Susan Hay Patrick

Commentary - July 22nd, 2014
11:38 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Kids Count – And They Need Our Help

It’s summer in Montana – that means so much to celebrate about living in beautiful Big Sky country:  our lakes and rivers, mountains and trails; glorious national parks, a festival a week to enjoy.  Montana is a great place to live.  So I feel almost guilty in dropping a wet-blanket fact:  Montana is a great place to live, depending on who you are.

Read more
Commentary - June 24th, 2014
3:22 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Lessons from Cambodia

I recently returned from a trip to Cambodia through an economic empowerment program hosted by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at The University of Montana.   Congress created this international exchange in 1961, the same year the Berlin Wall was built.  The Cold War was entering the deep freeze and the Vietnam conflict was ramping up.  Montana’s great statesman Mike Mansfield hoped that an economic and cultural exchange program would build bridges between the U.S. and Southeast Asia.

Read more
Commentary - May 27th, 2014
11:07 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Five-Minute Commencement Speech

 

 

This is the time of year for commencement speeches.  You know, that onerous tradition of making graduates suffer through a speech before handing them their diplomas. 

Few commencement speeches are memorable – my high-school one was, because the speaker was the actress Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch in “The Wizard of Oz.”  Nobody really listened to the speech; we were all just waiting for her to say, “I’ll get you, my pretty” – which, of course, she did. 

Read more
Commentary - April 29th, 2014
9:49 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Montana Nonprofits: The Economic Engines That Could

Montana Nonprofits:  The Economic Engines That Could

The other day, I ran into an old friend at the grocery store.  “Are you still with United Way?” she asked.  “Yes,” I said.  “And is that what you do full-time?” she continued.  I gave her the only answer that came to mind:  “I’m trying to get it down to full time,” I said.

Read more
Commentary - April 1st, 2014
9:23 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Collaboration

Recently, I was asked to speak about collaboration in the nonprofit world:  what it is, why it’s important; what makes it work and what makes it fail.  That got me thinking. 

As a start, I looked up “collaboration” in the dictionary.  Its two definitions amused me.  Collaboration is first defined as “the act of working together with one or more people in order to achieve something”; and second, as “the betrayal of others by working with an enemy, especially an occupying force.”

Read more
Commentary
9:43 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Your Nonprofit Wants You to Hear This

Your Nonprofit Wants You to Hear This

Hey, nonprofit board members, listen up.  Your nonprofit organization has asked me to talk to you.  Yes, you.  I mean, I ASSUME your nonprofit wants me to talk to you.  Otherwise, why would the CEOs of so many nonprofit organizations, from A to Z – from arts organizations to zoos – talk to me ABOUT you?  They MUST want me to talk TO you.

Read more
Commentary - February 4th, 2014
10:07 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Community Progress Brightens Gloomy February

One of my favorite cartoons shows two schoolboys in a blinding snowstorm.   It’s dark out; they’re bundled up and hunched against the wind; clearly, they’re miserable.  One boy looks at the other and says, “I can see why they made February the shortest month.”

That line resonates with me during these grey days and cold nights, especially when I often work on some pretty bleak subjects:  kids dropping out of school, homelessness, childhood obesity, hunger.  But bright spots of recent progress in those areas promise to make THIS February a lot less gloomy.

Read more
Commentary - January 24th, 2014
12:37 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Let’s Put an End to the Overhead Myth

Nonprofit leaders joke that Missoula has five seasons:  winter, spring, summer, fall – and fundraising.  We’re in the thick of that season now at United Way of Missoula County.

We’re not alone.  All over Missoula, banquets are being planned and grant proposals submitted.  And donors – faced with a plethora of worthy causes – do their best to figure out which charities are most deserving.

Read more