Sunday, May 25, 2014

Non-Profit Yields

One thing I'll mention about the non-profit field is how precarious it can be. There is significant struggle of finding and cultivating resources and being able to be able to sustain your services. It leads to this outcome where the most important people in these organizations are the development staff, the folks that get the money. The individuals who do direct service are not going to directly be able to keep the organization afloat in their efforts.

The problem is that the development folks aren't contributing to the non-profit's mission directly. They are not bettering society directly in anyway; they are bettering their organization by being present to sustain and grow it's work. However, what this means is that sometimes over half the funding that goes into a non-profit, goes to PR, HR and development costs to keep the organization running. That is what smart agencies will do. However, this really limits the reach of serving more of the community. It can be such a struggle to survive that as a non-profit, this is where you need to invest a lot of your funding.

There are other countries, where there is a lot more government support for the services that many non-profit organizations provide. However, we need more security in funding. The services that so many non-profits provide, whether it's food banks, shelters, crucial youth development services, mentoring, environmental protection among others shouldn't be thought of as "luxuries". These organizations are filling crucial gaps in societies' social fabric that are not being filled because of an immense amount of current and historic inequity. If we're going to allow these inequities to persist (which we shouldn't) through our tax and economic policies, then we need to at least provide resources for nonprofit and social service organizations to address the problems that are being created and exacerbated.

So, please, ask your representatives to provide more funding to the non-profit sector. Especially for a lot of the country that is struggling so much economically - we need these services and can't afford for them to not be available because the resources are not there. I would generally advocate that their should be more secured funding sources for non-profit organizations so that more of their efforts and intentions can be diverted into fulfilling their vital missions.

Ultimately, our tax policy needs to change. The 1% and especially the .1% need to be paying their fair share. It's disgusting how little they contribute. However, in the interim, please do your part financially, volunteering or through advocacy to support the organizations that are trying to keep up in fixing all of society's ills.

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