone willing to highlight the problem's we're trying to solve, all while--and you know this is true--freaking out on the back end that we're probably doing it wrong or could be doing it better.

No? Just me? Just my 20 years in the industry and everyone else I know? Not you? Then this week, The Rundown will confound and confuse you. Sorry about that. 

This week I'm sharing a few pieces that get to the heart of change: comparative studies, design thinking facilitation tools, and being told to quit thinking our intelligence cures any of the problems we face. Oh, and a little, tiny plug for my Points of Light Conference presentation this week (wish me luck). So open some wine, open your mind, and click on a few links. 


2017 Human Resources Nonprofit Comparison Study

  • Every wanted to get inside the head of your Executive Leadership about their hiring practices? 
  • The Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration are conducting a groundbreaking study to examine how nonprofit CEOs recruit, support, and resource four key staff positions within their organization, including volunteer engagement professionals.
  • So please pass this along to your ED or organizational leader. The survey must be completed by June 26, 2017

4 Design Thinking Facilitation Resources for Nonprofits

  • Have you ever thought about how your programming or mission's work is designed? Moreover, have you ever looked at it from the distinct perspective of those you are serving? 
  • Design Thinking is nothing new, but is finally starting to catch on with the nonprofit sector and as Beth Kanter smartly puts it, "design thinking methodology encourages exploration of unconventional solutions by looking at a problem from the point of view of the people being served."
  • Here, Beth explores four really amazing design thinking facilitation tools you can use at your nonprofit and at your next planning or strategy session.
  • 4 MIN READ (w/o links)

You're Not Too Smart to Have Problems & Other "Intelligence" Misconceptions

  • We all know that person who grunts and frets because they feel they are "too smart" to be dealing with this or that. As if being smart should be some sort of "cure" of what's ailing them. Oh, to dream. 
  • Howard Scott Warshaw lays it all out very smartly and very bluntly with headers such as "Intelligence is a Tool, not a Character Trait" and "The Logical End of Intelligence is Insanity" that will make you chuckle even if the article isn't intended to be funny. But it's funny because we know the people he's describing. And its also kind sad because often it's us. 
  • 4 MIN READ

5 Questions to Improve Your Corporate Partnerships Today!

  • This week I'm in sunny Seattle, WA at the Points of Light's Conference on Volunteering and Service. Both attending and presenting this year, I'm excited to connect with so many professionals and volunteers on the frontline of engagement expertise.
  • Oh yeah, did I mention I was presenting? Little ole me? Well, something must have fallen through their vetting cracks, because yep, I sure am.
  • And if you're wondering what I'll be talking about with about 100+ nonprofit professionals, it's all contained in the article linked above. And even if you've read it before? Please share it this week with someone you think would appreciate it or via LinkedIn? As a kind of "Good luck, Ben!". Thanks.
  • 5 MIN READ


"A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether."
Roy H. Williams - best selling author and marketing consultant