Often the people closest to us escape our notice. An old classmate of mine from the Harvard Business School recently surfaced with a simple but profound message that instantly clarified an issue I’ve been pondering all year - what motivates the dedicated people who toil tirelessly in the nonprofit world? The message was unusual coming from a business school graduate. After all, most of my Harvard classmates went on to become captains of industry focused on making money for themselves and their stockholders. And, for the most part, they were pretty good at it.
In this new dystopian world of negative and divisive political discourse, we find it refreshing to seek out and report on the positive, uniting energy of the mission-centric nonprofit “other-world” we inhabit with our colleagues across the country.
The San Francisco board of supervisors recently introduced a budget measure that would raise the minimum wage for nonprofit and in-home supportive service workers from $15/hour to $17/hour. When challenged, the board justified the $13 million added annual expense to the city budget by citing the crisis the home healthcare field is experiencing in San Francisco. It is bleeding workers daily.
All governmental organizations and NGOs are founded by well-meaning actors with good intentions. However, corruption inevitably sets in as the “good intentions” are gradually eclipsed by the inevitable organizational impulse to survive and self-perpetuate. Institutions, like organisms, seek survival for themselves and their descendants. They survive, reproduce, replace, predate, evolve, alter, consume and grow. And when a sufficient number of institutions coexist, they function like an ecosystem.
In the past twenty years, student debt has become a major social and political issue in our country. As government guaranteed student loans became more widely available, colleges began to raise their tuition rates to keep pace with the expansion boom that ready government financing created. More students required more professors and facilities to accommodate their needs, and colleges needed more money to pay for the growth. The result, of course, is that students borrowed more and more money to pay inflated tuition and fees and subsequently became burdened with overwhelming debt.
The nonprofit world has struggled for years with the distinction donors make between mission dedicated donations (restricted funds) and funds available for overhead and administrative salaries (unrestricted). The dichotomy has grown out of the emerging belief among donors that money spent directly on mission is better spent than money “wasted” on overhead costs and administrative salaries. Studies reveal that donors “feel” better about donations when they are assured that their money has gone directly to mission outcomes.
Time is always of the essence in the nonprofit world, with many organizations left feeling like there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything accomplished. Looking for ways to work towards achieving your organization's mission while managing the day-to-day tasks?
In the world of social work, learning networks are nothing new. Social workers have always exchanged information in a social setting, such as sharing referrals and resources with other social work colleagues. Social workers often photocopy and share articles from trusted journals with colleagues they are collaborating with on a project.
Through its FAMCare suite of products Global Vision Technologies helps smaller agencies participate at the big agency level by leveraging technology to amplify impact. In an article that appeared in Policy & Practice, the journal of the American Public Human Services Association, Accenture managing directors Debora Morris and Ryan Oakes present a method for amplifying the outcomes of smaller agencies through a combination of new technology and best management practices.
A friend of ours, Quinn Cooley has reached out with a great resource to share with our partners, clients and friends. Quinn works with universities and programs to help share their content and he came across a great infographic from the team at Maryville University that we wanted to share. We think this is a great educational resource for those who are ready to go back to school.