The great dismantling

March 16, 2017

If you work for a nonprofit, chances are you’re feeling a sense of dismay this morning as you look at the proposed federal budget, which basically guts funding for everything that nonprofits stand for – arts & culture… education… our environment… and millions of fellow citizens who need a helping hand with housing, social services, mental and health services, and so much more.

It’s absolutely devoid of any sort of vision of human potential – of the good that can be accomplished when people have resources to improve their own circumstances, foster new ideas, and work together towards solutions.

And no – “market forces” will not make up for the decimation of these programs. Not even close.

As an organization, it’s another turning point where you must decide what to do: Cry wolf… wait and observe… or something in-between.

Given the current political environment, there’s no doubt that a multitude of organizations both large and small, will opt for the cry wolf scenario. Resist now, resist loudly, and encourage constituents to act.

Whatever action you opt to take, be sure that you’ve thought it through beyond just today, this week, or next month. Take the emotion out of it and be strategic, because these battles are likely to be prolonged and intense before it’s all over.

When and how your organization elects to engage will potentially have a positive or negative effect on your fundraising potential. It’s important to weigh this carefully and be cautious and conscious when mixing (or not mixing) this message in with your fundraising campaigns.

Remember that today’s gut punch of a threat is very serious, but ultimately may not come to fruition.

These are uncertain times. There is no one answer for all organizations. Yet, it’s vital to ensure that the answer you choose is the right answer for the future of your organization and the essential good that it provides.

May we all prevail.