The Nonprofiteer would not be so taken with the following story were she not a formerly voracious reader of Harlequin romances and, in fact, the author of a romance novel rejected by Harlequin for having too much plot. (She even visited Harlequin headquarters in Stratford, Ontario, on her long-ago honeymoon, while pretending to be up there for the Shakespeare Festival.) The company’s More Than Words award “recognizes and rewards women making extraordinary contributions to their community. The story continues when the winning recipients are paired up with Harlequin authors and the recipients’ journeys become the inspiration for three fictional short stories.”
Is that phenomenal, or what? Who wouldn’t want to be a Harlequin heroine, her daily drudgery turned into purple prose? It’s not clear whether the short stories based on the selected heroines will include imaginary jut-jawed lovers, but one can always hope.
In any case, each heroine will receive $15,000 for her organization, while the story about her (and it) will be available for free download. The Nonprofiteer has written many a communications plan but none featuring anything so attention-grabbing as a romantic short story based on the agency’s work.
Bravo to this year’s winners—Mindy Atwood of Hilliard, Ohio, who runs Patches of Light, a nonprofit organization where anonymous angels pay the rent for parents of desperately ill children; Helen McGovern of Tacoma, Washington, who oversees Emergency Food Network, which distributes food to 67 food banks, meal sites and shelters, including those with health restrictions; and Sally Spencer of Sunderland, Ontario, who manages Youth Assisting Youth, a mentoring program that rescues at-risk children—and to Harlequin for this apt exercise in corporate generosity.