Jan Masaoka, former long-time Executive Director of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, started her next big thing by launching Blue Avocado this morning.  The online magazine for people involved with nonprofits is described by Jan in a message she sent to some of us bloggers:

Blue Avocado is a new online magazine–half magazine, half blog, half website–for people working and volunteering in nonprofits.  On the 1st and 15th of every month an email newsletter will be sent to subscribers, and the newsletter is replicated on the website. At the site, however, people can comment on articles, and see archives of all previous issues.  The newsletter I’ve been writing for 10 years–the Board Café (for nonprofit board members)–has expanded its scope and upgraded its technology to Blue Avocado.  Blue Avocado will be free to subscribe and free to register (in order to post comments), and will ask for public television-like member support.

Some insider info you won’t find on the site:

  • We’re launching with 57,000 opt-in subscribers, and the first issue will be delivered 10,000 at a time over a period of six days.
  • One of our upcoming features is "Worth Reading and Why," which is where we’ll be able to promote items from your blogs or the blogs themselves. We expect to start this feature with the third issue (May 15).
  • Blue Avocado will implicitly (rather than be lecturing) promote the racial, ethnic, age and sexual orientation diversity of the sector and a belief in cultural pluralism.
  • Just as actors have "sub-texts" that are the backstory for a character, Blue Avocado has a sub-text of building the movement of community organizations for community good and social change. Community organizations are criticized by everyone these days: consultants tell them they’re doing everything wrong; government tells them they’re too small or mismanaged; donors tell them there are too many nonprofits, and foundations tell them their logic models aren’t good enough. This very large group of organizations and people–the overwhelming majority of the nonprofit sector–are actually the ones doing most of the work and coming up with the most innovative ideas and energy.  But too often they’ve gotten infected with the self esteem crisis and victim mentality that is constantly being pushed on us.

There’s a lot to like about this new site.  On my first visit, I enjoyed reading the following articles:

  • Reasons to have – and reasons not to have – an attorney on the board
  • Abolish board committees?
  • Five Ways to Let Government Money Run You Over
  • What Should We Do About an Employee’s Outrageous Blog?
  • Promises, Promises:  Rural Advocates vs. Big Philanthropy