Growing up in graduate student housing on the Wayne State Campus in the 1980's, I was blessed. I know a lot of people don't think growing up in downtown Detroit in the 80's would be a blessing, but you'd be wrong, it really was. I had friends from around the world. Rusbeh, a boy from Iran, shared stories of a land so different that it felt like a fairy tale. Greta, a girl from Germany, taught me to roller-skate. And Abdul, a teenager from Detroit, taught me that it’s what’s on the inside that matters, but that race is still relevant. It was true then, and it is certainly true now.
In the wake of yet another murder of an innocent black man, it’s more relevant than ever.
Nonprofits exist to change the world. Maybe we have different missions and we do it in different ways, but we all are here because of a vision for a better future. Part of that vision NEEDS to be Equity. For race, gender, socio-economic, religious, abilities and disabilities. When Nonprofit Network presents on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, one of the exercises we do is to examine peoples’ various identities and share how that has impacted their lives. We need to stop pretending that peoples’ lived experiences are not shaped by the color of their skin.
So what can your organization do? Because it is not enough to pay lip service to the idea of equity without actually DOING something about it. Here are some ideas:
I recognize that this is a heavy topic, even for those of us who are skin-privileged. But I dream of a world where my friends don’t have to teach their children not to put their hands in their pockets because it might be a death sentence if the wrong person feels threatened.
If your organization needs help with diversity, equity, and inclusion, feel free to reach out. You can visit our Diversity, Inclusion & Equity page for free tools and updates on upcoming events. As always, we’re here to help you make the world a better, safer, more equitable place.
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Virtual Workshops vs Webinars
(what’s the difference and how to prepare?)
In order to answer that question I'll have you first review the definitions below...
> What is a webinar?
Short for web-based seminar, a webinar is a brief presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the web using video conferencing software.
> What is a virtual workshop?
Remote workshops are online meetings led by someone who teaches a new skill or technique to a group of participants using digital platforms and tools. The participants may either be in the same room or in separate physical spaces, but the person who leads the session is usually located elsewhere.
Online Workshops are how NN is helping you stay impactful and connected in the time of physical distancing.
NN Webinars: We offer what we like to call “Live Webinars”. These fast-paced and interactive presentations will cover the chosen topic quickly, in 45 minutes to an hour. Webinars are typically a trending topic, recorded and are easily saved and watched again and again. You can find previously recorded webinars in our Online Store.
NN Virtual Workshops: Workshops provide opportunities to facilitate and teach new skills, techniques and strategies to a group of participants. This requires the participants to work, think, process, create and plan. And now, in this time of Covid-19, Nonprofit Network is offering our workshops virtually using digital platforms and tools.
These Virtual Workshops replicate our in-person facilitation style, are engaging and requires participant dialogue. We use breakout rooms and have you participate with the facilitator via chat and and in small group conversations. You’ll also be able to ask questions and provide and receive feedback. Virtual workshops last from 2-4 hours and are best experienced when you share your camera, are in a quiet space where you don't have to be on "mute and can focus your attention on the topic.
For both our Webinars and our Virtual Workshops they are presented by one or more of our facilitators or in collaboration with a guest presenter. We use platforms like "Zoom" or Go To Meeting" which sometimes may require an application download. We provide you a web link, password and a copy of the presentation and any hand-outs ahead of time via email. This allows you to print the materials if you prefer, and also review them beforehand.
It is best and most convenient to participate with a Computer, notebook, or tablet but you can also join by phone. If joining by phone, you can either load the digital “App” on your cell phone, which will allow you to see cameras and fully utilize the tools available or, while not optimum for you, you can also simply dial-in with the provided phone number. You'll announce yourself to the facilitator, listen in and be able to participate in the workshop.
I hope you have found this helpful and all your questions have been answered, but if not I'm just an email away and happy to help! Tracey@NonprofNetwork.org
How to join a Zoom meeting, click HERE
How to join a GoToMeeting, click HERE
Additional Resources for Working Remotely are on our COVID-19 webpage
Executive Director @ NN
As our Stay at Home Order winds down, we have some decisions to make.
The pandemic has emphasized (didn’t reveal – we knew they were there all along) disparities, inequities and discrepancies. Need proof? Review the articles cited below;
We are hearing that we won’t return to normal. I am totally OK with that and am excited that we have an opportunity to work toward a new, improved better normal. And I want all of us to really focus on what we choose to be our new normal.
In an article entitled "For a More Equitable America, Understand Race and Racism as Actions We Do and Can Undo", the authors say this: "Americans have an opportunity to recognize and understand race in ways they never have before, ways that will help us transform and rebuild American society to be stronger and fairer to all."
As we re-create and fix our broken systems, every nonprofit must begin and/or strengthen the ways we are addressing social inequities, and this work must become part of our mission and be included in everything we do.
This will be hard work and will require us to fully address our own biases and how biases are baked into our systems.
The article asks us to reflect on some very difficult questions:
Nonprofit Network can help and provide everything from equity assessments of your policies, strategic plans around systems, tools, workshops and samples. Reach out to us and we can get you started.
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It's time. Time to replace our “let’s go back to how it was” Strategic Planning with “let’s look to the future” Adaptive Planning.
I’m not advocating kicking good old Strategic Planning to the curb; just merely modifying it to mold around all that has taken place in a short few weeks since the Coronavirus developed a stranglehold on our lives (see I’m adapting already).
Let’s start by watching this TED Talk to get us in the right frame of mind, Could One Question Uplift and Unite Humanity? | Jon Berghoff
OK, you back? Need guidance?
Want more? Click here to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and announcements. Each week you'll get a link to the most recent news and blog post. We promise to respect your time and will not flood your inbox. We only send one newsletter email each week and one other email when and if we have an announcement.
It’s time to breathe
Some of us have been holding our breath for so long we are at risk of becoming light headed. Breathe. Because it’s time to get “back” to work.
We all agree we are in uncharted waters. Never before have we experienced such a seismic shift in our communities, economy, work, life style and habits. Soon we will be asked to reemerge from our homes and find a new normal, a new way of life and a new way to work.
What will be the same – if anything – and how much will have changed? And what are things that will continue to change?
Many experts have assessed the landscape, like The Nonprofit Finance Fund, and SeaChange Capital Partners who have conducted a survey which resulted in some hard truths. Sixty percent of nonprofits reported they were experiencing "destabilizing conditions that threaten long-term financial stability."
NFF COVID-19 Survey and COVID-19 could mean extinction for many charities
Many of us will not survive unless we take very aggressive and proactive measures to protect our futures. And even then, this virus will take very healthy, young and vibrant nonprofits all too soon.
OK, breathe. So, what are these measures?
We need to ask ourselves some very hard questions:
You can also find more ideas and strategies here: COVID-19 Coverage: Financial Sustainability and In Times Of Crisis, Don't Create Your Own
Reach out to your peers and to us, for support. We can help you brainstorm, strategize and ensure that you have turned over every leaf and rock. We can help you with the heavy lifting.
Self Care Activities You Can Do In 10 Minutes or Less
1. Pet your dog or cat. As you do so, focus on the softness of their fur, and the repetitive motions. If you don’t have a pet, use a fluffy pillow, blanket or sweater!
2. Do a few Affirmations. Positive self-statements can bring more confident self-talk into your day and they force you to say nice things to yourself where you usually wouldn’t. There are many resources online, choose a statement each day and take 5 minutes to say it out loud to yourself at least 10 times. Really focus on the statement, don’t argue with yourself against it!
3. Accept a compliment. While not something you can plan, accepting compliments can go a long way in improving your self-esteem. Think about it. Every time you reject a compliment, you are filling your head with excuses and negative self-talk. Instead, when someone compliments you, say thank you and SMILE!
4. 10 Deep Breaths. Breathe. How often are we really aware of our breathing (other than when the respiratory virus is going around, or it’s allergy season…). Instead, sit and focus on your breathing. Ten deep, slow breaths can calm you, slow your heart rate, and bring you to a resting state.
5. Stretch. Stand up and lift your arms over your head, then touch your toes (if you can!). Stand back up slowly, and let your head roll from side to side gently and slowly.
6. Message a loved one. We get so wrapped up in work, routine, and all the stress in our lives that it can be easy to forget our loved ones. Send a text to a friend or family member and let them know you’re thinking about them.
7. Watch a funny YouTube clip. Laughter is great medicine for stress. Personally, I love watching dogs do ridiculous things, but there are lots of blooper reels out there, too!
8. Make a cup of herbal tea. This not only makes you step away from the computer a few minutes, but depending on the tea you choose, it can also be a natural mood booster.
9. Try zentangles. Zentangles is the creation of art through repetitive patterns. It can be relaxing and improve focus and concentration.
10. Talk a walk. Outside, inside, or even in place. The point is to get up, get the blood moving, and feel better.
1) Ongoing, cyclical orientation. Just because you’ve been on a particular board awhile doesn’t mean you know everything. Asking naive questions helps strengthens the board as individuals and as a whole. Making governance training and conversations a regular part of your conversation helps to ensure that all board members—both new and old alike—are on the same page.
2) All nonprofits have a life-cycle, which means that no two organizations need the same board—you need to be equipped to give your organization the most relevant skills, perspective, and leadership based on where it is and what it needs. No two boards are alike. If you’ve served on a board, then you’ve served on one board. Know where your organization is in its life cycle and seek deep understanding on what your board needs to provide.
3) You are legally liable for the organization. When you know what you’re liable for, you will make informed, responsible decisions. Board training can inform that process and may provide you with the information that will protect you.
4) More efficient meetings, more effective decisions. When a board is well-trained and each member knows their role, things run more smoothly. Meetings become more engaging and decisions are more thoughtful and strategic. Who doesn’t want that?
5) Increased impact. A board made of trained and informed experts is one that advocates for its organization and inspires action. Staff are motivated to perform and then the community sees and benefits from the mission work accomplished.
6) More funding. There are over 51,000 nonprofits in the state of Michigan alone. Your organization literally cannot afford to operate with a mediocre, meets-expectations board. There are tens of thousands of organizations seeking the same donors, seeking the same funding—if you want rise above the rest, you need to be on top of your game.
At the end of the day, it's up to the board to make sure that a nonprofit is fulfilling its purpose—that it is advancing its mission and making true, lasting impact on the community. Board governance training plays a crucial role in that success.
Join us May 14th 2020 for (free) Board Recruitment and in September for (free) Foundations of Board Governance both generously sponsored by:
*blog updated from Aug. 2016
Balancing meetings and changing diapers is no simple task. Like many others, I’ve found myself working from home and taking care of my son at the same time. After hearing many other people’s stories during the Coronavirus pandemic, I know that I am very fortunate and privileged. How lucky am I that my husband and I still have jobs? And that my two year old son is safe at home? And all three of us get to spend much more time together under one roof. That being said, it doesn’t mean working and “mom-ing” at the same time is easy. As I’ve been navigating this new “normal,” I’ve come across a few tips and tricks that have helped me and my family during these uncertain times…maybe they will help you too.
1. Family Huddle – Communicate with your family. Each night, my husband and I have a quick meeting. We briefly plan for the next day. We let each other know when our important Zoom calls are so that the other can take care of our son during that time. These family meetings help us stay on the same page.
2. Set a Schedule – Set a schedule for yourself and your child. We have multiple schedules over here. We try to have my son follow a similar schedule to his daycare. We also schedule out who is watching our son and when. It helps us stay on track and in a somewhat normal routine. Here’s an example of some of my family’s schedules. Although we try to stick to our schedules, we also know it’s important to be flexible.
3. Prioritize – Try to schedule meetings or accomplish difficult tasks when you know your child will be occupied. I know this is easier said than done! For me… my golden hour is usually around 1:00 pm (when my son takes his nap). During this quiet time, my husband and I are both able to get important work tasks done.
4. Create a Work Space – Find a space that is devoted to work. I use a desk in our basement when I’m working. Usually my husband and I take turns watching our son upstairs, while one of us works in the basement. My two year old knows when one of us heads downstairs, we are working. This designated "somewhat more quiet" space downstairs helps me stay focused.
5. Unplug – When you’re done with your work, try to unplug. When I’m done with work, I turn off my computer and go on a quick walk around the block (my commute). This signals that I’m done for the day and it helps me transition into paying more attention to my family.
6. Don’t Be Hard On Yourself – I know I tend to be my worst critic. It’s important to remember that you are doing multiple things at once. I often have to remind myself that these are unique times. It’s okay if things don’t go according to plan. If my son is watching more Paw Patrol than normal - that’s OK! If I don’t answer an email as quick as I used to - that’s OK too. Give yourself some grace.
We're all still navigating this new way of life… I'm balancing meetings and diapers. Some days go smooth and I get to experience little joys with my family that I wouldn’t have had otherwise (like watching my son giggle as we made Jell-O during lunch time). Other days everything seems to be falling apart and it seems so hard to juggle everything. That’s OK! This is a different time. This is new and we are all still learning different tips and tricks to live a better life. One thing is for sure… We are all in this together and we will get through it!
Do you have any tips or tricks for working from home with kids? I’d love to hear them! Share them with us! (I’ll use any tip I can get!)
I need you to be normal. I’m serious. Or at least act normal. Our employees, boards, community, peers, and clients are watching us. And it is so critical for us to act settled – and quickly normalize – so that we can continue serving our missions.
You have been working hard towards an organization that can adapt, change and accommodate the ever-changing needs of the community you serve. Now its time to put that hard work to into action.
As you have - we moved all of our offices into home offices. We had to rethink every routine (and perfect in every way) procedures – like depositing a check, approving an invoice, presenting a workshop, staying connected with each other, earning revenue, and serving people! It was hard – but we now have a new system in place and a system to evaluate if its working. Are these new systems perfect – not yet. But these new systems are now our "normal".
We added a COVID-19 webpage and scheduled open phone calls. Every day there is a new opportunity for you to join a conversation to process out all of this new information and determine what to do with it. We've had so many people join and we're so appreciative of the opportunity to connect with everyone. We will continue to host these conversations and we hope you will join us to share your new normal!
On a positive note, I have been enjoying the responses from the entertainment community – the “free” streaming performances from John Legend on his Instagram account, the free operas and Broadway plays streaming on demand, the YMCA is streaming exercise classes online and all of the opportunities to be read to. We need to follow suit. Is this ideal – nope. But does it offer some sense of normalcy – yes! Let’s learn from these examples and find new ways to connect, deliver and serve.
Have questions? We're here to help you - Our Staff
*Updated from last week!
It seems like everyone around us is sick, and now we're dealing with COVID-19 concerns. The headlines say its just going to continue to be an issue. So let’s get on top of it!
Here is what Nonprofit Network is doing to help keep employees – and you – from getting sick(er).
First – we have a generous PTO plan and policy and a culture that allows staff to stay home when they are sick. We also have a work from home policy. For an example see our Policy & Agreement.
We have started to disinfect our offices daily – we wipe down our desks, shared tables, computer keyboards, mouses, desk phones, cell phones, light switches, pens, and door knobs (interior & exterior).
For our workshops, we are re-scheduling large events or moving to an online platform. We use Go To Meeting, Face Time, Skype, Google Hangouts and What's App to name a few.
For smaller workshops (10 participants or less) we are arriving early, have tissues on hand, and are wiping down tables, shared computer equipment, door knobs and keeping sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available for our guests. We are also wiping down these spaces before we leave and we wash our hands often!
It is always recommended that you wash your hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds. While hand sanitizer kills the germs, they remain upon your hands until they are washed away with plenty of soap and warm water. Keep tissues and wipes with you. Cover your cough, don't touch your face, wipe down shopping cart handles and avoid touching public doors with your hands (use elbows when you can). Avoid sick people, and if you are sick or have respiratory symptoms, stay home. Access online services or call over the phone when you can. Avoid close contact and try and maintain a 3 foot perimeter from others. Avoid handshakes and try a fist-bump, or a big warm smile instead.
Now, let’s talk about populations you serve or your employees that might need additional help during the coming weeks. Remember that vulnerable populations will experience this crisis disproportionately. Those who live in or on the verge of poverty will not be able to accommodate a decrease in pay, a decrease in hours, or an increase in expenses. We know that some items are in short supply at the grocery store or now much more expensive. Consider how you might help in these circumstances. NN is hosting a Nonprofit Executive Leadership and Support Staff daily call at no cost.
Also be aware that many children receive breakfast and lunch at school. If elementary, middle and high schools close, many children will go without regular meals. Our food pantries and social services will need additional support to accommodate these families.
We got this!
Drink water, boost your vitamin C and remember zinc rich foods like red-meat, poultry, beans and nuts. While "C" may be the super vitamin for colds, then Zinc is the super mineral!
Letter from the Office of the Governor
What did we miss? What are you doing to keep yourself, your employees and your clients healthy during this "germy" season? We'd love to hear from you! Info@NonprofNetwork.org
Want more? Click here to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter and announcements. Each week you'll get a link to the most recent blog post. We promise to respect your time and will not flood your inbox. We only send one maybe two e-mails each week.
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