Vu Le (“voo lay”) is a writer, speaker, vegan, Pisces, and the Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps, a nonprofit in Seattle with the mission of developing and supporting leaders of color to strengthen the capacity of communities-of-color-led nonprofits and foster collaboration between diverse communities to effect systemic change.
Vu’s passion to make the world better, combined with a low score on the Law School Admission Test, drove him into the field of nonprofit work, where he learned that we should take the work seriously, but not ourselves. There’s tons of humor in the nonprofit world, and someone needs to document it. He is going to do that, with the hope that one day, a TV producer will see how cool and interesting our field is and make a show about nonprofit work, featuring attractive actors attending strategic planning meetings and filing 990 tax forms.
Known for his no-BS approach, irreverent sense of humor, and love of unicorns, Vu has been featured in dozens, if not hundreds, of his own blog posts at nonprofitwithballs.com. He is also the humor columnist for the awesome nonprofit online magazine, Blue Avocado.
What’s with the name “Balls”?!
You may be thinking, “Why ‘Nonprofit with Balls’? Isn’t that sexist?! Why not ‘Nonprofit with Balls and Ovaries,’ you sexy sexist pig?!” The title comes from an experience he had, described here. Please read that entire post before writing him an angry email. Also, it refers to all the balls that we nonprofit professionals have to juggle: clients, board, staff, volunteers, funders, auditors, payrolls, budgets, cashflows, trainings, annual events, etc. We are all knee-deep in balls. We have balls coming at us from every direction. Sometimes we “drop the ball,” but no worries, since there is never a shortage of balls in this line of work.
When do new posts get published?
There’s a new post once a week on Monday, usually at 2 or 3am, except on holidays, in which case it may be delayed by a day or two. Quality of posts is directly and inversely related to how late he stays up watching Walking Dead or Game of Thrones.
Can I use/repost your stuff?
Absolutely. You can use/repost any of these posts, parts or whole. Just don’t change anything, except minor typos, because he HATES other people editing his work, which he has carefully crafted during commercial breaks of his favorite TV shows. And make sure you credit and link back to nonprofitwithballs.com.
Do you accept guest posts?
At this moment, no. Sorry, it would take time and energy to read submissions and curate others’ work. Vu has very little time, being an ED and a father and a writer, and little energy, being vegan, to do all that at this point. Plus, he doesn’t want to hurt people’s feelings by selecting some posts to publish and not others. This may change in the future.
What can I do to support Nonprofit with Balls?
If you like what you’re reading, please follow this blog by email (click the button on the top right of this page) and tell your friends about it. It’ll motivate Vu to write, since he can be really lazy. Every time there’s a new subscriber, he gets an extra push to write. Share posts you like. And comment once a while. He, like all other nonprofit humor bloggers, has very low self-esteem, so your comments and likes keep him writing. Once a while, email him and tell him how awesome the blog or a specific post is. He really appreciates the encouragement. Also, go “like” him on Facebook.com/nonprofitwithballs.
Also, donate to his nonprofit. That helps him freak out less about fundraising, which means he can better focus on writing.
In his free time, Vu watches way too much TV (Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad, 30Rock, The Golden Girls), spends time with his spouse and kids (a three-year-old and a newborn as of May 2016) during the commercial breaks, and makes fun of hipsters and their ridiculous asymmetrical hair, weather-inappropriate scarves, and skinny-jeans. If you need to contact him, make sure you read this post he wrote called “How to Schedule a Meeting without Being Punched in the Pancreas.”
Vu does keynotes, panels, and other speaking gigs and can talk about a variety of subjects: funding dynamics, cultural competency, self-care, unicorns, and what Game of Thrones can teach us about the nonprofit field. Read more info and contact his booking agent at NWBspeaking@gmail.com