The Ties that Bind

Print Share on LinkedIn More

I realize that I haven’t written to you in some time.

Please don’t take offense. I thought I was doing the right thing because NPQ is now sending out the Nonprofit Newswires daily. We didn’t want to overload you with incessant email communications.

But the other day when I was listening and speaking to and with a creative and committed group of community development people at the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis, I realized that being out of touch on a personal level with you—our readers—is just not my cup of tea. I think of my work as NPQ’s editor in chief as personal and political, just as you probably think about yours that way. And so my reaching out to you is all about building a community where people actively learn from each other—that has the intelligence, will and power to move mountains.

Figuratively of course—I know it would be wrong in so many ways to really move a mountain.

But things have changed. NPQ’s publishing model is pretty thoroughly transformed.

We are now publishing daily news and analysis. And weekly columns, and time-sensitive articles online.

This means that much of our content is being provided free and with a very short turnaround time—a big change for a publishing concern used to producing most of its content quarterly. But the change, thankfully, is critical both to serving nonprofits’ intelligence needs well in such chaos, and also to building a publishing business plan appropriate to the 21st century.

I have to be honest—it is both exhausting and exhilarating to evolve like this. What is great about the experience, however, is that as we have moved in this new direction, more of you have moved closer to us, contributing newswires, and columns, and commentary that are aimed at keeping us all up to date with the changes in and around our sector.

This is what NPQ is headed for; we intend to be a model of collaborative journalism where readers contribute to and help distribute knowledge that builds the sector and, ultimately, our communities. We hope you are in.

So, to conclude, I’d like to ask you for your feedback about our new publishing model to date and for your suggestions about what else we should be doing. Don’t hold back!

And, again, I missed talking with you.

p.s. A big plug to the smart and beautiful young women in St. Louis who bake the divinely inspired Angel Baked Cookies. Order some for your next meeting! You won’t be sorry.

  • William Huddleston

    Ruth,
    I agree with you about the value of communication and I’m glad to hear from you.

    One area that you are in a better position to address than I am is something that I think is a huge problem for the entire non-profit sector, namely it’s invisibility to the general public.

    And for other readers, please don’t protest saying “But everyone knows who we are, we do such good work, etc.”

    That’s not the point, and I use a simple example: Go into any Barnes and Noble or Borders and ask for the “Non-profit Section”. There isn’t one. Depending on the experience of the individual book seller they may know that many of the non-profit books are either in the Business and Management section or that some are in the Finance section, but there is no “Non-profit” section.

    Since the non-profit sector does account for about 10% of the workforce, I think it would help if there was a movement to get it defined as it’s own section.

    In a related vein, in the periodicals section I never see any of the periodicals that deal with the non-profit world, available for sale: NP Quarterly, Chronicle of Philanthropy, NonProfit Times, Fundraising Success, etc.

    I know that the initial reaction from the stores will be that “There’s no demand for them, so we don’t sell any of those titles,” but it is truly a chicken and egg question. If they stocked some of them, people would buy them.

    Regards,
    Bill Huddleston
    The CFC Coach
    http://www.cfcfundraising.com
    BillHuddleston1 at gmail dot com