As we have discussed before, the nonprofit sector has been facing difficult financial challenges ranging from budget cuts, to the loss of market shares in the industry. To some researchers, it is becoming clear that there is a divide between the public perception, and the realities of how nonprofits operate. The John Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies has begun to explore these concepts by initiating the Listening Post Project’s Non-Profit Renewal Conversation. More specifically, they hope to begin a conversation about the special values and unique responsibilities of non-profits, how to communicate those ideas to stakeholders and the broader public, and to answer one question: why do non-profits matter?
Using a network of over one thousand non-profits that responded to regular surveys, or “soundings,” to monitor trends and developments in the sector, the Listening Post Project helped narrow down a set of values that various non-profits thought were most important. They have started to find that the issue does not lie with disorganization of the non-profit sector, as the surveyed groups had a great deal of consensus about the way the values and qualities that are core to their work. The issue was much more about the ability of non-profits to communicate those values to the public. The Center at John Hopkins will use this information to renew the value of non-profit commitment.
Here is an example of some of the results of the conversation:
Anyone is welcome to contribute to this project, in order to get as much perspective as possible. If you would like to join in with the Non-Profit Renewal Conversation, use Twitter (#nonprofitvalues), or Facebook, to share your thoughts.
Here at Jolkona, we hope to make a difference in reinvigorating the non-profit sector, through our dedication to the idea that anyone can make a difference, with just a small donation, and that knowing the impact is essential to each donation. As the whole industry works to define why they matter, perhaps we can renew a sense of value by changing the culture of giving.