At Spokes, we often talk about the various management spokes (financial, development, human resources, etc) or constituent spokes (donor, volunteer, employee, client) needed to help nonprofits achieve their missions. There is a third set of spokes that is equally critical – the partnership between the government, for-profit and nonprofit sectors.
The U.S. nonprofit sector exists because there are programs and services needed throughout our communities from which no profit can be made and are too localized and specific for the government to manage. The for-profit sector exists to help drive our nation’s economy. The government sector, or for-public sector, exists to support our legal, education and safety systems. And, the non-profit sector, or for-impact sector, exists to improve the quality of life for all Americans and, especially, those who fall between the cracks of the for-profit and for-public sector efforts. Each sector is equally benefitted and dependent by the other two and we nonprofit leaders have an important role to play in balancing this unique ecosystem.
As you may have heard, Congress is considering placing limitations of charitable tax deductions to solve our national budget crisis. These changes threaten to create significant collateral damage to the nonprofit sectors and the health of the communities we seek to sustain. By definition, all non-profits are dependent on some level of charitable support from private donors. Often, those donors are employees of the for-profit sector. And, nonprofits are dependent on the government to offer incentives to those individual donors to provide the financial resources we need to do our work. Reduced donations will lead to fewer programs and services and, ultimately, to many more unaddressed issues in our communities.
As the recent recession has driven an increased demand for most nonprofit services, can our nation afford to take this risk? Do you want to live in a community with depleted or no nonprofits? What about your corporation’s employees? Can the government pick up the services the nonprofit sector will need to drop?
If you don’t think so, I encourage you to join me in being outSpoken and participate in the United Way’s letter writing campaign to Congress.
More information can be found at http://www.capwiz.com/