When Good is Not Good Enough-Repositioning Nonprofits as a Force for Change
This program is based on a TED Talk delivered in Milwaukee this fall by Frank Martinelli of the Center for Public Skills Training.
Milwaukee . . . In spite of the valiant efforts of many caring people and organizations over a long period of time, life has not improved for many Milwaukeeans. If things are going to really change, we need to shift attention from modest service goals that provide temporary relief to some to courageous actions that challenge and change the economic, social and political systems that are the root cause of the many problems we face.
In order for this shift to occur, we must reassess our work in the nonprofit sector -- especially those organizations working in low income communities. Too much of our work stops at providing services to individuals in communities ravaged by unjust economic, social and political systems. And this work must, of course, continue.
At the same time, nonprofits need to direct more efforts at actually changing the underlying systems that produce so much of this pain and injustice. While we continue to provide services to individuals in need, we must now reposition the community based nonprofit sector as a powerful force for social change at the underlying systems level.
So, for nonprofits that want to move in this direction, how does the journey begin? There are four key strategies that can help reposition nonprofits in this way:
- Uncover the root causes of community problems and develop programs and change initiatives that address these root causes
- Increase advocacy and public policy work by nonprofits
- Carry out ongoing nonpartisan voter registration and education efforts at the neighborhood level
- Connect community-based nonprofits to efforts already underway ― like expanding public transportation to link the unemployed to jobs; to living wage campaigns like the Fight for $15; and, to other initiatives tackling racism, income inequality and poverty at the root cause level.
And for each of these strategies, there are resource organizations ready to help nonprofits move their impact to the root cause level. Learn more about these four strategies and the resources that can make it happen in Milwaukee.
For more information, contact Frank Martinelli at email@example.com