Praise and Handclapping for Unicorns Unite
At a time when writing a journal entry for work seemed about as appealing as doing my taxes, I came across a book that I had ordered in 2018. Unicorns Unite had been sitting on my office bookshelf, among various books on nonprofit effectiveness, philanthropy, social enterprise, and nontraditional legal careers. I had intended to read it as soon as it was delivered, but between trips to the Eastern Sierra and Oregon, hosting my parents, taking care of my toddler, and running my law practice, I hadn’t even cracked open the book until recently. From the moment I started reading, I was whisked into a humorous, creative, and open-minded space where I could explore how things currently are in the nonprofit sector and how things could be. Authors Jessamyn Shams-Lau, Jane Leu, and Vu Le have written an excellent book that is both lighthearted and serious. The book defines “unicorn” as “a persistent, visionary, and dedicated nonprofit or foundation professional who shines with brilliance and practices humility”. It is to this audience of unicorns that the book calls to action, providing charts, exercises, and methods for fixing the relationship between foundations (funders) and nonprofits (grantseekers and doers). I highly recommend it to anyone in the nonprofit sector. The full title of the book is Unicorns Unite: How Nonprofits & Foundations Can Build Epic Partnerships.