Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In Palm Springs....Hanging with My Nonprofit Nerd Friends

I made it to Palm Springs through a crazy plane experience where I was running through airports and sliding under closing plane doors. But I made it. The taxi driver who got me from the the airport to the hotel I think was crazy. I am not kidding, crazy. She read every billboard and store sign coming here and then thought I was a prophet because I read them with her. No kidding.

Now I am proud to say that I have been to Palm Springs 4 times and never on vacation. I have not swung one golf club in these parts, which the grass is thankful for I am sure. 3 conferences and then I stepped in for Colin Powell to speak at a youth rally. Met Gerald Ford and was on TV. I was a complete dud at the youth rally as 3000 youth in the crowd wondered who the weird looking guy is yelling "You Can Do It" and "Follow Your Dreams". I am sure there is a now young adult looking for me to say that I am the reason he is a billionaire and he wants to give me money. Or one looking to throw things at me.

I am pumped to be here. Not because I have spent several months on two Alliance committees planning certain things and now can rejoin my family soon (if they haven't moved out). I am glad to be here for a variety of reasons but the biggest is that for a couple days I will not have to do a couple things. In the outside world, as many who are attending this conference, we are probably regarded as an expert in some discipline of the nonprofit world. In this world, we speak to and are among many different types of people. Once they learn of who we are, the common questions we may get are many, but probably the same is many respects. Here are the questions we most likely get (as interpreted in my head):
  • "Oh, your into nonprofits. Can you help me raise money for the worst idea ever!"
  • "Oh, I serve on a board. Is there anyway I can take over everything and kill the others?"
  • "My nonprofit has like 2 days to live....can you help me?"
  • "Let me tell you what we do....(200 hours later...)...."let me now tell you about our programs...."
This week I get to retreat to my nonprofit "nerd-dom" with fellow nonprofit nerds and just be. Share some war stories and steal some ideas. Look forward to it. If only we had a nerd-ish Nonprofit Olympics like in the Revenge of the Nerds movie. Anyone for a Board Governance decathalon......


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