Setting the record straight on Marshmallow Peeps.

For me it’s the most wonderful time of the year. No it’s not Christmas. It’s not New Year’s. It’s not back to school. Although the folks at Staples seem to think that is the most wonderful time of year. It’s PEEPster!! – that holiday that coincidentally occurs with Easter. And my favorite candy on the whole planet…………………….Marshmallow Peeps, can be found everywhere!   Now for the record, let’s get two things straight. I invented the Peeps Microwave game. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s very simple. Put your Peep in the microwave. Turn on the timer for 1 minute and watch your peep grow. The trick is to open the door before your Peep explodes. Now it is your friends turn. See if he or she can best your time. For added fun, when the Peep shrinks back to (almost) its original form, see how long you can nuke …

Maybe nonprofits should recruit non-altruistic volunteers?

Very few people volunteer for altruistic reasons. There’s usually some personal motive behind donating your time and expertise to a nonprofit or other volunteer organization. Sure people donate to give back, bring about change, make friends, and have fun. But many times behind their involvement is hope for something else. After all, how many people volunteer to deal with egos, get stuck with people who couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag, and deal with personal agendas as it relates to the cause? Recently I was chatting with someone deciding whether or not to get involved with a local community initiative. She commented why she is leaning towards NOT getting involved. It seems a committee chairperson has stated her main reason for getting involved was to gain some visibility for her business. Let me remind you that we live in a what’s in it for me world. That has no changed in our new economy. And when it …

Hey, the Pope took a vow of poverty and look now

With the election of Pope Francis yesterday we kept hearing the words poverty, humility and simplicity on the news. The new Pope lived in a tiny apartment, rode the bus and worked tirelessly to help the poor. Today he has a Popemobile, runs a small country and heads the largest corporation on the planet. This morning, a friend, who is also a client and Executive Director of a nonprofit, posted this on his Facebook timeline: “Like the new Pope…I too took a vow of Poverty. It’s called non-profit employment.” More often than not non-profit employees accept positions and stay put because they love what they do. They enjoy making a difference in the lives of the people they serve. Sadly, making a difference comes with scrutiny by the public. Making a difference organizations (non-profits) are often funded by grants and donations; and the public has decided that the work these folks do …

Welcome Nonprofit Employee! We can’t pay you a lot but……

When you accept a position with a nonprofit there are a couple of realities: Nonprofit pay is typically NOT on the level of your peers who may be doing the same work in the for-profit world You often have a deeper belief in the work of the organization and that is what keeps you grounded, engaged and showing up with a smile every day. (Let’s face it, years ago I worked for Avon. Do you think I really cared about cosmetics?) But there are things that a nonprofit executive (or any company leader) can do to make up for the lack of pay. I’ve often wondered why we have good-bye lunches when people leave, yet we do nothing to really welcome someone when they join a company. Why do we take someone out to lunch and sometimes even buy them a gift for their contribution when they are leaving us high and dry – …

Instead of going out to lunch with your team, try this

Back in the day I had a boss who understood the importance of having her team spend some time together outside of the office; having some fun; seeing the human side of one another. The challenge was she herself wasn’t the most social person. She was a great manager. She mentored. She truly empowered people to get the job done and coached them along. She was supportive of your ideas and willing to try your approach when you showed enthusiasm, the need, and that you had done your homework before coming to her with the idea. She acknowledged what she was not good at; and who could help her. So every few months she would come to me and say….”Rich, why don’t you organize something fun for the group.” Little did she know she was shaping my next career. Some of things I organized: lunch outings, roller coaster ride lunch hours, a Friday night …