Ep 4: Nonprofits Are Messy AND Funny: My Interview with Vu Le [PODCAST]

nonprofits are messyHis blog is called Nonprofit With Balls. How can you not laugh?

Nonprofits can feel deadly serious. And why not? They’re trying to change the world.

So thank goodness for this week’s guest, Vu Le, who helps inject some levity into our work.

I had the privilege to interview Vu about his extremely successful and popular blog, Nonprofit With Balls, where he provides both humor and thought provoking questions about the fundamental nature of nonprofits. But Vu also has another side to him as the Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps, an exceptional organization based in Seattle, Washington focused on cultivating leaders of color and placing them in nonprofit organizations.

We discussed some of the big issues facing nonprofits today: how to overcome the dismally low number of people of color leading nonprofits and sitting on boards, how to increasing diversity in hiring, and why nonprofit leaders must stand up for themselves.

I think you will very much enjoy Vu’s candid take on the sector and learn important ways you can make your organization more diverse and effective. I am thankful for both Vu’s humor and his groundbreaking work.

IN THIS EPISODE

  • Why Vu started his Nonprofit With Balls (and how he chose the name)
  • The importance of humor in the nonprofit sector
  • When to say yes and when to say no
  • Rants on restricting funding, the “overhead myth”, magical thinking, performance evaluations, and poor hiring practices
  • Why nonprofit leaders must also be good writers
  • How to tackle the lack of diversity at nonprofits; both the staff and board
  • A plea to fund nonprofit leadership development
  • The successful model Rainier Valley Corps uses to attract people of color to the nonprofit sector
  • When it’s time for an Executive Director to leave the job

EPISODE NOTES

Joan Garry
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Joan Garry

Widely known as the "Dear Abby" of nonprofit leadership, Joan works with board and staff as a strategic advisor, crisis manager, change agent and strategic planner. Joan also teaches at the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on nonprofit communications and leadership.
Joan Garry
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  • Thanks for having me on, Joan. I don’t remember what I said, since it creeps me out to hear my own voice. Something about tequila…

    • I remember EVERYTHING you said – I hung on your every word as will listeners :). And the tequila reference was about the secret ingredient to your hilarious blog posts …