View this newsletter in your browser
Nonprofit Knowledge Matters


“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters." This quote from Greek philosopher Epictetus seems to sum up our world right now. It’s also how philanthropist and nonprofit veteran Mario Morino frames twelve suggestions for how nonprofits can navigate the next two years. We explore his new “Big Reset” in the lead article that follows.


Right now, we don’t know what the future holds. For many, it’s simply making it through each day as yet another hurrican slams into the Gulf Coast today, even as Louisiana deals with the devastation left by Laura last month - the strongest hurricane ever to hit their shores, while California, Oregon, Washington, and other western states deal with record-setting destructive blazes, and we all deal with a still-raging pandemic.


We don’t know what next week will look like, much less next year, but we all need to work toward creating the best possible future. This month’s edition of Nonprofit Knowledge Matters focuses on some of the actions we can take – right now – to improve the future.


Affinity Fundraising Registration ad


The Big Reset

A long-time veteran of the nonprofit and philanthropic world, Mario Morino wrote the book on taking bold action to advance nonprofit missions. He is also at the center of a network of nonprofit and philanthropic leaders, known as Leap Ambassadors, who believe that “high performance—by organizations, networks, and communities—must be the norm if we are to make meaningful progress in addressing society’s most challenging problems.” Drawing on his decades of experience and countless conversations with those leaders from various sectors, subsectors, and organizations large and small, Morino yesterday unveiled The Big Reset. This new website provides guidance and resources for nonprofits and funders as we face months – possibly years – of dramatically increased demand for services at the same time as significant funding decreases from a variety of sources.


Many nonprofits will need to make difficult decisions in the weeks and months ahead as various relief programs in the CARES Act run out and state and local governments make cuts to public programs. The Big Reset includes twelve suggestions for nonprofits and nine suggestions for funders. Be sure to check out the related sets of References for Nonprofits and References for Funders, because each contains links to a rich collection of useful materials The toolkit also includes a “Here and Now Triage Tool.” As the name implies, the tool can be used to guide staff and board conversations to help prioritize areas that need the most urgent attention and what may be set aside until you make your way through the current situation.


BayPath ad


Closing the Gap

Last month, our nation celebrated the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing that “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Yet even with that right enshrined in the Constitution, Black women continued to face additional legal obstacles for more than 40 years before passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Even today, new voter suppression barriers continue to be created, preventing people from participating in our democracy.


Voting rights aren’t the only area where our nation lacks equality. Equal employment and compensation remain huge problems. Since the pandemic hit, women have been disproportionately affected by job losses. The Foraker Group, our member state association of nonprofits in Alaska, recently released data on the gender pay gap for Alaska’s nonprofit sector. The good news: the nonprofit sector in Alaska seems to be better about compensating equally than their for-profit counterparts. The bad news: women are still paid only 79 cents for every dollar a male nonprofit employee is paid.


The gap gets even wider when we look at compensation for women of color. Equal Pay Day, which shows how far into the next year a woman must work to earn what a white man earned in the previous year, is March 31 for all women, but it’s not until August 13 for Black women, October 1 for Native American women, and October 29 for Latina women.


And don’t let anyone say that these gaps are a result of lack of similarly qualified or educated candidates. A recent report from the Building Movement Project noted that women of color with the highest levels of education are the most likely to be in administrative roles and the least likely to hold senior leadership positions in the nonprofit sector.


According to the World Economic Forum, at the current pace, the gender wage gap will not close for another 257 years. We – as a society, as a sector, and as organizations – must do better than that. Each of us has a role to play in closing the wage gap. The American Association of University Women offers action steps for employers to better foster gender equality. The Foraker Group also offers resources for taking action and YWCA USA created a Women's Economic Security Community Watch Checklist.



Adapting Internships for a Virtual World

School is back in session, whether in-person or virtual, and that means that the next generation of nonprofit leaders is eager to learn while helping advance your nonprofit’s mission. While in-person mentorship may be off the table right now, there are still ways to craft an internship experience that will be valuable for both the intern and your organization. With so much else going on to adjust to COVID-19, it may seem like a heavy lift to revamp your nonprofit’s internship program, too. But it’s not. The National Council of Nonprofits has been lucky in the past to host interns from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State University. Katy Hogan, Director for Washington Programs for the college, has learned a lot about what makes internships work well in our new virtual environment and shares some tips for successful virtual internship programs.



Counting People and Counting Votes

Time is running short on two cornerstones of representation in our country: the census and the election. While recent court orders have halted the early winding down of the census count and the President’s directive to remove undocumented persons when reporting the count for apportionment purposes, there is still much to do to ensure every person in the country is counted. Response rates are still low in many areas, particularly among hard to count populations. Resources to help encourage participation are available from Census Counts. Reach out to neighbors and those you serve to make sure they fill out the census online, by mail, or by phone today!


Next, help people in your community register to vote. The team at Nonprofit VOTE has a wide range of tools to help your nonprofit ensure in a nonpartisan way that every staff member, every board member, every volunteer, and every person you serve is registered to vote. They have everything from guides on how to hold safe in-person voter registration events to online voter registration drives. They also just added a new resource on the nuts and bolts of drive-through voter registration events. And they have a rundown of registration drive rules for all 50 states and DC. Lots of additional resources are available as National Voter Registration Day approaches on September 22.


Once people are registered, vote-by-mail will likely be the preferred option for millions more people this year. Be sure to encourage everyone you know to vote early. Voto Latino has tips for voting safely during the pandemic. This New York Times interactive map shows where vote-by-mail is available and what, if any, changes have been made to make absentee voting easier this year. Axios provides this interactive map to learn about voting options in your state, which may have changed since the beginning of the pandemic. You can also visit this state-by-state listing from for the rules, deadlines, and applications for your state.



Forward to a friend
| Subscribe to this newsletter