Ep 70: Unicorns, Superheroes and Nonprofit Leaders (With Vu Le)

nonprofits are messyIt’s a bird, it’s a plane… no, it’s a nonprofit leader. Today’s guest, Vu Le, writer, speaker, and the Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps says that besides being known as a wildly good looking bunch of people, nonprofit leaders are incredibly creative, smart and talented.

This episode both celebrates nonprofit leaders as the champions they are and offers tips on fueling the fire that mobilizes disparate groups of people to take action.

The work you do matters more than you know and more than anyone will ever tell you.

About Vu Le

Vu Le (“voo lay”) is a writer, speaker, vegan, Pisces, and the Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps, a nonprofit in Seattle that promotes social justice by developing leaders of color, strengthening organizations led by communities of color, and fostering collaboration between diverse communities. 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 NonprofitAF.com, formerly nonprofitwithballs.com. 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.

Vu Le was the previous Executive Director at Vietnamese Friendship Association and the current Executive Director of Rainier Valley Corps, an exceptional organization based in Seattle, Washington focused on cultivating leaders of color and placing them in nonprofit organizations for the last four years and four months, and is also the writer behind Nonprofit With Balls blog in Seattle.

Founder of a private Facebook group (41,000 members) Nonprofit Happy Hour in which he works to bring confidence to a sector dominated by humble, compassionate who are seldom assertive. For executive directors, there’s ED Happy Hour, a monthly meetup in more than a dozen cities including New York, Portland, and Ontario.

Vu Le is a graduate of Washington University in Saint Louis graduating with a B.A. in Psychology and a Masters in Social Work (M.S.W), socio-economic development.

In this episode

  • What to do when social circumstances make your battle tougher?
  • When immediate action is needed, is it important to strategize first anyway?
  • The inherent dangers of intellectualizing and overthinking
  • How to create new spheres of influence
  • Does participation mean something different to millennials?
  • Do we spend too much time preaching to the converted?
  • How to reach across the aisle
  • What happens when an organization is too risk averse?