Who benefits from the nonprofit sector? Is it the poor, the hungry, the sick, the disenfranchised? Yes. And it is the wealthy, healthy, and wise! Along with government agencies, healthcare providers, grocery shoppers, opera fans, and scientists.
The impact of the nonprofit sector can be felt in all aspects of our individual and collective lives. We may not always see that impact, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Direct services, advocacy, education, research, and performing arts are but a few of the types of organizations with impact that rolls, ripples and roars across our country and beyond our borders.
Think about it: scholarships for college and post-graduate study support the men and women who become teachers, administrators, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and more. Gifts to a new cancer center, support patients now and in the future – maybe your sister or husband. Supporting the food bank keeps people fed, helping children to grow and seniors to remain independent.
It’s not just individuals who benefit, government agencies benefit too. When agencies subcontract with nonprofits, or make grants to nonprofits, they are supporting organizations that have the relationships, agility, and expertise to serve and research in ways that government just can’t. The responsibilities of our state and local governments are often “subcontracted” to nonprofits that provide human services such as childcare, healthcare, and housing.
Nonprofits support changes in public policy that benefit millions through their advocacy and educational work. Think about the civil rights movement, the disability rights movement, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights movements and more. All have created transformational change.
The same is true of research and development. Medical breakthroughs have been supported and funded by the American Cancer Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Nonprofits are first-responders helping all of us when disaster strikes. Think the Red Cross, Save the Children, Rebuilding Together, and Habitat for Humanity who can respond quickly.
Care for our veterans is provided through a diversity of organizations – not just the Veterans Administration.
Businesses and corporations benefit from the work of nonprofit training centers, pipeline programs, research centers, think tanks, and institutions of higher education. As a country, we want to sustain national growth in science, technology, international trade, and the rebuilding of our infrastructure. Investments in colleges and universities – and the development of private-public partnerships – help make all these possible.
All of us benefit from nonprofits. We may not always be aware of that impact, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
Copyright 2017 – Mel and Pearl Shaw
Mel and Pearl Shaw are authors of four books on fundraising available on Amazon.com. For help growing your fundraising visit www.saadandshaw.com or call (901) 522-8727.