Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Nonprofit Eye - Backstage Pass - New Feature

A Letter from the Editor

It's a new year and in lieu of resolutions, we have turned our "Eye" inward. The result? An examination of focus of the Nonprofit Eye. Looking out to the audience, two posts continue to grab a huge share of our readership (one on (of all the arcane topics: revenue recognition) and the other on Job Hunting). Readership takes a dive when I turn to self-exploration, technical topics, philosophical musings on nonprofit identity. I have to admit that even my own interest was waning as I've swum thru the waters of all things related to the Nonprofit World.

So get ready for a new spin in 2008, and very soon...a new website and domain name. Such a move means a new start, appropriate for the beginning of a new year. And such a start demands a new theme.

Time for audience participation here dear readers. Two themes call strongly to me and I'd love to hear your comments on them (both as to marketability and to your own thoughts on the topics).

The first theme "Crossover Hits" speaks to bridging the gap between the knowledge bases in the for-profit world with those in the non-profit world. Call it an interdisciplinary approach. Seems the same topics are recycled over and over in the nonprofit blogosphere; the same with the for-profit writing world; And never the twain shall meet?

Two areas have great cross-talk - the fundraising and marketing bloggers have done a great job of bringing the branding concept over from "the other side". It can still be a hard sell to some nonprofit staff and boards, but there is progress. The other area is the now the almost-ready- for-prime-time: NPTech. It strikes that most of NPTech is...well...Tech. Still, it is important to keep bringing cutting edge tech applications over to the nonprofit side. Rover, Rover, let Linux come over!

It is possible to re-think the Nonprofit Eye as a place to blend for-profit trends in accounting, compliance (easier to see) as well as concepts from psychology, human interaction (also known as user-interface).

The blog would answer the question "what great stuff is being talked about out there that we aren't talking about in the nonprofit world".

The downside of this approach? All hot topics would be excluded, no 990 revisions, no transparency, no social media/web 2.0, no more fun Grassley bashing...

Which brings us to the second candidate theme, we call "The new and the old".

Bloggers like Rosetta Thurman, write about future leaders; new job seekers write about how to find a job; experienced nonprofit executives write about burnout or the leadership crisis. These points in the career cycle form a continuum; but what is in between? What can the newbies learn from their elders? What can us oldbies learn from the newcomers?

The blog could become a forum for bridging the divide. Experienced nonprofiteers would write in and answer future leaders questions; Newer Nonprofiteers would write about how to cure the ills of the old skool.

A quick scan of the newbie blogosphere shows quite a few Youth Leadership sites on the landscape:

Sound in! We want to here from readers of nonprofit blog readers. What do you want to read about? Do either of the two themes above appeal? Let's start the year with a conversation.

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Sean Stannard-Stockton said...

I think the cross-over concept would be most interesting. Not so much what can each sector learn from the other, but how can the sectors blend and create something new.

Pam Ashlund said...

Thanks Sean, good point. There's fertile ground there, more so if approached proactively with an innovation spin. The mandatory public/private partnerships of the last few decades haven't done the trick.