Alliance Working to Complete Data-Driven State of Sector Report with Partners

A poignant opinion piece on why social sector (nonprofit) organizations are important in building this nation’s human capital and creating equitable and healthy communities, appeared recently in California's San Mateo Daily Journal and was written by Arne Croce, a retired nonprofit CEO who was a part of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities network.

Notice my use of the term “social sector” versus “nonprofit.” Nonprofit in Latin translates to “no progress,” and I refuse to refer to our sector in that way.

In his article, "The benefit of investing in nonprofits," Arne states what we know to be true: We can’t achieve all we are capable of without the capital that creates the capacities that are necessary for highest performance and impact in our communities.

Our sector is more than simply providers of programs and services that are outsourced by government. We are distinctive in the unique way we engage consumers and communities, and how we provide our programs and services for life-changing results. We are innovators who, when given the capacity and flexibility, can create solutions that truly work. We are community capacity builders who are always seeing unmet needs through the experience of the neighbors we serve. With amazing leverage through partnerships, we get the job done. But even more than all that, we understand that our paramount responsibility and distinction, whether for the individual, the family, the community, or the nation, is to advocacy.

Yes, the sector is a wise investment in building a strong and vibrant America. But our boards, funders, and investors must understand that any great organization must have the capacities and resources that support that greatness. We can no longer think it is a badge of honor to have vital social sector organizations just limping along with no margin and capacity to invest.

As a former leader at the state level, I am deeply concerned that there is a growing and deep structural financial crisis that is intensifying in the social sector. It is critical that we come together to own this issue, not just for analysis, but for solutions!

That is why the Alliance is working in partnership with the American Public Human Services Association, Oliver Wyman, and Sea Change to secure the dollars necessary to do an in-depth data-driven analysis of the state of the sector, and the causes and solutions with action. The solutions are many, and we understand that our sector too has responsibility for this fiscal crisis, but so too do our public sector partners, philanthropy, and donors.

My father-in-law, former Wisconsin Gov. Lee Sherman Dreyfus, always told me, “Susan, if something is going to be important 20 years from now, you need to engage with it now!” Well, this is one of those times. America needs a strong, vibrant, innovative, and results-driven social sector and we must act now to ensure this vital third sector and its distinction is not lost.

Value of the non profit sector

I question how engaged the social Service non-profit sector is in their communities Economic Development Committees. We have a strong impact on the economies of our community but are rarely engaged in the long term planning.

Post new comment

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture.
Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.
©2015 Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. All Rights Reserved