CEO Message: Happy January re-entry!
I hope everyone had the kind of holiday break they wanted – but for those of you who got a bad cold over the break, are now somewhat regretfully practicing Veganuary or Dryuary, or have spent even 20 minutes looking at national news over the last three weeks, I offer you a big, voluntary, nonprofit hug. Here we go, 2020!
Speaking of big hugs, as 2019 and the decade (!) came to a close, my email inbox was like a big virtual hug from nonprofits as year-end appeal after year-end appeal rolled in. In each email was evidence of the good work of nonprofits, nonprofit storytelling at its finest, and, in many, evidence of the power of #NonprofitAlliance.
For example, I was very moved by the year-end newsletter from the African American Community Service Agency that highlighted its collaboration with First 5 to give away 100 books at a family-friendly party featuring face painting and a black Santa. I wasn’t there in-person, but that’s probably for the best because I likely would have been a tear-stained mess after seeing all the happy little kids!
Also at the end of 2019, our team did an initial analysis of results from our nonprofit survey and presented the preliminary findings to our member nonprofits at our annual meeting and holiday party. The team is now using those survey results to formulate our 2020 policy and learning program priorities to present to SVCN’s Leadership Team and Board. Some of the preliminary findings include:
Policy advocacy is the highest rated SVCN resource;
Hiring pipeline, retention, and displacement are among nonprofits’ biggest organizational challenges;
Nonprofits are working on race equity, diversity, and inclusion, but many haven’t made significant progress;
Nonprofits continue to prioritize SVCN’s advocacy work on public funding;
Housing is by far the number one community issue that nonprofits want SVCN to prioritize; and
There are significant differences in the learning and support that middle managers and non-managerial staff want and need than CEOs.
Look for a full report of the survey results at the end of January!
We’re already activating what we heard from you in the nonprofit survey – and making a big move in support of affordable housing. Over the break, SVCN’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to endorse the City of San Jose’s real estate transfer tax (Measure E), which will appear on the March 3 ballot. Measure E has the potential to make critical investments in affordable housing and tenant protections for San José residents, benefiting both nonprofits and the communities we serve. Please join us at the campaign kickoff this Saturday, January 11, at 11am, and email Wendy Ho if you or your organization are interested in helping with the campaign. We hope you are!
Speaking of activating, we have just set the date for Activate Your Impact – SVCN’s must-attend nonprofit policy summit. On March 20, join other leaders in our nonprofit community along with compelling speakers and government and philanthropy allies for a full day of inspiration and discovery! We've taken our popular summit focused on health and housing, and pumped it up to include new topics, new research, new strategies, and new insights. Designed for those who challenge the status quo, #AYI20 will equip over 200 nonprofit advocates in their work to fight for equity and thriving communities.
We invite submissions from presenters! Submit proposals ASAP.
Early registration – and a big discount – go LIVE on Wednesday, January 15, so WATCH THIS SPACE!
Looking back at the whirlwind of change, learning, coffee, experimentation, and more coffee that was 2019, I have an overwhelming feeling of gratefulness for the support and patience of the nonprofit community, SVCN’s Board of Directors and Leadership Team, and, most of all, my colleagues, as I lean into the role of SVCN’s CEO.