The Unconference Model is Problematic. Here’s Why & What to Do About It

Reflections on how we can make unconferences a bit more inclusive.

Gang, let’s talk about unconferences. Because I’ve got a lot of mixed feelings.

First, if you’ve never heard of an unconference, let’s start there. An unconference is a “participant-led” learning experience. The main difference from a regular conference is that there’s no pre-set agenda.

Yep, you read me correctly.

There’s no agenda, until you show up to make it. The idea is that the audience –the people who this whole thing is designed to benefit–  put forth the topics they want to discuss. Hence, the “un”.

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How to Coordinate Your Nonprofit’s Next Big Email Campaign

A framework for getting all those moving pieces in order.

Okay gang! Who’s getting ready to send an email on behalf of their org?

CreditL Giphy

If there’s one project that unifies (or divides) departments most, it’s the email campaign. Volunteer managers, fundraisers, & program staff all have constituents to engage.

Even the ops staff don’t get a break here. They’re often the ones pulling those lists!

But whether this is your first campaign or your fiftieth, it doesn’t have to be chaos.  A good process never hurt nobody, and you’ll definitely need one to execute something this important.

There’s a method to this particular nonprofit madness. Let’s talk email.

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How to Pick Your Battles at Work

Check out these tips before you walk into that meeting, principles blazing.

Working for a nonprofit organization, you learn how to pick and choose your battles.

There’s the small stuff – like deciding if you should tell your peer about their less-than-stellar proofreading. Or sending a mass email about the office microwave.

But as you progress in your career, bigger battles fall onto your lap. You might find yourself convincing your org to work in a new way – be it around technology, your mission, or ethics.

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How to Say No At Work Without Jeopardizing Your Job

Tips for tactfully exercising your “No”.

Boundaries are important as we grow in our careers. The more we’re able to do, the more people want our time.

That’s why one piece of advice seems to stick: saying no at work.

Which makes total sense. There’s only so much you can do in one day. Learning to say no is a matter of necessity, because it’s impossible to yes all the things.

There’s just one problem. Just saying no isn’t always an option. Depending on the environment, it can put your reputation and employment at risk. Even unicorns get fired.

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10 Easy, Affordable Ways to Spruce Up Your Nonprofit Event

It really is the little things.

Event planning isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

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The Nonprofit Event Checklist: Plan & Rock Your Next Event

Everything from program to logistics.

Events are the double-edged sword of the nonprofit world.

On the one hand, they bring people into the fold of your org’s work. I’ve seen a student move a room of 500 people to give. I myself have bawled listening to an ED talk about kids using karate to cope with cancer.

So yeah. There’s no denying that events are a powerful engagement mechanism. But that doesn’t make them easy.

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