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Pages tagged "Adaobi Okolue"


Part 2 | Digging in the bush: A conversation with Peter Hutchinson

If you’ve made it to part two of my interview with Peter Hutchinson, you’ve discovered this isn’t an Oprah-like special on the former Bush Foundation president’s resignation. (If you missed part one and feel even slightly inclined, by all means check it out.) Maybe he’ll grant that interview someday—if there is something more to tell—but for part two of our discussion, we delved into greatness and its meaning for nonprofits and a Gen X/Y-coined phrase—work/life balance.

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Part 1: Digging in the Bush

As I waited for my interview in an inconspicuous section of Loring Pasta Bar—which seemed eerily perfect for having big conversations with important people—I read over the blog post that caused a number of nonprofit and foundation water coolers to gurgle this past January. Maybe it was the suddenness of it all or the vagueness surrounding Peter Hutchinson’s announcement of him stepping down as president of the Bush Foundation. Wherever your mind took you, it was clear that there were some ripe lessons to be picked from a man who considers his sudden departure just the way he does business.

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Let’s talk: A love/hate relationship with conversation

We emerge into this world through conversation—an exchange of words that danced between our fathers and mothers. Conversation is the universal tool we use to attract some of the priceless things we desire out of life: understanding, insight, happiness, friendship, solace, love, and more.

In our work as nonprofit professionals, conversation is also our go-to for addressing topics affecting our society and sector: lack of diversity and inclusion, racism, achievement gap, homelessness, intergenerational workplaces…the list goes on. Yet in all our casual and suited-up exchanges, are we really moving the needle toward transformational change, or are we just talking ourselves in circles?

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Innovate or Die: The Fight to Establish a Culture of New Thinking

main.jpgThe following blog is by Adaobi Okolue.

I’ve been having this recurring dream that’s got me wondering what the next couple of years in nonprofit land (and my perceived state of freedom) will look like. In my dream, I’m making stops at local nonprofit organizations in one of those white cargo vans with conspicuous ’60s flower-printed curtains draped over the back windows.

Ignoring “no solicitation” signs, I walk up to front-desk personnel and assure them I have meetings with their executive directors. After introductions, I convince these executives to check out my new fundraisinggimmick tool (too heavy to carry up). As I open the van’s backdoor, the Stride Gum ram emerges from nowhere and catapults executive after executive into a black hole.

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A Heartfelt Farewell...

The New Year has always been a signifier of change. That change may come in the form of a gym membership or to-do list. While some of us will be grunting in gym floor mirrors lifting 10lb weights, others—like our outgoing YNPN-TC board members Tom Basquill and Cat Beltmann—will be letting go of weight of a different kind. I recently caught-up with these two to talk about their overall board experience and what’s next. 

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Innovating in the Sector: MAP TechWorks

main.jpgLast month I tweeted an infographic that displayed the Top 20 Most Expensive Keywords in Google AdWords Advertising—a whopping 97 percent of Google’s revenue stream ($33.3 billion). Guess what keyword—the words people search for on Google—slid its size two-syllable body into the technology giant’s number seven spot? Go ahead, guess. Done? Do-nate. We should all be familiar with this word since it often seems to go hand-in-hand with another familiar word: non-prof-it. 

Nevertheless, outside of the occasional Tweet, Facebook post and e-blast, I would safely bet that technology wouldn’t gather as much focus if a similar list was made by a number of nonprofits.

MAP TechWorks—an initiative of MAP for Nonprofits funded by the ADC Foundation and Greater Twin Cities United Way—wants to change that by making technology doable for nonprofits. I caught-up with Rick Birmingham, senior technology circuit rider, and Cary Lenore Walski, technology education and outreach coordinator, from MAP for Nonprofits to get the shakedown on this community resource. 

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Resolutions are so passé.

I am not Miss Cleo, but I can provide you one painstaking revelation about your life last year with almost 100 percent accuracy, minus the exorbitant 1-800 charges. Ready: There is nothing you can do to change it. Absolutely nothing. So, there is no need to fret or dwell over the reviews of your internal critics. Instead, resolve to make your first footsteps into 2011 with some sort of direction. I’m not force-feeding you the resolutions lecture. I’m talking about goal-setting.

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