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Not having New Year’s Resolutions and Some Predictions for Nonprofits 2011

Joanne Fritz of’s nonprofit blog is hosting this month’s blog carnival and wants to know your “2011 resolutions.” Our resolutions are easy: we don’t have any because we don’t need them. We’re going to keep writing complete, technically correct proposals that we submit on time for our clients. That’s it. Our clients hire us because they know we can do this, and we accept them as clients only when we believe they are eligible to apply for the grant program in question. It’s what we’ve been doing for over 17 years and will continue doing this year.

Joanne offers some alternatives, too, including 2011 trends; like everyone else, I would expect a major budget battle in Congress in the near future, along with continued uncertainty among nonprofits—as described here and elsewhere on GWC. That uncertainty will manifest itself in lower donation levels and increased anxiety that makes some large, established agencies who fail to adapt to different funding landscapes fail and some small, nimble nonprofits grow.

Otherwise, we expect a lot of things to continue: nonprofits will keep providing services to high-risk / low-resource individuals, federal, state and local government agencies, as well as foundations, will continue to make grant awards, and Seliger + Associates will continue to write proposals. The main thing that will be “hot” in nonprofit world will remain the same as it always has: offering real services that are useful to real people. The rest is mere commentary.

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The October 2010 Blog Carnival: Tell Us About Your Tools

The October Nonprofit Blog Carnival is setting up camp at Grant Writing Confidential. A couple of thoughts for future writers before we get started:

  • Read Paul Graham’s The List of N Things, because many of the submissions are like wannabe magazine submissions: “Seven Ways to Beat Fat Now!!!!” (The number seven occurs disproportionately).
  • The world of tools goes beyond social media and online. For example, one of the most useful tools a nonprofit can use to manage grant writing and other assignments is a whiteboard. Since I’m dating a med student, I’ve discovered that whiteboards are often used in emergency rooms to track patients because anyone walking by them can see at a glance who is where and any patients they’re responsible for.
  • If you’re going to write a worthwhile blog, bring expertise to the table.

Now, on to the carnival:

Thanks to everyone who contributed!

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The Nonprofit Blog Carnival is Here: Tell Us About Your Tools

We’re hosting October’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival, which means that we’re inviting you (the reader and possibly writer) to contribute posts about the tools you use in your life working for a nonprofit. What hardware, software, items, or techniques have made your life substantially better, easier, or more interesting? We (and others) want to know; think of this prompt as being like Cool Tools, but for nonprofits.

Submit your links here, send an e-mail to me at, or send a note to the carnival address:

You can interpret the topic as broadly or as narrowly as you choose. We’ve written about this previously from a grant writer’s perspective—see, for example, Tools of the Trade—What a Grant Writer Should Have and Tools and Organizing Organizations: How to Wrangle Information and Databases for Grant Writers—but want to hear what others are doing and how they’re doing it. If you have a post that you think is valuable but doesn’t fit with the theme, let us know and we may include it anyway.

If you don’t have a blog but still want to contribute, leave a comment on this post.

You can see an example of a previous carnival on Katy’a Nonprofit Marketing Blog; I like her definition of what this is about: “I should explain the carnival is simply a monthly roundup of themed blog posts hosted by various bloggers in the nonprofit world.” Right. It’s supposed to be a fun, easy way for nonprofits and others to share thoughts and ideas. We hope to hear yours no later than October 25.