“Green Eggs and Strategic Plans” and other nonprofit children’s books


teddy-bear-792191_640Hi everyone, I am happy to announce that my wife and I are expecting another baby, due in March. I know, you’d think we would have learned our lesson the first time. I am excited and, honestly, a little terrified. Having a newborn and a toddler at the same time, that must be as challenging as, I don’t know, planning two annual fundraising events simultaneously.

Anyway, in honor of this soon-to-arrive baby, I wrote more children’s books about nonprofits. I want to build up a nice collection of books about nonprofits, so I can read them to the kids so they can understand what Daddy does and why one of his eyes twitches so much. And maybe they might start thinking early about pursuing careers in our sector. I mean, I’m not going to pressure them or anything, but a little encouragement can’t hurt.

Here are the texts for some books below. Meanwhile, if you haven’t read them, check out “If You Give a Board Treasurer a Cookie and Other Nonprofit Children’s Books” and “Where the Sustainable Things Are and Other Nonprofit Children’s Books.”

Good night, special event

In the great banquet hall
There was a stage
And bottles of wine
And some party favors
And some signs.
There were drink concoctions,
and items from the silent auction
And two registration tables
And an extension cable
And bowls of tickets for the raffle
And three drunk guests who seem baffled
And laptop and screen and credit card machine
And a quiet janitor who was starting to clean
Goodnight hall
Goodnight wine
Goodnight party favors
Goodnight signs
Goodnight stage
Goodnight drink concoctions
And goodnight items in the silent auction
Goodnight tables
Goodnight cables
Goodnight laptop
And good night screen
And good night credit card machine.
Good night raffle
Good night raise-the paddle
And goodnight drunk guests slightly baffled
Goodnight janitor
Goodnight fears
Goodnight night terrors till next year


I am an Operations Bunny

I am an operations bunny. My name is Nicholas. I live in an office.bunny-154508_640

In the spring, I like to pick vendors.
I chase consultants and contractors, and they chase me.

In the summer, I like to sit at my desk and organize HR files.
And I like to watch to make sure all IT systems are working.

When it rains, I keep us dry under an umbrella insurance policy
I work with the team to develop strategy for growth.

In the fall, I like to watch for potential legal noncompliance.
I supervise staff and help to create strong work plans

And, when winter comes, I watch the W2s arrive in the mail.
Then, I curl up in my office and dream about the next fiscal year.


Are you my board chair?

An Executive Director sat at a board meeting. “Uh oh!” said the ED, “board elections are almost here! I need to find a new board chair!”

She looked left. No one volunteered. She looked right. No one volunteered. “I will go find someone,” she said. So away she went.

She came to the board vice president. “Are you my new board chair?”

The vice president just looked and looked. He did not say a thing.

She came to the board secretary. “Are you my new board chair?”

“Not in a million years!” said the board secretary.

The board vice president was not her new board chair. The board secretary was not her new board chair. So the ED went on. “I have to find a new board chair. But where is this person? Who could they be?”

She came to the treasurer. “Are you my new board chair?”

“Oh hell no!”

The board vice president and secretary were not her board chair. The treasurer was not her new board chair. Can she find a new board chair?

“I will find a new board chair,” she said, “I have to find one. I will, I WILL!”

Then she saw a particularly engaged major donor. She called out to him. But the major donor did not respond.

“Why is this so difficult?! I just want my board chair!”

Then something happened. The chair of the development committee dropped by. “Are you my new board chair?” asked the ED.

“Well, let me think about it. I’m not even on the board.”

“OMG, please, please!”

“OK, fine. I’ll join the board and be your new board chair.”


Greens eggs and strategic plans

I am Ed. I am Ed. Ed-I-Am.

That Ed-I-Am! That Ed-I-Am! I do not like that Ed-I-Am!

Do you like strategic plans?

I do not like them, Ed-I-Am!
I do not like strategic plans!

Would you like one this fiscal year?

I would not like one this fiscal year!
I do not like them, get out of here!
I do not like strategic plans.
I do not like them, Ed-I-Am.

Would you read one with some hummus?
Would you read one with a stone of pumice?

I do not like them with some hummus.
I do not like them with a pumice.
I do not like them this fiscal year.
I do not like them, get out of here!
I do not like strategic plans.
I do not like them, Ed-I-Am.

Would you read one by yourself?
Or would you read one with an elf?

Not by myself. Not with an elf.
Not with some hummus. Not with a pumice.
I would not read a strategic plan.
I do not like them, Ed-I-Am.

Would you? Could you? In the morn?
Read a plan with a unicorn?

I would not, could not, in the morn,
Read one with a unicorn.
I will not read one by myself.
I will not read one with an elf.
Not with some hummus.
Not with a stone made of pumice.
I do not like strategic plans.
I do not like them, Ed-I-Am.

You do not like them. So you say.
Read one! Read one! And you may!
Read one and you may, I say.

Ed! If you let me be,
I will read one, you will see.

Say! I like strategic plans!
I do! I like them, Ed-I-Am.
And I would read one in the morn.
And I would read one with a unicorn.
And I would read one with some hummus.
And I would read them with a pumice.
And I would read one, have no fear!
I will read one this fiscal year!
I do so like strategic plans!
Thank you! Thank you, Ed-I-am!
And now I have read one by myself.
I’m putting it right back on the shelf.

If you like these stories, check out “If You Give a Treasurer a Cookie and other nonprofit children’s books” and “Where the Sustainable Things Are and other nonprofit children’s books

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  • Paul Konigstein

    Jason, the challenge posed by children is a geometric progression. Two children are four times more challenging than one child. Three children are nine times more challenging than one child, and so on. I advise you to stop at two as my wife and I did. Also, you must read to them Good Night iPad.

  • Amanda Kepner

    My oldest son will turn two next month and my baby is 11 weeks old. As a fellow nonprofit unicorn with an infant and a toddler you will need to know two things:

    1…COFFEE (no seriously, you thought you lived off coffee before??)
    2…Crying never killed anyone (this goes for the children and the parents)

    At least you have beautiful NPO children’s tales to lull them into sweet, blissful unconsciousness. “I am an Operations Bunny” particularly warmed my heart.

  • Elizabeth Woolfe

    Best one ever!!! Thanks for the laughs. And congrats.

  • Ah, just great! I especially like “Good Night, Special Event.”
    Best of luck and congratulations, Vu, on the new baby!

  • Karen Staley

    Congratulations!! And thank you for the trip down memory lane. If only I had these when my 12 year old was a little one. I wonder if I can convince him to curl up in my lap while I recite them! 😉

  • bill holston

    Congratulations! Well done. I’m in the midst of a Strategic Plan and will send this to our consultants.

  • ranavain

    I love Operations Bunny! I’m putting it up on my “HR stuff that reminds me that I don’t hate my job” section of the wall.

  • Nikki Ringenberg

    My boys are 11 months and 3.5 years. It’s exhausting and wonderful. Ditto what Amanda said – COFFEE and if they’re crying, they’re breathing (that’s more applicable to newborns when parents just need a snack or shower, but…). My oldest knows what all the animals say in brown bear…because I refused to read it “again again!” after the 11,545th time. We’re about to start teaching little brother.

  • Ann Tydeman-Solomon

    Congrats & thanks for the Monday am laugh. I did the 2 kid / non-profit dance also. Mine are grown (and remarkably well adjusted, all things considered). One even wrote a very good “Save the Oompa Loompas” appeal letter for a school assignment. My 2 cents is that you will look back and treasure every crazy, cranky, crying moment!

  • mbutown

    I would like 15 copies of “Are You My Board Chair?” and one of “Goodnight Special Event” gift wrapped please. Do you have PayPal? These are all quite funny!

  • Stacy Klingler

    Thank you for this bundle of joy! Especially for Are You My Board Chair. I hope you enjoy writing these as much as we enjoy reading them.

  • Patty Shreve

    Congratulations on the new family member! And Yea for operations bunnies!

  • ellen

    This is adorable! Congratulations! We have a toddler and are hoping for a second baby in the nearish future. I agree, what are we thinking!? Still, this is amazing. Thanks for the great reads.

  • S NV Nonprofit Info Ctr

    You really do need to warn us to put down the coffee cup before reading these posts. I just wasted a perfectly good fresh cup of triple fair trade and organic coffee (with organic French vanilla soy creamer) on the computer monitor and keyboard. 🙂

    Here’s my contribution to the parenting advice:
    Train the oldest to respect, observe and follow this rule: There are three, and ONLY three reasons to wake Mommy or Daddy up in the middle of the night: 1) blood 2) fire and 3) projectile vomiting. All other bodily fluids and scary monsters can wait until the sun comes up.

  • Mark

    Congratulations on the pending arrival, here’s hoping number two is easier than number one! Loved the Green Eggs story, not sure why you are trying to get your kids into the sector, I want mine to have a real job 😉

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    Under Operations Bunny you need a line “I watch Development Directors cry because no one will fund my position.”

  • Susan Detwiler

    Vu, how may I reach you privately. I’d love use one or 2 of these as guest posts on my blog. Thanks! These are awesome! Particularly partial to ‘are you my board chair’ and “ed-I-am”! Susan

  • Brilliant. Just brilliant.

    And huge congratulations, Vu! How exciting!

    You’ll likely be more relaxed this time. Just twice as tired. (Sorry!)

  • Grant

    Vu – hilarious! I laughed out loud many times. All stories are so true. Congratulations to you and your wife. My wife and I had our second child (our first was almost eight at the time) two days after I began my new role within my organization as e.d. Not a good idea but we all survived, barely. I’m happily not an e.d. anymore (kudos to everyone who is!) and our daughter is 13. How did that happen?