Your 10 Favorite Posts of 2016

by Joan Garry

Whatever you want to say about 2016, it sure wasn’t boring! Here are the 10 most popular posts I wrote in 2016. It’s a great list for any nonprofit leader..

Ah 2016.

Well, certainly nobody can accuse you of being boring.

As I do in December each year, I sat down and reviewed my blog statistics to see which posts resonated with you the most.

I am blown away at the piece that landed in #1 spot – I found your receptivity to this post quite inspiring.

As for the other nine, you’ll see a diversity of topics represented and worth reading (or re-reading) as you take at least a short break between the end of one year and the start of another (she says hopefully.)

I’d like to make one last suggestion before I head out to enjoy the holidays with my family.

If you are a board chair, would you take a few minutes to write an email to the entire staff on behalf of the board? Wish them a happy holiday, tell them how much respect you have for them and how proud you are to lead the board of your remarkable organization. Maybe point out one accomplishment that really stood out for you. And say thank you.

If you are a staff leader, I’d love to see you take a few minutes with your senior team (if you have staff and maybe lead volunteers if you don’t) and kick around what each of you saw as the most significant accomplishments of the past twelve months. One of you should jot them all down. I guarantee each of you will have something different to say and will inspire each other.

And then take a few more minutes and write a note to your staff. Thank them for their passion, their energy and their determination. Ask them to thank their families on your behalf for putting up with moms, dads, kids, partners who live and breathe their work much of the time. And then offer them your list of accomplishments. Suggest they read them again on New Year’s Eve and that you intend to do the same.

It will remind you all of what often gets lost. That your work is a joy and a privilege.

Wishing you all a warm and wonderful holiday and a 2017 that exceeds every expectation.

And now, here are your favorite posts from 2016.

Drumroll please…

#10: Nonprofits Are Messy, The Podcast

This year, I launched a brand new podcast series and it has become one of the most popular nonprofit podcasts on iTunes! This post includes a link to all of the episodes to date. If you haven’t yet listened, give one a go.

#9: It’s Time For a Nonprofit Reality TV Show

Besides the podcast, this show, which is on NBC(!!!), was my other big news of 2016. That said, while I am actually on the show, this post isn’t really about me. It’s about a show about philanthropy that is educational and uplifting. Hope you’ll have a read and then tune in.

#8: Why Everyone Should Join a Nonprofit Board

I meet so many people who would add such value to an organization if they considered board service. They can usually articulate pretty clearly why they shouldn’t raise their hands; I thought it might be worthwhile to offer a list of the benefits.

#7: How to Deal With Difficult People

10 simple strategies that range from custom dartboards to a reminder that often people are difficult because they care. You’ll find some helpful ideas, a dose of perspective and a dash of humor.

#6: 3 Ways to Raise More Money Online

Here are three terrific and simple strategies to help you increase online donations; the brainchild of my digital marketing partner. Simple, no cost and lots of upside.


#5: What Really Matters

This one was very personal. I wrote this piece over coffee the morning after the election. And the morning after a surgery that ultimately took my mom from us a week later. It’s a piece about perspective. And a piece about the place nonprofits hold in our society.

#4: The 14 Attributes of a Thriving Nonprofit

I love that this made the top 10. You are hungry to be the very best, to do what you can to maximize the scope and impact of your work AND proudly tell your donors how their money was invested.

#3: Is it OK for Nonprofit Leaders to Make Big Salaries?

This piece was a bit controversial. Speaking to both board and staff leaders, I took a look at compensation through a slightly different lens.

#2: Why Nonprofits Never Have Enough Money

At its core it’s about thinking from a place of abundance, not scarcity. It’s about engaging your board in the budget process so they can really touch and feel what you could do with more resources and in so doing, call them to action.

And the number one most popular Joan Garry blog post of 2016 is…

#1: 10 Books Every Nonprofit Leader Should Read

This year’s #1 taught me that nonprofit leaders are voracious readers. Don’t miss the comments – may be even better than MY list.

1 thought on “Your 10 Favorite Posts of 2016”

  1. Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change
    Great book especially for trainers, and leadership development staff, but really any leader.
    Has made huge impact in how I present material and “techniques/skills”.

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