S1 E09: How to Thrive When Your Boss Won’t Listen

Do you ever feel like your boss is the biggest obstacle to getting your work done effectively?

This week we hear from a listener whose boss insists on writing long academic text for her nonprofit’s newsletter, in spite of her efforts to show best practices and data that show that less is more in 21st century communications.

This is one of several situations where the boss won’t listen, and stands in the way of our listener doing the job she was hired to do. The fundamental disagreement has them constantly butting heads. But the writer isn’t ready to leave her job, because in all other ways it’s a perfect fit.

In this episode we talk about accepting — and working within — things that can’t be changed. Read more

S1 E08: Getting the Board on Board

This week we hear from a nonprofit who is looking for ways to get their board members more involved with fundraising, advocacy and storytelling. Or perhaps all three! We help connect the dots and get this organization started, by:

  • starting small, making it easy, and celebrating success
  • helping board members see how their efforts are important to the mission
  • helping them tell their own story, or find another inspiring story to tell
  • clarifying the top two points that they should be telling people about the nonprofit
  • supporting their efforts, whether online or in person.

S1 E07: Perfectionism

Do you have trouble making decisions?

Have you ever been told that your expectations are unrealistic?

Do you have trouble receiving criticism, however constructive and well-intentioned it may be?

Does your self-confidence sometimes depend on other people’s reactions to what you say and do?

Do you dwell on mistakes you’ve made, and replay them in your head as if you could rewrite them?

Are you sometimes so focused on the destination that you forget to enjoy the journey?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be a perfectionist.

Perfectionism is all too common in the nonprofit sector. We are surrounded by smart, high-achieving people, and it’s easy to feel like we don’t measure up. Then comes the negative self-talk, the unhealthy work habits, and feelings of failure.

If our definition of success is perfection, then there is no way we can succeed. We are human; we can’t be perfect.

This is detrimental: to us as individuals, to our organizations, and ultimately to those we are trying to serve.

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S1 E06: When Colleagues Don’t Respect Deadlines

Your colleagues don’t respect deadlines, which in turn makes you miss yours, and then you have to deal with the repercussions. It happens repeatedly, and you’re in an ugly pattern of negativity. Yuck. How do you break the cycle?

This week we go upside-down (literally) to jump-start our thinking! Read more

S1 E05: Rescuing an Elephant Seal

Bjorn, the baby elephant seal, talking to my kids by a rock

Bjorn, the baby elephant seal, talking to my kids by a rock

A few days ago my kids and I helped to rescue a baby elephant seal who had come up on the shore of a small beach in Santa Cruz, California.

I’ve heard it said that we make decisions with our hearts, and then later validate them with data. Hence the importance of nonprofit communicators appealing to readers’ emotions.

Well, this experience really underscored that for me. Not just creating the connection, but continuing it. Hear how I learned about The Marine Mammal Center, and how they’ve made it easy for me to continue being a part of their work even after Bjorn and I parted ways. Read more

S1 E04: After the Awesome Conference: How to Take the Lessons and Energy Home With You

The only problem with an awesome conference is that it ends! In this episode we explore ways that you can keep the most important lessons and relationships in mind, take them home with you and weave them into your life.

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S1 E03: Time for a New Website?

Is it time for a new website?“Website Blues” works for a nonprofit with a 2-3 year-old website that’s crashing a lot, and wonders how to tell when it’s time to cut losses and get a new one.

Sometimes the answer is clear, but very often it’s grey! In this episode we explore whether it’s worth trying to keep the current website a while longer, or start investing in a new one.

We look at the situation through the lens of swadhyaya — a principle of yoga which teaches us to take time for self-study, and to observe without judgment — plus a reminder to look at the organization’s mission and compare it with the website’s intended function.

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S1 E02: Branding: More Than Just a Pretty Logo

What do you do when leadership tells you to “fix the old logo”, but everyone has different opinions about how it should be instead?

Nonprofit branding expert Julia Reich joins us for a conversation about how organizations can define their brand well, and then use it as a guide for keeping their communications efforts (both visual and otherwise) centered and working toward their mission.

Julia and Margaux discuss:

  • how to know if you have a brand problem or just a logo problem;
  • finding your true brand values and personality as an organization;
  • how to avoid arguing about one person’s preference vs another’s; and
  • two success stories!

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S1 E01: Burnout

Ever feel burned out? Or worry that your audience does?

If you work for a nonprofit, you probably care a lot about your work. Unfortunately, it also probably means you know what it is to feel burned out.

Here are some strategies for taking care of yourself, as an individual, and also some ways your whole staff can help support each other through trying times.

As a communicator, you may also sometimes worry that your audience is feeling burned out on you! In this episode we look at ways you can assess whether there’s truth to that concern, and if so, some strategies for addressing it.

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S1 E00: About the Yoga of Nonprofit Communications

The Yoga of Nonprofit Communications is a podcast mostly about doing communications work at a nonprofit organization. And it’s a little bit about yoga, too.

Yoga literally means “yoking”, “union”. Coming together.

In the practice of yoga, we bring together strength, flexibility, balance, and breath to move our body through different physical poses.

You might be wondering “what does yoga have to do with nonprofit communications?”

Well — more than you might think:
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