The Nonprofit Congress is the most amazing convener of nonprofit managers to discuss sector wide topics and issues. They are listening to us, we have a say!
Our individual nonprofits are very important, however I would encourage us to look beyond our individual organizational needs and find ways that we can work together as sector.
I attended a Philanthropy conference a couple of weeks ago and the key note speaker spoke about the general public's perception of the nonprofit sector and unfortunately the news isn't good. Polls show the general public thinks negatively about the nonprofit sector. In addition, each year nonprofits are gaining more and more media attention and with this media comes increased public attention of the nonprofit sector as well as increased responsibility on our (the nonprofit managers) shoulders. However, we as a sector are still struggling to find our identity around the leadership crisis/deficit and capacity building issues.
It we able to carve out a little time to participate in important discussions about how we want the future of the nonprofit sector to look like, then we are more likely to see changes occur for the better! I hope!!
The nonprofit congress had a huge convening in 2006 and all the nonprofit leaders (like you and I) came up with the following three priorities to focus on.
1. Public Perception of the Nonprofit Sector
"A priority of the nonprofit sector is to increase public understanding and support so that nonprofits can continue to do their best work."
2. Nonprofit Leadership
"A priority of the nonprofit sector is to ensure that the sector has the resources it needs to serve communities and is effectively and efficiently managed, with an emphasis on effective and strong mission-driven leadership. "
3. Capacity Building
"A priority of the nonprofit sector is to ensure that the sector has the resources it needs to serve communities and is effectively and efficiently managed."
Descriptions taken from the nonprofit congress website.
As a fellow nonprofit manager, I encourage you to get involved. I know it sounds corny but our voices do matter. We have the opportunity to be a convener on the local level and also participate and represent our nonprofit communities on the national level. Furthermore, the nonprofit congress is convening working groups for each topic/priority. Furthermore, we have an opportunity to educate presidential candidates about the nonprofit sector and make smart decisions that will help our sector as a whole.
I know if we work together we can change this sector for the better.