A Peek behind the NPQ Editorial Curtain as We End the Summer

NPQ will be on a publishing break until September 5th, but as we head into a long weekend, I thought I would share with you some of what has been happening behind the scenes here, because the reaction to some of our articles is something you in our community can’t necessarily see. As always, our newswire and feature writers have worked mightily to keep up with political, philanthropic, management, and programmatic developments in the sector, and they have come fast and furious.

The first story I have to tell is about Michael Wyland, our consulting editor. Michael has an encyclopedic knowledge of government processes, and we often ask him to write or edit anything that has need of such a critical mind. So, one day, we were talking about what was being discussed in national politics—what was being teed up and so forth—and we somehow came to the conclusion that we’d need an article on the mechanics of impeachment on tap for when the conversation was ready for it—like a prewritten obituary, ready to publish but held until it’s relevant.

And, indeed, it was a while before we published the story on July 24th. Ever since that date, that article attracts more readers every single day than almost anything else. It is almost unheard of for an article to have such a consistent and long-lasting audience. Most of them, of course, are not our regular readers—just folks looking for a clear understanding of that process. And some of them rail away at Michael as a pointy-headed liberal in their expletive-filled comments. Here is a relatively tame example:

And you got most of that from a biased polling system and your progressive friends. Go eat some more biscuits.

I enjoy sending these along to him because Michael identifies as a conservative and a Republican, and he and I have the regular arguments to prove it. Still, he gets more comments berating him for his liberal leanings than any other member of our writing team.

The other thing that attracted a surplus of visits over the summer is a webinar from last November with Hilda Polanco of FMA called “Creating High Functioning Nonprofits: Who Should Have What Financial Information?” And, this is our community—interested in what impeachment entails and how civil society is involved, and the quirks of who should monitor nonprofit cash flow and how.

Meanwhile, each day, our community of newswire writers monitored the news, which included the deeply disturbing situation in Charlottesville. As always, in such moments, NPQ tried to step in quickly to help make meaning of the moment. Our new senior editor, Cyndi Suarez, wrote a piece called “White Supremacy and the Fight for the Public Square,” and the editors collaborated to produce “Ending White Supremacy in Ourselves.” Both were widely read.

We also published the articles from the Summer 2017 edition of our print journal on risk and uncertainty to great readership. The most read of these was “Social Entrepreneurship’s All-American Mind Trap,” a joint effort from Fredrik Andersson and myself.

We’re going to continue to cover these themes and so much more as we move into the fall. You may wish to watch out for a series on the results of BoardSource’s latest findings—as yet unpublished—about the state of nonprofit boards, and other upcoming pieces on new approaches to leadership transition and on how to construct a financial dashboard.

But, I want to end on a note of deep gratitude for the lay journalists in our newswire cadre of brilliance. Over this summer and on every other day, they identify trends in the fields we cover and bring their wisdom to bear, analyzing the news of the day in a way that’s relevant to your practice. When a story breaks that’s in their wheelhouse, they’ll take them on at a moment’s notice. Some write three or four times a week, even though they have otherwise busy work lives. One files stories from Haiti in the early morning hours when she has a break. Each brings his or her voice, experience and commitment to the rich stew we bring you daily. NPQ has always known that we are what we are because of you, the many community members that produce our content daily with a dyed-in-the-wool respect for our readers’ intelligence and the importance of their work.