My research analyst asked me a simple question the other day that led to some amazing revelations about the nonprofit world, “What is the largest nonprofit in the world?”
Increasingly, nonprofits face growing competition from their for-profit counterparts. These for-profit companies can often deliver services at a lower cost or offer higher financial returns to cities, thanks to their capacity and ability to raise investment capital as business entities. This leaves the non-profit social infrastructure in communities at a competitive disadvantage and requires a more thoughtful approach to determining the value of contract bids beyond simply financial criteria.
Despite low unemployment rates and a fairly strong economy, the number of homeless and food insecure continue to rise. According to the recently released State of the Homeless 2019 report, as of January, in New York City alone, an all-time record number (63,839) of men, women and children slept in shelters each night. And, according to Feeding America, 40-million people struggle with hunger in the U.S., including more than 12-million children.
If you run a shelter or food bank, chances are you have more to do and more to process every day. That’s where having the right social services software can help you focus more on providing food and shelter and less on paperwork and processes.
Topics: Homeless & Food Pantry, FAMCare, nonprofit mission, nonprofit, caseworkers, social services software, social services, social workers, human kindness, hunger in America, hungry children, food and shelter
The Military Model
Most industrial corporations are organized on the military model that emerged after World War II. This “top-down”, “pyramid”, “span-of-control” model of authoritarian decision making was thought to be the most efficient, effective, and disciplined form for complex, sprawling organizations. It was all about the rank and file executing the will of the top decision makers and not roaming “off the reservation” with ideas of their own. It was a model of discipline and efficiency designed for execution.
Positive Tomorrows, an Oklahoma City non-profit, is opening a private school for homeless children that was designed by the kids themselves. That’s right. A private school for homeless (not privileged) children.
Helping people through the physical and mental issues they’re dealing with is often just a part of the healing process. For many, spirituality is a core value of their life, and therefore an integral part of the therapeutic process.
In the past we’ve discussed the many benefits of nonprofit software solutions and how they can help you in your day-to-day functions. For example, the correct software package can help make data easier to get to, utilize and learn from, affecting strategy and funding. This helps contribute to a more positive workflow. But nonprofit software solutions can also bring about positive change in another way- the people in the organization itself.
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.
Last week we reported on the Ford Foundation’s $1 billion, five-year, Build program’s ongoing investment in the long-term capacity and sustainability of up to 300 social justice nonprofits. The Ford Foundation recognized that the popular donor trend of restricting funding to specific programs without accounting for infrastructure expenses was leading to a “nonprofit starvation cycle”, where charities cease to function because they can’t pay for overhead costs, such as administrative employees, computers and electric bills.