Author: Services in Action

How To Organize Notes

We receive information from many, many sources -books, articles, podcasts, newsletters, social media, mainstream media, and IRL (in real life), of course.

Not always, but hopefully frequently enough, we learn something interesting, insightful, helpful, or all of the above. But then what? What do you do when you finish a book, good enough for notes in the margin?

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Four Steps To Organizing Overwhelm

We’re on what seems to be day 756 of lock-down. Children have only had 34 days of in-person school this year. While I am languishing, I also feel like I’m running on the fasted treadmill of my life. Perhaps you are experiencing something similar?

Nonprofit professionals notoriously wear many hats. In times like this, it’s okay to just hop from one urgent task to another at first, but this is unsustainable for strong program management. What’s more, when you actually do have time to work, it’s hard to know where and how to start. Follow these four steps to get started:

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Is Your Website Working For You

One of the more surprising activities Services in Action has taken on is website development.

It’s surprising because it was never an area we actively pursued. However, in helping people organize a program, realize an idea, or communicate a mission, a website is an essential component. So evaluating and (re)designing websites became a natural part of our work.

Many times, our website work hasn’t even been for a nonprofit, but for someone on a tight budget. Here are a few examples of our recent work

If this email, has you thinking about your own website, or lack thereof, here are six questions to ask your website:

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Meaningful Mothers Day

This month’s Book Club read is Eloquent Rage by Brittany Cooper. It’s an incredibly thought-provoking look at Cooper’s experience growing up as a Black women in the US. The book focuses on the intersectionality of being both Black and a woman.

Cooper describes the very specific “mundane magic” it takes to be a Black mother “making a way out of no way.”  She argues “the unfair part is that folks are far more concerned with policing how Black women carry the baggage than with reducing the load hoisted upon us in the first place.”

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World Immunization Week

This week, April 24-30 we celebrate World Immunization Week.

In the past, this week has been used to get the message out about the importance of vaccines and immunization.

This year, there’s more to the story. We are in the middle of a vaccination effort that needs the whole world to participate. And that includes ensuring the whole world has access.

The worldwide pandemic is keeping us apart, and we cannot come together until we work together. This year’s theme is “Vaccines Bring us Closer”.

During this week, there is something very specific you can do to take action: Please find time to learn more about vaccines and immunizations.

To learn more about vaccinations and immunization, and the need for worldwide reach, visit https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-immunization-week/2021

A Guide to Being Gutsy

For March Services in Action’s Book Club learned about Gutsy Women. There are some stories that show an ordinary act having an extraordinary outcome. These are the most inspirational stories. Sure, in some occasions people had privilege, wealth, or position that ensured a seat at the table or access to someone who could catapult an idea, but in many cases, it was just one person’s decision to act, and ability to organize, and persistence. Here are a few examples:

Juliette Gordon Low heard about the Boy Scouts in the UK and started Girls Scouts in the US. This afterschool program turned into a generational life-long movement, with an alumni of 59 million US women.

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Supporting The Aged Family Uganda

We are turning our attention to The Aged Family Uganda, (www.tafu.org/) an NGO in Kampala, Uganda. TAFU provides support for elderly people at home and in hospital.

Elderly people in Uganda receive little attention. Yet their role, especially grandmothers, is an essential part of the growth and wellbeing of the country. As HIV/AIDs has left many children without parents, it is grandmothers who step in to the caregiving role. It is TAFU’s mission to care for elderly people, check in on them, and advocate for the them.

In the April 2020, little was known about the spread of COVID. When Nataria Namusisi, 82, in the Nakulabye Kimwany town in Luweero came down with the flu, her family was concerned how this would affect them. Right away, her granddaughter Rose was brought home from school to help care for Nataria. Rose’s mother informed a family member of the illness, this family member also happened to be the Chair of the COVID task force.

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Support for Nonprofits

Survey time!

The open ended, tell-us-what-you’re-thinking kind.

Much of the resources we create come from nonprofit professionals asking us for help. I love getting questions like “what is the best project management software?” or “I want to start a charity; how do I begin?” or “we need someone to take a second look at our website/fundraising plan/communication piece. Could you do that?”

If you can have one thing to make your job easier, either just for today or overall, what would it be? What do you need help with?

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International Women’s Day

Monday, March 8th is International Women’s Day. This is a day to celebrate the achievements of women and girls, as well as a day to raise awareness of the work that still needs to be done.

Years back, I was asked why I bothered recognizing this day because “women here have it pretty good.”

Since when is “pretty good” the point in which we stop? Since when do we settle with “pretty good”? “Pretty good” isn’t good enough for me and I’m not going to stop working for equality at pretty good.

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Top 5 Podcasts for Nonprofit Professionals

Over the past year as life has changed, many of us have responded by taking up new hobbies and routines. I for one, have discovered the incredible world of podcasts and audiobooks. Although I have always had a keen interest in listening to stories, this new hobby has really gained momentum. I listen all the time, mostly while doing other chores such as cooking. 

I listen to a lot of podcasts for nonprofit professionals and how to do good better. While not all podcasts are created equal, here is my list of top choices:

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