During summer, it feels like time stops for just a moment. The longer days, the warm breezes and sweet fragrances in the air allow time to slow down for reflection. You can sit by a beach or lake and just gaze into the water, being present and enjoying the ease of summer. My favorite place to reflect is a Ferris wheel, which is a perfect ride for the summer. The term comes from inventor George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., who constructed the first one for Chicago’s World Expo in 1893. In the official paperwork, it was called an “observation wheel.” It is so much fun to go up and look down at the world – to observe the people, the buildings and the motion below. It is a perfect place to just observe, be present and reflect.

As we officially enter the summer months, we hope you have time to take in the sights and sounds of summer and catch up on your reading and reflections. To that end, we want to share our Social TrendSpotters’ favorite posts on hot nonprofit trends.

Hottest Topic:

Tie between Strategic Planning & Resilience

Many nonprofits are using the summer to conduct long-term planning. Whether you start fresh with a strategic plan or do a “refresh,” this exercise accomplishes two important summer goals in one: 1) it brings people together to bond and builds a sense of belonging (see our blog on retreats); and 2) it creates a collective shared vision, which helps build organizational resilience to navigate the inevitable twists and turns ahead. These curated posts will equip you with the essential steps to move forward. We like to remind our clients that strategic planning is a break from the norm. Like the difference between a game of checkers and chess, strategic planning requires us to think beyond daily tasks and look toward the bigger picture that will secure the win for our organization and clients.

Most Popular Blog Post:

With corporate social responsibility on the rise (90% of Fortune 500 companies have a CSR report now), there are more opportunities for the social sector to join forces with for-profit companies to build an army of support for the cause. Based on the popularity of this post, we plan to delve deeper into this topic later this year – send your questions and we will cover them in upcoming blogs.

Most Popular Guest Blog Post:

Are you worried about the economic downturn and its consequences to your social sector organization? You are not alone. This blog post – by fan favorite John Gillespie – discusses the new phrase, “polycrisis,” and shares a Top 5 list for nonprofits on what every nonprofit should be considering this summer to effectively manage risk.

Best Blog Post for Your Summer Beach Reading:

Are you coming back from vacation worried that your organization will fall into old traps? This blog shares some of our CEO’s favorite low-cost tips and tricks to balance burnout and promote greater belonging at your nonprofit.

Most Likely to Succeed – #WayBackWeekend Blog Post:

Are you ready for a tune-up? Our favorite tool for organizations is a self-assessment based on lifecycle stage of your nonprofit. Use it as a group exercise and have everyone individually rate the organization on each row and then share their ratings. It makes a great tool for discussion, reflection and action planning.

Favorite TrendSpotter: 

Dr. Nicola Paugh is the leader of Bermuda’s top nonprofit capacity builder. Suzanne just got back from joining Nicola’s amazing board and staff in deep strategic planning. She is not only knowledgeable about the nonprofit space, but also expertly brings the best thinking to Bermuda. We are so proud to work with her and love our cross-pollination efforts.

Favorite Quote: 

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

~ Babe Ruth

Do you have a retreat coming up and want to use it to build a cohesive team? If so, this is a MUST READ.

Favorite Quote Pic:

Check out one of “Most Fun” blogs of 2023 – What Nike Can Teach Us About Nonprofit Values, Change Management and Trends.

Top Tweet:

#Nonprofit #failure leads to – Nonprofit #resilience leads to – Nonprofit #SUCCESS! Discover how embracing social sector failure can propel your #socent forward in our latest blog #motivation #fail #mindset #goals #nevergiveup #learn #grow #pivot

Most Talked About Video:

We loved partnering with TACA on this webinar – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Succession Planning & Executive Transitions – based on our lessons learned from navigating succession for more than a dozen nonprofits in the past three years. Check it out, along with our other webinars.

Favorite Reader Comment:

We are grateful for all our readers! Jane Baxter Lynn loved this piece on How to Review Nonprofit CEO Performance:

“This is so well presented, Suzanne. Glad to see that you encourage a board assessment too, as so often the CEO/ED carries the can for everything, when in fact it is lack of board engagement and governance that is involved, too. I have shared the article with my nonprofit alumni group. Thanks. Jane”

It is our privilege to deliver elevated and uplifting content to your inbox every Thursday that helps you delve deeper into the hottest topics in the social sector. If you like our work, let us know and help us spread the word by forwarding this newsletter to your colleagues and follow us on social media. We curate trends just for you every day on FacebookLinkedInTwitter and Instagram and post a lot of great videos on Vimeo and YouTube. We also hope you take some time to enjoy the ease of summer and recharge for the remainder of the year.


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