March 27, 2010

What matters?

Filed under: Nonprofit, Politics — Tags: , , — kgilnack @ 9:59 pm

I received an email from a friend recently, asking the simple question “what matters?” in the context of a poll that board members of a local nonprofit were putting out to their networks.

She asked for 3-5, but the question was so open-ended, I wasn’t even sure where to start and finally organized my thoughts into two categories: what I think matters for nonprofits to be doing and what issues I think matter most right now.  I’ve shared them below to give some context around why I do what I do and to hopefully start a conversation about why you do what you do and what you think matters.

What matters to you and how does that connect to what you do?  Please leave a comment and let me know!

What nonprofits should do

  1. Ensuring client’s needs are met effectively
  2. Empowering people to sustain themselves
  3. Advocating for the resources needed to serve clients, and for solutions that reduce a need for services by accomplishing #2
  4. Tracking and demonstrating impact
  5. Building capacity, investing in admin, and developing a sustainable revenue strategy


  1. Infrastructure
  2. Empowering people to financial stability (job creation, living wages, CORI reform, financial literacy, family planning, healthy & affordable eating, progressive taxes)
  3. Healthy communities (affordable, accessible healthcare; robust community-based human service programs; education around healthy eating; safe water and environment; adequate)
  4. Safe communities (community policing, extended learning opportunities, wrap around services, outreach workers, job training)
  5. Education (extended learning, longer school days, safe learning environment, adequate resources, adequate pay & staffing, parent participation, interdisciplinary curriculum)
  6. Community (improving cultural competency, restoring civil society.. and civility, fostering an inclusive society, ending discrimination, finding fair solutions to immigration, community centers)
  7. Better government (transparency, campaign finance reform / public financing, citizen participation, voter access & participation)

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