Simone Uncensored

April 10, 2018

From my archives. I have archives? #2

From my archives – originally posted on June 2, 2014. 2014!!!! And now it’s 2018. And wouldn’t it be great to say how things have changed…better yet improved…

But not really. Yes, the good news is things like the #MeToo! movement. Sadly, the opposite of that is the leadership of our national government and our president and…

Soooo…. Welcome back to June 2, 2014………From my archives. With mini updates included…………………….

How weird. Within 60 seconds of posting this morning’s blog – “Racism and the United States” – I read Charles Blow’s “Yes, All Men,” in the New York Times.

“Yes, All Men” motivated me to write this companion piece to my blog “Racism and the United States.” I call this new blog “Misogyny and the United States.” It’s a good partner for “Racism and the United States.” Then we can add in “Homophobia and the United States,” too. I blog about these various items fairly regularly. And I speak up when I present and I write.

So here goes…. Again and forever until we have equity for all!

“Sexism” … A bit of an easier word than “misogyny.” But are they different? Not in action. Socialized and institutionalized behaviors. Even women can be misogynistic.

Check out Wikipedia:
Sociologist Allan G. Johnson says, “misogyny is a cultural attitude of hatred for females because they are female…misogyny…is a central part of sexist prejudice and ideology and, as such, is an important basis for the oppression of females in male-dominated societies… Misogyny functions as an ideology or belief system that has accompanied patriarchal, or male-dominated societies for thousands of years and continues to place women in subordinate positions with limited access to power and decision making.”

Yes, that still happens. Yes, the U.S. is that kind of society. Did you know that in 2014 (the original date of this blog), the U.S. had a larger gender gap than 22 other countries? In 2014,  the U.S. ranked 83rd in the world in the number of women in elective office at the federal level? How does the U.S. rank today, according to the 2017 World Economic Forum Gender Gap? #96 in Political Empowerment. #82 in Health and Survival. #1 in Educational Attainment. And #19 in Economic Participation and Opportunity.

Maybe you want to check the report annually? Visit the World Economic Forum. Maybe we should all know that the gender gap is actually getting wider!! 

The gender gap. Sexism. Misogyny. In the U.S. In many countries. In various religions. Part of various political philosophies.

“I believe it’s very important for everyone to be a feminist.” That’s what Mr. Blow’s son said to him… And that’s how Blow began his op-ed piece on June 1, 2014.

Blow continues with: “Yes, we should all be feminists, but too often we believe that the plight of the oppressed is solely the business of the oppressed, and that the society in which that oppression is born and grows and the role of the oppressors and beneficiaries are all somehow subordinate.”

But that’s just plain wrong, as Blow notes. “Fighting female objectification and discrimination and violence against women isn’t simply the job of women; it must also be the pursuit of men.  Only when men learn to recognize misogyny will we be able to rid the world of it.” (Actually, fighting any oppression is the responsibility of everyone, not just the oppressed, not just the marginalized. White people marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. Straight people march with the LGBTQ community. Men march with women.)

Sexism. Misogyny. It’s real – just like human made climate change is real. Facts prove it. YES, FACTS!

So are you a feminist? I’m so tired of hearing women and men say “Well, I just don’t identify with that word but…” Again, from Wikipedia: “Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates for or supports the rights and equality of women.”

A feminist advocates and supports the rights and equality of women, equity for women. What’s not to like? Cut the simplistic crap and the word games. Are you a feminist? Do you believe in equity – for women and men and people of color and homosexuals and heterosexuals and and… ?

(Guess what I just learned? Charles Fourier, a Utopian Socialist and French philosopher, apparently invented the word “feminism” in 1837. And the terms appeared in France and the Netherlands in 1872.)

By the way, philanthropy and the nonprofit/NGO sector are enmeshed in this same moral dilemma of inequity and power.

Okay. That’s the end of today’s ranting (June 2, 2014). I’ve got client work to do.

You think I might have been pissed in 2014? Just imagine how I feel now, March 2018. At some point, I may post a list of resources re: gender equity — in my Free Download Library. Let me know if you’d find that useful.

 

Filed under: Social Commentary

April 6, 2018

One of my most favorite things!!!

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota…. Masters Degree in Philanthropy and Development….

Why? The STUDENTS!!! All ages and life experiences and types of nonprofits and different countries and… All committed to challenging assumptions, and exploring, and lifelong learning.

Faculty like Audrey and Gary and now Tom Ahern has joined the faculty!! And we have other new faculty members, too.

Constantly modifying and strengthening the curriculum. (For example: I’m going to spend more time on social justice in the first course students have.)

  • Fundraising of course… planning and major gifts and a really marvelous real life solicitation with a real person!!!
  • Fundraising communications
  • Strategic planning
  • Leadership: Legal and ethical issues in nonprofit organizations
  • Governance (That’s me!)
  • Philanthropy and development: frameworks for thinking and learning. (That’s me, too!)

Part of the program is online. A masters degree in ONE YEAR only. Just 4 semesters. WOW!!!. Students begin with summer 1 residency…Fall and spring online. And then you return to campus once more for summer 2 residency. AND YOU’RE DONE!!

AND THEN!!!!!!!! THE RESIDENCY. Those weeks on campus each summer. Oh wow. I LOVE the residency. Face-to-face. Talking and arguing and applying learnings and experience. Intense. Fun. And building relationships that stick with you on and on.

Contact Cheryl Pray (cpray@smumn.edu) our marvelous Executive Director. Contact me and I’ll tell you all about the program.

Join us! We learn and have fun and create enduring relationships.

 

 

 

April 2, 2018

From my archives. I have archives?

Every summer I head to Saint Mary’s university of Minnesota. I’m on faculty in the Masters Program in Philanthropy and Development. One of the greatest experiences of my life!

And I’m working on new stuff for summer 2018. Are you going to enroll? Check it out! Marvelous and rigorous program for those who want to focus on leadership and scholarship to build stronger organizations, stronger communities, and a stronger world.

This summer we will welcome Cohort 28.

Here’s a blog I wrote back in summer 2010. When I was on campus with Cohort 20. Our great conversation produced some cage-rattling questions for professionals, the profession, charitable organizations, and society itself. Questions like:

1. What does trust mean? Why does it matter?

2. Who is the nonprofit accountable to?

3. How comfortable are you being lost?

4. What makes someone part of a community? What does being part of a community entitle us to, obligate us for?

5. Why does society seem to feel that nonprofits should operate in “poverty-like” ways?

6. Why does a willingness to accept lower wages (than for-profits) seem to be an indicator or qualification for working in the nonprofit sector?

And here’s more from Cohort 20…bumper stickers!

1. Is lost actually found?

2. Don’t mistake leadership for strong talking.

3. Perhaps it’s called development because we find the answer – only questions that lead to more questions.

4. Rise up!

5. Mutiny!

March 26, 2018

Rationalization is pretty much crap…

Neuroscience tells us so. So does psychology. Yes, indeed. Rationalization is pretty much crap.

Charles Green inspired me today, as I write this blog.

I keep recommending Green’s newsletter, TrustedAdvice. Check out the issue “Smarts, Selfies, Shuttles – and Trust.” Read about the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. Read about all the mistakes in decision-making.

YES! MISTAKES! You and I and our organizations make those same kinds of mistakes. Unfortunately, we keep talking about how wise we are and how smart we are and how rational we are. As Green notes, “our over-estimation of our rational behavior” and our “confirmation bias” can cause disasters big and small.

Green’s newsletter inspired me to  go to the original sources — and share with you. The original sources like Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. These two – along with others – established the cognitive bias for our human errors. Biases. Heuristics.

Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal work in psychology, challenging the rational model of judgment and decision-making. (And he said it was a joint prize with his partner of so many years, Tversky, who had died previously.)

I have Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow on my business book shelf. I need to get off my butt and read it!!!!!

Or maybe I should read Michael Lewis’ book The Undoing Project, all about Kahneman and Tversky and their years of research and discovery. Lewis is the author of Moneyball, The Blind Side, and more.

I’m wandering. I get to do that in my own blog!!!!

Back to my beginning. Rationalization is pretty much crap. We aren’t rational. But we justify our decision-making by saying we’re rational. 

Imagine talking about neuroscience and psychology — and NON-rationalization — at a board meeting. Just enough to get everyone on board that we have to be very very very very careful. Imagine talking about NON-rationalization with staff … and carefully figuring out how we avoid the human error that lives in us all.

Maybe by confronting the crap, we’ll reduce the mess. Just maybe.

 

 

 

March 19, 2018

Answers to the Savvy Fundraiser’s Quiz Show

My March newsyletter introduced the Savvy Fundraiser’s Quiz Show. As promised in the newsyletter, here are the answers!!

Question #1: What’s the most important thing a board member does?

  • Attend board meetings.  X
  • Give an annual financial contribution.
  • Help raise money.

Answer: To be a board member, you must participate in the process of governance. Corporate governance only happens at board meetings because governance is a group activity. Yes, the other two choices are obligations of board members, too. But the single most important thing is attending and participating in board meetings because that’s where/when governance happens. Visit the Free Download Library on my website and read all the materials about governance/boards/board members.

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Question #2: What’s the one thing a board chair should NOT do?

  • Serve as spokesperson for the organization   X
  • Get to know the various staff people.   X
  • Provide regular advice and counsel to the CEO/ED.   X

Answer: This is a trick question. The board chair should NOT do any of these!

  • The CEO/ED serves as the spokesperson for the organization. The CEO/ED can assign someone else to serve as chief spokesperson for a particular issue or moment in time. That could be the board chair or the fundraiser or or and and and and. It’s the CEO/ED’s decision.
  • Of course, the board chair may meet any number of the staff – same holds true for other board members. However, the board chair does not “get to know” staff. Like about families and friends and life and the job and… That can jeopardize the separation of management and governance.
  • So what does “regularly” mean? Of course, the CEO/ED and Board Chair prepare board meeting agendas together. Talk with each other about issues that come before the board. And the CEO/ED can certainly ask the board chair for advice and counsel, or vice versa. But be very very careful. Regularly? Ok. Once/month if the board meets monthly. Periodically an email about something . But if the board chair and CEO/ED talk/meet weekly? On no! Biweekly updates or something? Be careful!!! Sounds like the board chair is acting as CEO/ED. And the actual CEO/ED is just the chief operating officer. Be very very very very careful!!!!!!

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Question #3: Who needs to be the governance expert in your organization?

  • Board Chair
  • Executive Committee
  • Chief executive (CEO/ED or whatever title your organization uses)   X

Answer: The one person we can count on is the CEO/ED. Hired. Paid. Professional! S/he is obligated to learn this stuff and lots of other stuff, too. Read! Workshops! Experience. Etc. And just because a board member has served on many boards does NOT NOT NOT mean s/he knows the governance body of knowledge, etc. etc. In my experience, most boards are mediocre at best. And far too many are dysfunctional. I hold the CEO/ED accountable for both mediocrity and dysfunction. By virtue of position, the CEO/ED is required to be highly knowledge about governance – and also be a darn good enabler to help the board chair facilitate good governance. (And if your board doesn’t listen and allow you to enable — then work diligently to change the board members. Or find another job. You deserve better.)

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The Savvy Fundraiser’s Quiz Show has many more questions and answers. If you want me to publish more in my newsyletter, just let me know.

March 6, 2018

TREAT for you and your colleagues at work

SUCH A GREAT IDEA from Lollypop Farmthe Humane Society of Greater Rochester (NY)

TREAT…. Like for a dog or kitty or horse or ….

But in this case, it’s a TREAT for one of your colleagues. Together Recognizing Exceptional Actions Today….

You want to commend a colleague for something great today. Just take a look!     (By the way, check out Lollypop. Great photography. Wonderful writing. Interesting programs.)

February 26, 2018

Fun inventing new things!

Driving in the car…Tom and I talk a lot. (And when hiking, too! We have to carry pad and pen.)

The other day we were talking about inventing new stuff – for clients and for speaking and books and articles and…

We presented in Tucson in January. Our AFP Southern AZ pals are so supportive when we invent new stuff. We test new ideas there.

  • Our joint plenary: Savvy Fundraisers’ Quiz Show…This is soooooo cool and fun and everyone talks and there’s laughing and!!
  • Then Tom did a whole new writing workshop thing.
  • And I did a drawing workshop.

YES! Drawing. Mapping. Diagramming. How and why it can work. Participants posted their drawings. We took pictures. Hey Tusconians…I hope some of you are trying this at work!!

Sometimes when you’re well known, people think you only can do or present about the stuff you’re already known for. I suppose some people are like that. Actually, I do know people like that.

But how boring. Tom and I are always inventing and changing and reinventing and…

I like it best when an organization or conference or host comes to me and says: “We have this tiny kernel of an idea. We think maybe you could develop this.” Oh my gosh. Wow. How cool. Yes yes yes. (Of course I do know what I really don’t know and can’t or won’t learn enough about to provide a good experience. Honestly, I will say…”Digital? Nope not me!” Or “techonology including robotics – hey, I’ll fall over laughing…”)

Someday I suppose I’ll choose no longer to read and learn and initiate and invent and… But I’m planning on that not happening for a long time. I’m having too much fun still learning and changing and inventing and….

Hmmm….. Now what do I want to do? I did that whole power thing at IFC 2016. But there’s so much more and different to do about power. More about social justice. Maybe how to hire the best fundraiser, interview questions and all. I want to deeply explore measures for nonprofits and how to do it and teach it and tools and… Maybe the process of founding an organization (oh that is done sooooo poorly so often!) How about managing or getting rid of founders… More and more people talk to me about how to start and grow their own businesses. Maybe that? Or really really how to effectively enable your boss and board members and the board itself to do well what they’re supposed to do and stay away from the other stuff. Too many people (EDs and FRers) just don’t know how to do this.

So much to do. Why don’t you ask?

February 19, 2018

Oh my gosh. I might be in love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Visit this site, Training for Change.

Training and capacity building organization for ACTIVISTS and ORGANIZERS!

Some cool trainings online. White People Confronting Racism. Advanced Online Training: When Things Go Wrong. And many more!

Tons of training tools in subjects like: 3rd Party Nonviolent Intervention. D-escalation & Peacekeeping. Diversity & Anti-Oppression. And more!

Bunches of publications: Opening Space for Democracy. The Sword That Heals. Towards a Living Revolution: A five-state framework for creating radical social change. And more!!!!!

And so much more. Wow. I am in love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Filed under: Resources

February 12, 2018

Cool stuff

Do you know CharityChannel – and its press?

You should. I think CharityChannel Press is publishing more fundraising / nonprofit sector books than anyone else these days. And pretty cool titles, too! For example: 50 Asks in 50 Weeks. Fundraising for….Churches…Museums…Hospitals and…(Separate books!) The Nonprofit Consulting Playbook. Storytelling in the Digital Age. Opening the Door to Major Gifts. And so many many more! Just take a look!

CharityChannel Press published my book Firing Lousy Board Members. Have you read it? You probably should. All about boards and board members and making sure you don’t have to fire them. [In fact, just carry the book around in front of your board and board members… And maybe they’ll be curious and choose to learn and you can help them!]

And how about this…. CharityChannel’s Masters of Fundraising Summit. On line for your convenience. Reduced price for your wallet. And good presenters for your learning!

Are you continuously learning? What’s on your bookshelf? What are you reading?

January 29, 2018

Deciding how much money we can raise

The boss and board want a 10% increase in charitable gifts. The CFO says an annual 15% increase is required. And on and on.

STUPID   DUMB   SILLY   EVEN STUPIDER   EVEN   DUMBER…

Read this great blog from Veritus Group: “The Unrealistic Expectations of Management,” by Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels. Then show it to all those people. Boss. Board of Directors. Finance Committee. CFO. Development Committee. Anyone else?

Now read my blog (Simone Uncensored), “Setting your charitable contributions goal,” October 12, 2015.

How long do we have to fight these stupid, dumb, silly battles? When will we get good enough at explaining and enabling? When will those others get smart enough to understand?

 

 

Simone Joyaux, ACFRE, Adv Dip, is an internationally recognized expert in fund development, board and organizational development, strategic planning, and management.

© Joyaux Associates 2005-2016

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