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The NANOE Gathering – 7 Big Ideas About Your Nonprofit Career


Kris Putnam-Walkerly (PRNewsfoto/Putnam Consulting Group)

The NANOE Gathering will commence on March 26 & 27, 2019, hosting nonprofit leaders from across the nation in Charleston, SC. This is not just another convention (or conference). This is a gathering of like-minded professionals that will transform the charitable sector for decades.


Here’s the bottom line: the nonprofit sector is a treasure unique to the western world. We hold this treasure dearly and tenderly in our hands. If we aren’t careful, we will lose this treasure. If we avoid being the leaders we are called to be and if we refuse to change our current practices, the nonprofit sector will fall into darkness.

NANOE is about change not for the sake of change, but because those in power in the nonprofit world are leading the sector to destruction. If we remain quiet, if we follow their rules, if we allow them to continue to promulgate methods that don’t work, the treasure of the nonprofit industry will be squandered.

NANOE GATHERING Louis FawcettWe are stewards of that which has been entrusted to us. You and I, as leaders in the nonprofit industry, are keepers of the treasure. We are those who use this treasure for good, for impact, and for shining light in the darkness of the human condition.

As I consider the state of the nonprofit sector, I’m reminded of J.R.R. Tolkein’s the Lord of the Rings. Gandalf the wizard gathered a small group of leaders at Rivendell from each of the races of middle earth: humans, elves, dwarves and hobbits. Each of these leaders had gifts and talents which, when combined, allowed them to achieve great things. The most unlikely of the contributors were the hobbits who, at first glance, seemed unremarkable. Yet, the hobbits proved to be those who saved the world from evil.

We gather in Charleston in much the same way Gandalf gathered his friends at Rivendell. We know there are dark clouds on the horizon and we must act now to prevent darkness from falling over the land of the nonprofit sector. Each of us have gifts and talents to contribute to this effort. Each of us may seem unremarkable and yet we possess the ability to save the nonprofit sector from darkness.

You may ask: what is this darkness? It is the darkness of the poverty mindset of nonprofits that work hard today to pay for yesterday’s bills. It is the darkness of a set of oppressive codes and ethics handed down to us from elites. It is the darkness of inexperienced boards which, while weak, attempt to wield power over you and your co-workers. It is the darkness of nonprofit leaders who are burned out, tired, frustrated and considering changing careers. It is the darkness of low pay, long hours and high employee turnover. It is the darkness of closing local nonprofits and turning their missions over to the government or top-heavy national organizations. It is the darkness of continuing to do things the same way while hoping for different results. It is the darkness of a key sector of our society that is BROKEN FOR GOOD.

The NANOE Gathering will shine light into the darkness. Here are seven reasons you should join us:

1. Raise more money for your nonprofit. NANOE Charleston is not about theory, it’s about learning real, nuts and bolts methods for infusing your nonprofit with more money than ever before. Why kill yourself to make $20,000 at the silent auction when you could be talking to millionaires who will write you six and seven figure checks?

2. Make more money than you do now. You are not being paid what you are worth. Period. If you were applying your talents in the for profit world, your pay would be twice what it is now. At NANOE Charleston you will meet leaders who understand the value of your hard work and who advocate for robust compensation packages for nonprofit employees.

3. Eliminate things that waste your time. Why are you spending hundreds of hours on staff meetings, Board retreats, Board trainings, events, busywork reports, spreadsheets and newsletter articles? Hear from leaders who cut out what is wasteful to focus on growing impact.

4. Have more peace in your career. If you wonder how long you can continue working 50-60 hours per week just to try to keep the doors open, NANOE Charleston will inspire you and give you peace about your convictions to make significant changes to your nonprofit. This means fewer, higher quality, more productive hours at work and more, higher quality hours with your family.

5. Have fun at work again. What is more fun? Sitting at your desk recycling the same tired materials and looking at the same dreadful bank statements OR meeting with movers and shakers in your community who infuse energy and capital into everything they touch?

6. Reduce the size of your Board. Do you really think you can get 21 Board members to invest their time, talents, and treasure into your organization’s mission? What if your Board was comprised of only six of the right people who truly cared and supported your vision?

7. Be part of the solution. Do you want to complain about the nonprofit sector or do you want to be part of solving the problems we face? NANOE Charleston is about forging a bright new future for our sector with your leadership.

I’m looking forward meeting with leaders in Charleston who want to see change and bring light into the darkness. Join us in being beacons of light at The NANOE Gathering.


Louis Fawcett


The NANOE Gathering was written by Reverend Louis Fawcett, who holds a BA from Randolph-Macon College and two Master Degrees from Wake Forest University and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. He was privileged to Pastor three Lutheran congregations in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. His service to the charitable sector began with his work at Christian World Foundation where he raised support for orphans in China, Russia and Ethiopia. During the 2008 recession, Louis led a successful campaign to build a children’s home in Ethiopia. Following the 2010 earthquake, Louis transitioned to Haiti Children, a charity serving destitute families and children in that island nation. In 2013, Louis accepted the position of Senior Vice President of Principal Gifts at EdVenture Children’s Museum where he forged collaborations with under-resourced communities throughout South Carolina. He has served Central South Carolina Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) for seven years as both board member and president. He was honored in 2016 as AFP’s Outstanding Fundraising Professional.

National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives (NANOE) is a nationwide network of donors, volunteers and charitable leaders whose relentless commitment to significant and sustainable impact transforms the communities we serve. NANOE members are innovators who solve problems (not just service them) by deploying heroic missions of scale that confront social and environmental dilemmas so completely that money chases after their every need.

The NANOE Gathering was first distributed at NANOE News on January 20, 2019

The post The NANOE Gathering – 7 Big Ideas About Your Nonprofit Career appeared first on NANOE | Charity’s Official Website.

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1 Comment

  1. After going to Charleston, I am even more determined to start an active 501C3. You told us to call you if we had any questions so I’m reaching out. We are currently working on our website and would like to discuss with you some housekeeping ideas so this entity gets started on the right foot. I know your time is valuable so feel free to send me a bill. In the for-profit world that I have always been a part of, I find that you often get what you pay for.

    If this 501C3 gets set-up correctly, I think that you can also look forward to a trip out to Denver later this year. By the way, your article seems like you are advocating running the 501C3 more like I and my friends run a ‘for-profit’business.

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