A holiday story starring a grant proposal writer!

NoraNora Gallagher, a nonprofit grant writer, has been having a very bad day.  She got rejected for a grant, her boss yelled at her and her long-time boyfriend informed he would not be spending Christmas with her.   Are you hooked yet?

Nora is the heroine of "Certain Poor Shepherds, A Christmas Tale," a radio show performed by staff of Philadelphia's public radio station WHYY. (Yes, you read correctly -- a grant writer as main character and heroine! Today, WHYY; tomorrow, Hollywood!)

You can listen to all of the serial episodes here! (They were aired on the radio on Dec. 23, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.)

Thanks, WHYY, for honoring the profession of grant proposal writers in such a nice way!

Dan Pallotta asks, "Can you change the world without losing yourself?"

This week, nonprofit thought leader Dan Pallotta blogged about the potential perils of prioritizing work in nonprofits over your true passions.

The nonprofit industrial complex -- which now includes such exotic breeds as "social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, L3C low-profit corporations, B corporations, the charitable endurance event industry" along with your standard 501c3s -- has created multiple ways for people to dedicate their careers and life energy to nonprofits.

But at what cost? The cost of your most authentic, talented self?

As Pallotta writes, "If you want to change the world, you have to go into the change-the-world sector, the times say. And so a young girl, whose calling — and whose value to the world — may really be to dance, or to build an industry, is hypnotized into becoming the fundraising director for an NGO. Imagine if someone had held up Gandhi to a young Frank Lloyd Wright, as Gandhi is held up to our young people today, and the incredible architect decided to go run a nonprofit soup kitchen as a result. What a tragedy. And what a setback that would have been for architecture and design."

Does this idea give you pause?

The professionalization of nonprofits has created a whole bunch of career opportunities for idealistic, talented people... people like you. But if your nonprofit career ladder didn't exist, what ladder would you be climbing? Would you be climbing a ladder at all? Maybe you'd be walking a tightrope, or jumping out of a plane! 

But if this hurts your heart to think about, let's get back to the business of fundraising! Check out some other great posts on the web this week: 

How to understand the patterns of charitable giving in your region!

1. In her blog Wild Woman FundraisingMazarine Treyz highlighted the Chronicle of Philanthropy's "How America Gives: Exploring philanthropy in your state, city, and neighborhood" interactive maps/data sets.

As Mazarine writes, "Are you living in a generous region? The answer may surprise you.... We’ve got some fantastic giving breakdowns here. What regions of the USA are the most generous?... You can break it down by town. And zip code. And there’s more! So much more! DATA WONKS -> REJOICE!"

How to write goals and objectives!

2. Betsy Baker provided us with a great explanation of how goals and objectives differ from each other, and via a handy-dandy printable chart gives "specific tips on how to write goals and objectives that grant makers will love you for."

As Betsy writes, "In the very simplest of terms, a goal describes an 'end.' Your organization was formed to serve a specific purpose such as ending gang violence and childhood obesity. Your goal is to end these things.And while these are admirable causes, more than likely, your goals will never actually be reached. Objectives are activities that are performed to help reach your goals. They provide milestones to reach your goal."