A Portrait of Those Working for You: NPQ’s Volunteer Journalists

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The Nonprofit Quarterly’s daily newswire would be impossible without the work of NPQ’s newswire team, which is spread across the country, reflecting many different fields of practice. They help us sense what trains are headed towards us from a distance, when the tectonic plates are shifting, and when we may need to erect a yellow warning light on a dangerous corner that needs to be turned.

This is a part of NPQ’s collaborative journalism program. Remember that they are all volunteers, giving their time to you through us, and so we thought you might want to get to know them through their motivations.

The best way to appreciate them and acknowledge their work is by commenting on their work. Get involved in our dialogue and knowledge development!

 

Jeanne Allen

 Lessons for Nonprofits from Volunteer Fire Departments

 

I enjoy being part of a community actively promoting dialogue and discussion about the nonprofit world. Writing newswires is a small contribution that collectively can influence many conversations.

 

Poetry is anything we as loving beings don’t have to write but do anyway, or even things we have to write, but put more effort and soul into than we have to. I like the challenge and commitment of writing in genres I am not too familiar with, and writing newswires energizes me. When I see my work published, it is gratifying, and the process improves my writing for all my enterprises. I am a published poet, an attorney, a university instructor—and now a journalist, and each pursuit informs the others. But perhaps most of all I enjoy the collaborative process at NPQ, where the editors are top notch yet give us the space to use our own voices, our own perspectives for what we contribute. I don’t have such intense teamwork elsewhere as a writer, and it is an honor to be a part of NPQ and its essential work.

 

 

 

 

Louis Altman

Eisenberg: Why Doesn’t Gates Fund Healthcare in the U.S.?” 

 

 

Rob Meiksins

Is Charity among the Less Moneyed Just Plain Foolish?

 

I write for NPQ because it’s fun. I’m serious about that. It’s fun to learn about things that are going on in the sector around the country and the world. It’s even more fun to do a little digging and learn about some of the details on a story. Then it’s fun to tell the story in the form of a newswire. But the most fun is knowing that people are reading the newswires—it’s a little like being connected to them in a community of people who are learning.

 

Writing for NPQ helps me to analyze the impact of my daily work in the context of the broader civil sector. As I am relativelynew to this arena, I am keen to expand my knowledge of the nonprofit world and theissues that impact it. Writing for NPQ allows me to keep abreast of relevantmatters and broaden my understanding of how nonprofits should conduct themselves within this environment. I am passionate about the editorial missionof NPQ and feel that their attitude towards publishing is forward thinkingand progressive.

 

 

 

Hannah Butler

New York State Contractor Allegedly Cheats Disabled Employees out of Thousands

 Follow Hannah on Twitter at @hannahevebutler

 

 

 Susan Raab

One School Experiments with Use of Housing Vouchers

Follow Susan on Twitter at @sraab18

 

I’m delighted to be reporting for NPQ, which is of great interest and an ideal fit for me both personally and professionally. As a journalist, I’m interested in covering breaking news in areas I believe are critically important and I enjoy the challenge of working in NPQ’s fast-paced newswire environment. Personally, I’m a longtime advocate of the work of nonprofits, particularly in arts and education, and I’m always interested in learning more about the people and organizations who are having an impact. As a business professional, I’m excited to use my skills as a journalist, market observer and practitioner to interpret and bring important nonprofit and cultural stories to light.

 

I write for the NPQ newswire primarily to give back to the nonprofit community, which has played an incredibly instrumental role in my life, both professionally and personally. Many of the people I know working in cause-related fields are bombarded with information that is critical to their work, and I appreciate the way NPQ provides them with a steady and readable source of pertinent and well-analyzed news. But it’s not just for nonprofit professionals; NPQ dives into the issues that define our lives and transform our world, and I feel lucky to contribute to the exchange of ideas on how nonprofits can shape those issues and create meaningful change.

 

 

 

Anne Warden

“$300 Million to Meet Growing Demand for Community Health Centers

Follow Anne on Twitter at @AnnieDubs

 

 

 

 

 

Marty Levine

Pentagon’s Version of Vietnam War Raises Role of Museums in History

 

What is the worth of decades of experience if it cannot be shared?

Writing for NPQ gave me one way to answer that question.

This “assignment” provides me with an opportunity to look at events taking place in the world of nonprofits broadly writ, filter them through what I have learned along the way, and share both the basic facts and my view of what it may mean and what it’s broader implications may be.

What an opportunity for me—and, I hope, some benefit for my readers.

 

I am a firm believer that everyone, from all ages to all walks of life, is constantly learning—we are lifelong learners that never stop. Writing for NPQ will allow me to continue learning about my field of work and other nonprofit sectors as well. By writing articles, I am able to share my knowledge and expertise with a wide-range of professionals in the nonprofit sector while at the same time absorbing others’ perspectives and experiences in the field.

We are never too young, or too old, to learn, grow, and expand our capacities in every possible way, and writing for NPQ allows me to do that in a very meaningful way.

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Swan

Stanford University Focuses on Arts District

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @JenSwan7

 

 

Eileen Cunniffe

Rhetoric Flies as Metropolitan Opera Lockout Looms Large” 

 

I think of writing for NPQ as a form of continuing education, a way to ensure I stay on top of trends in the nonprofit sector and push myself to keep learning what’s behind those trends. Every time I write a newswire, I pause and step back from my day-to-day interactions with arts organizations in the Philadelphia region and consider the bigger picture—across the sector and sometimes around the world. My work with NPQ informs my work with arts clients. And I truly appreciate the opportunity to be part of the NPQ community, part of the ongoing conversation between the writers and the readers.

 

As an attorney, blogger, and development consultant, I partner with diverse nonprofit organizations in the Chicagoland area and virtually through DonorPath. I am also a member of a State of Illinois Commission working to eliminate poverty. Through these partnerships, I create leadership opportunities that encourage donor and volunteer participation in raising funds for critical programs and services. Additionally, throughout my career, I have worked in social and legal service organizations. In these positions, I sometimes felt isolated and wished for more opportunities to learn and share best practices. As a contributor to the Nonprofit Quarterly’s Newswire, I focus on topics helpful to my fellow practitioners. By providing this information to people currently serving in these capacities, I hope I can help them provide more efficient and effective care for families in need.

 

 

 

 

 

Gayle Nelson

Small Open Source Nonprofit Beats Groupon in Trademark Fight

Follow Gayle on Twitter at @GayleNelsonesq

 

 

Steven Pyser

Atlanta Educators Stand Trial for Alleged Cheating on High-Stakes Tests

Follow Steven on Twitter at @ProfessorEthics

 

A wonderful question without a short or easy response. I have lived an interesting life including a career path that started in law, being corporate counsel to nonprofits specializing in governance and management issues. This work evolved into a more personal role with appointments to serve nonprofit boards. It next informed a pivot to become a professor focusing on Corporate Social Responsibility, business, law and ethics.

NPQ provides me with a unique opportunity to give back to a field that provided me with scholarly, practice and many enriching experiences. My motivation for writing is unpacking breaking news, trends and asking “what if” questions relevant to our readership. Writing for NPQ satisfies my naturally curious nature while offering me weekly opportunities to examine the confluence of nonprofit law, philanthropy within policy and social contexts.

 

I write for NPQ because it allows me to not only learn about trending topics in the nonprofit sector, but also to share that information with others. My excitement for nonprofit work is centered in organizational development, specifically leadership training, so I like researching businesses from across the country. I also truly enjoy writing—it is rewarding for me to watch my articles develop, be published, and then shared by others. In addition to writing, I also find it fascinating to read the styles of the other newswire writers. Being a part of spreading information to those who share an interest in or work with nonprofits is very gratifying to me.

 

 

Erin Lamb

Six Things Nonprofits Can Teach Small Business

Follow Erin on Twitter at @ErinLamb3

 

 

 

Michele Bittner

Lawsuit: Pennsylvania School System’s ‘Irrational’ Funding Favors the Well Off

As someone new to the journalism field, participating with NPQ has been a welcome challenge both personally and professionally. I enjoy being a part of the collaborative efforts of writers from around the country and learning from the understanding and analysis of other contributors. Participation with NPQ has also given me the ability to look at my own work in the nonprofit industry from different perspectives—something that I feel is invaluable to progress and growth. The experience has been a rewarding one, and I look forward to continuing to participate in the NPQ writing process.

There are times when topics and viewpoints inspire me to write. I find that reducing my thoughts to writing helps me think through my ideas and articulate them more fully. When the topics relate to the nonprofit sector, writing helps me be a better consultant, board member, and volunteer. NPQ gives me the opportunity to write for a knowledgeable, influential audience. I imagine them reading and reacting to what I write, and that inspires me to redouble my efforts to make my articles relevant, informative, and useful.

NPQ’s reach extends beyond the nonprofit sector. Several of my NPQ articles have been quoted elsewhere, and reporters have interviewed me for their stories on topics like Jerry Sandusky and Penn State, the IRS scandal, and nonprofit hospital executive compensation. I’ve been privileged to cover these stories and others for NPQ, helping NPQ fulfill its nonprofit mission.

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Wyland

Hospital Mergers and Affordable Care—Incompatible?

Follow Michael on Twitter at @mlwyland

 

 

Kevin Johnson

What Does ‘Charitable Enough’ Mean When It Comes to Tax Exemption?

 

Working in the nonprofit world is a tough job—exhilarating, meaningful, fulfilling—but tough. A great deal of the most meaningful work is done at the local level. But often the news about what’s going on in this city or that state takes too long to get out and that means success (or failure) often stays quiet. Writing about the twists and turns of the many people doing good work helps everyone. So perhaps it’s for a bit of a selfish reason that I write and get to take some time to reflect on the experiences of others. It’s my hope that we can all learn a bit from each other with the result that we get better at creating the communities we all wish to live in.

I decided to accept the invitation to write for the NPQ Newswire for two reasons and both have to do with enjoyment. Firstly, I enjoy working for causes that mean something to me. I care about the critical role nonprofit organizations play in giving each of us a means to create and contribute to a caring, civil society. I write with the hope that I can contribute, in even a small way, to building stronger, more sophisticated, and sustainable nonprofits which can fulfill their important role more effectively. Secondly, I enjoy the challenge of being stretched to learn beyond my expertise. I often look first for those writing assignments that I know will push me to expand my knowledge, understanding, and perspective. That keeps me on a growing edge!

 

 

Tom Klaus

Controversial NYC High Line Completed to Fanfare and Debate 

Follow Tom on Twitter at @nonprofitgp

 

 

 

 

John Brothers

Older Nonprofit Workers: Retirement Concerns

Follow John on Twitter at @Cuidiu

 

I started a nonprofit blog several years ago called Couch Cushion Change and have a monthly newsletter called Red Beans and Rice. Both were to write about issues that I cared about and offer back to the community resources that came across my desk that I thought would help the sector. I got a good following for each resource and started blogging for others like the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

The challenge was that I felt I was writing about very ethereal items and wanted to write more about everyday items and issues that related more and more to the nonprofit sector. NPQ has given that to me. Each week, I feel fortunate to be able to choose situations that nonprofits are dealing with around the world and highlight them back to the sector.

My favorite part of writing for the sector is seeing the responses it gets from others. Creating dialogue from my pieces provides me a periodic joy that gives me pep in my step that day.

Did you know that America did not invent philanthropy? And did you know that much of “new philanthropy” was new in about the 19th century? The sad fact is that most of the reportage and editorial covering fundraising in philanthropy seems to ignore its outer boundaries. Every once in a while, I get to write a newswire about what’s happening in the wider world. Which is great, because my own career in philanthropy and fundraising has taken me to most other continents and given me the privilege of meeting with philanthropists, fundraisers and nonprofit workers from all over the world. It’s great to get a chance to share some of their stories at the Nonprofit Quarterly

At other times, I just enjoy writing up the emerging and quirky stuff.

 

 

 

 

John Godfrey

NZ High Court: Blogger Entitled to Protect Sources as News Journalist 

Follow John on Twitter at @artfulJohn

 

Larry Kaplan

Judge Orders L.A.’s Union-Controlled Nonprofits to Seat Board Members Appointed by the Mayor

Follow Larry on Twitter at @KaplanLarry

I was trained as a journalist and worked in that field for a very short time at the beginning of my career, before I got into political and non-profit work. But I have always enjoyed writing, editing, and helping the public understand the news and the issues. I also think that East Coast publications need more West Coast perspective. And, to be honest, writing for NPQ enhances my reputation as a thought leader.

  • Deborah Linnell

    Thank you all for your efforts and insights – much appreciated by a daily consumer of the Newswire.