Monday, March 19, 2012

Trends Shaping the Nonprofit Sector

Change is not coming....change is here.  As I repeatedly said, the time to change your buisness model is not now, it was 2008. 

Rob Reich at Stanford Univeristy puts forth five Tetonic Shifts in the nonprofit sector.  I would argue about the impacts of #3 and #4, but #1 needs to be on the agenda of every staff and Board meeting.  How will you deliver services that many people rely upon?
  1. Deep budget deficits at local, state and federal levels. These deficits beg the question: how will public institutions deliver services that many people rely upon?
  2. Fundamental tax reform at the federal level will reconfigure the manner in which the federal government collects tax revenue for what it does. This threatens the manner in which the incentive structure works for how charity in philanthropy operates.
  3. A deeply dysfunctional political system at the federal level where polarized politics routinely wins out over the elected representatives doing something for the common good.
  4. The idea that the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling has dramatically changed campaign finance in the U.S. and introduced a new way that the deployment of private resources can enter into the direct political arena.
  5. Boundary blurring going on across all sectors: nonprofit, for-profit and government.

1 comment:

Anon (Food Bank Director) said...

I find #3&4 to be a little too politicized to be of much use to the discussion. Citizens United is not going to have much effect upon the nonprofit sector.

It's the funding, stupid. Basic human needs will still have to be funded: food, clothing, shelter. The challenge of our time will be to find the money to do that in an era of Bankrupt America