tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-21429470068075777102016-05-20T15:52:11.090-04:00Passion for the PossibleIdeas for those determined to make the world a better placeTracy Moaverohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08280055712515863977noreply@blogger.comBlogger3125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2142947006807577710.post-22673550787208954402013-02-24T22:52:00.002-05:002013-02-24T23:11:13.621-05:00Nonprofit experts: fickle fashionistas?Fashion magazines unflinchingly lay down rules for readers, leaving little room for questioning. And then they change their minds a year later, excoriating readers for their terrible fashion choices.<br /><br />Last year:&nbsp;"Wedge sneakers are the fresh new look!" This year: "Wedge sneakers? What a horrible idea!"<br /><br />This year: "Mint green is&nbsp;<i>the&nbsp;</i>color to wear this year!" Next year: "No one looks good in mint green. Why would anyone wear it?"<br /><br />Well, sometimes nonprofit experts remind me of fashion magazine editors.<br /><br />Two years ago: "It's all about building that email list." Last year: "E-mail is dead. Focus on social media." This year: "Forget Facebook. It's on the way out. Build that email list."<br /><div>And at least the fashionistas stick to the same script. I've read conflicting "rules" for nonprofits in the same Twitter feed.<br /><br />Now, let me clarify that I find a lot of what's written for nonprofits helpful. I am glad I discovered advice-filled blogs, magazines, tweets, Facebook feeds and books. I have sharpened my skills and help change the organizations I've worked with, and I get energized by new ideas and directions.<br /><br />What irks me, though, isn't the changes. It's how often advice is delivered with an insistence that <i>this </i>is the right way. Really? Nah, it's one way that <i>might </i>work. There are best practices that can be broadly applied, but there really isn't a one-size-fits-all solution.<br /><br />Hey, it's all one big experiment. Let's keep looking for ways to do things better, but let's also remember that today's advice may be tomorrow's&nbsp;mint green wedge sneakers.&nbsp;</div>Tracy Moaverohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08280055712515863977noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2142947006807577710.post-30537302696432676292010-05-12T23:17:00.011-04:002010-05-12T23:37:50.930-04:00Keeping Nonprofits & Their Chapters on the Same Page<blockquote>"The national office keeps trying to dictate our work."<br />"The northwest chapter missed the campaign deadline again."<br />"The Washington, DC staffers don't understand how busy we chapter reps are!"<br />"The chapters don't understand how busy the national office is!"</blockquote>Those are the kinds of complaints I've heard while working for organizations with chapters or affiliates. And it doesn't matter what kind of organization it is - international, national, coalitions or unions - there's always some friction between the main office and the affiliates. Here are some things I've learned about how to keep things running as smoothly as possible.<br /><br /><b>For the main office working with affiliates</b><br /><ul><li>Have a communications strategy. One organization I worked with was sending action alerts from three different offices to their chapters, which left the chapter leaders overwhelmed and confused about what was priority, and then the national staff got frustrated with chapter inaction.</li><li>Be responsive. Staffmembers need to answer affiliate calls and emails as quickly as possible. Show affiliates that their needs matter, and they'll be quicker to prioritize organization-wide initiatives.</li><li>Respect the affiliates' points of view, and their variations in capacity. What sounds like a great idea in Washington or San Francisco may be a terrible idea in Detroit or Dallas.</li><li>Include chapters in planning campaigns and projects. If you want their participation later, get them involved early. </li><li>Collaborate via wikis. (See the recent TechSoup webinar on <a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2013_02_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=YEARLY-1262322000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1359694800000">Collaborating with Wikis</a> to learn how to use this great tool.)</li><li>Keep communications simple. Of all the updates and articles I've sent out, I got the best feedback on a weekly legislative update which just listed the status of key bills and let affiliate leaders know what to do and when. No analysis, no fluff. </li><li>Keep paperwork to a minimum. You know how some funders make you nuts with paperwork and reporting demands? Don't do that to your affiliates. Build easy reporting methods into your work, such as through online forms, and share the results so everyone can benefit. </li></ul><br /><b>For affiliates working with a main office</b><br /><ul><li>Be clear and specific with the head office about your needs so they can help.</li><li>Read those emails from the national office before calling with questions. The staff write those emails for a reason!</li><li>Fill out your paperwork, and send it in on time. The more time the staff spends trying to get you to send in reports or finance paperwork, the less time they have for other important things.</li><li>Respect the main office's point of view. They have the tough job of creating a workable program for a wide mix of affiliates. If something's not working for you, talk to them and see what can be adjusted.</li><li>Remember that a unified organization is a stronger one. The campaigns that come from the head office need your participation to succeed.</li></ul><br /><b>For everybody</b> <br />Give each other the benefit of the doubt. Nearly all companies and organizations have some chatter about head office "scheming" or ineptitude in a local branch, but it's not helpful. These stories often make faulty assumptions about why something isn't working well. If something's not right, deal with it directly. <br /><br />When things get frustrating, stop and remember that you agree on what matters most: your organization's mission.Tracy Moaverohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08280055712515863977noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2142947006807577710.post-84588256949303064932010-02-14T22:47:00.002-05:002010-02-15T11:43:55.208-05:0066 Nonprofits That Have Made My Life BetterBelow, in no particular order, are nonprofits that have been important to me, whether personally or professionally. Some have given me wonderful opportunities through a job or volunteering, or they taught me professional skills. Some have provided inspiration through the arts. And some very special ones have helped me and people I care about through illnesses or hard times. <br /><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/03/28-random-observations-about-washington.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1283313600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1267419600000">Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/02/66-nonprofits-that-have-made-my-life.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1259643600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1265000400000">Ballet San Jose (formerly Cleveland Ballet)</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011_08_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=YEARLY-1230786000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1312171200000">Greater Cleveland YMCA </a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/05/keeping-nonprofits-their-chapters-on.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1296536400000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1272686400000">Brethren Volunteer Service</a><br /><a href="http://www.jcu.edu">John Carroll University</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2009/12/follow-twitter-into-halls-of-congress.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=YEARLY-1357016400000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1259643600000">Women Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE)</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010_07_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1254369600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1277956800000">American Heart Association</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2013_02_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1272686400000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1359694800000">American Cancer Society</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/09/why-i-wish-progressive-activists-would.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1385874000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1283313600000">9to5: The National Association of Working Women</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/06/what-helen-thomas-got-wrong-sesame.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1283313600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1275364800000">International Peace Bureau</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2009/11/how-twitter-is-making-me-better.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1359694800000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1257048000000">Physicians for Social Responsibility</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=YEARLY-1262322000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1385874000000">Gensuikin</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011/03/tracy-telling-local-news-about-using.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1265000400000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1298955600000">Dawn Center</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/08/what-if-were-wrong.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1314849600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1280635200000">Project: Learn</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010_02_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1267419600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1265000400000">Girl Scouts USA</a><br /><a href="http://www.motherearth.org/">Friends of the Earth Belgium</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011/06/12-reasons-why-i-care-about-gay-rights.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=YEARLY-1357016400000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1306900800000">Women's Action for New Directions</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010_09_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1254369600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1283313600000">Peace Action</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011/03/tracy-telling-local-news-about-using.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1275364800000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1298955600000">Planned Parenthood</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2013_02_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1259643600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1359694800000">Georgetown University Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/09/why-i-wish-progressive-activists-would.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=close&toggle=MONTHLY-1283313600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1283313600000">Foundation Center</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2009_10_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=YEARLY-1262322000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1254369600000">Center for Nonprofit Advancement</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011_09_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1280635200000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1314849600000">Grandmothers for Peace International</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=YEARLY-1230786000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1385874000000">World YWCA</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010_09_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1362114000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1283313600000">Community of Hope</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010_09_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1306900800000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1283313600000">DC Law Students in Court</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/05/overlooked-thought-provoking-sights-in.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1362114000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1272686400000">Friends Committee on National Legislation</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2013_12_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1312171200000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1385874000000">Quaker United Nations Office</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/06/what-helen-thomas-got-wrong-sesame.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1362114000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1275364800000">American Visionary Art Museum</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/feeds/posts/default/-/nonprofits">NGO Working Group on the Security Council</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2009_10_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=YEARLY-1262322000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1254369600000">Center for Nonprofit Advancement</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2013_03_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=YEARLY-1262322000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1362114000000">CaringBridge</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2009/12/follow-twitter-into-halls-of-congress.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1314849600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1259643600000">Cleveland Clinic</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011_08_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=close&toggle=YEARLY-1293858000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1312171200000">University Hospitals - Cleveland</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/09/my-neighbors-are-muslim-please-dont.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1259643600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1283313600000">Kennedy Center Millennium Stage</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/05/keeping-nonprofits-their-chapters-on.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1296536400000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1272686400000">Brethren Volunteer Service</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010_08_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1272686400000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1280635200000">International Campaign to Ban Landmines</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2009/11/open-letter-to-young-activists.html">Joe Torre's Safe at Home Foundation</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2009_10_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1265000400000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1254369600000">Women's International League for Peace and Freedom</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2009_11_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1359694800000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1257048000000">Cleveland Museum of Art</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011/03/7-reasons-i-support-labor-unions.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1277956800000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1298955600000">Social Action Leadership School for Activists</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/02/66-nonprofits-that-have-made-my-life.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1298955600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1265000400000">Cleveland Peace Action</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011/09/in-memoriam-what-my-midwestern.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1267419600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1314849600000">Mennonite Central Committee</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010_03_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1275364800000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1267419600000">Ellis Island Foundation</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011/09/in-memoriam-what-my-midwestern.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1259643600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1314849600000">Université Ouvrière de Genève</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2013_12_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1362114000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1385874000000">My Sister's Place</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/09/my-neighbors-are-muslim-please-dont.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1362114000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1283313600000">Cleveland Public Theater</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2013/02/nonprofit-experts-fickle-fashionistas.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1362114000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1359694800000">Amnesty International USA</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2013_03_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1254369600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1362114000000">Women's Information Network (WIN)</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011/01/is-that-all-valuing-low-donors.html">West Creek Preservation Committee</a> <br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2009/11/when-nobody-matters-seeing-unseen.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1267419600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1257048000000">VDay</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/07/how-kids-see-news-or-where-was-water-in.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1275364800000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1277956800000">Asia Society</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1298955600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1385874000000">Cleveland Orchestra</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011/06/northeast-ohio-tries-to-bring-back-rust.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1280635200000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1306900800000">Arena Stage</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011/06/12-reasons-why-i-care-about-gay-rights.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1359694800000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1306900800000">Lower East Side Tenement Museum</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/09/grading-my-event-volunteer-experiences.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=YEARLY-1230786000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1283313600000">International Fellowship of Reconciliation</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011/06/northeast-ohio-tries-to-bring-back-rust.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1362114000000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1306900800000">Idealist.org</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2013/02/nonprofit-experts-fickle-fashionistas.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1312171200000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1359694800000">Unity Health Care</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2009/10/we-can-really-do-something-with-kids.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1283313600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1254369600000">Gensuikyo</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011/08/well-hes-done-it-again.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1254369600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1312171200000">Housing Counseling Services</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011/06/northeast-ohio-tries-to-bring-back-rust.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1312171200000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1306900800000">NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Economic Commission for Europe</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/02/when-getting-deported-is-good-for-your.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1298955600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1265000400000">Nihon Hidankyo</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2011_08_01_archive.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1267419600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1312171200000">Alliance for Nuclear Accountability</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2010/02/when-getting-deported-is-good-for-your.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1280635200000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1265000400000">National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/2009/11/open-letter-to-young-activists.html?widgetType=BlogArchive&widgetId=BlogArchive2&action=toggle&dir=open&toggle=MONTHLY-1283313600000&toggleopen=MONTHLY-1257048000000">American Red Cross</a><br /><a href="http://www.passionforthepossible.org/feeds/posts/default/-/youth">National Organization for Women</a><br /><br />There are many others. How about you? Which nonprofits have been important in your life?Tracy Moaverohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/08280055712515863977noreply@blogger.com0