Survey says, Nonprofits need more funding


The nonprofit sector is one of the (if not, *The) most resilient, collaborative, and innovative sectors in our economy...  

taking on the most complex and enduring problems in our country...

with at least one hand tied behind its back by the constraints of insufficient and uncertain funding.  


This article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review suggests as much: https://ssir.org/articles/entry/what_nonprofit_leaders_wish_more_people_knew

disseminating a few observations from the Nonprofit Finance Fund's annual 'State of the Nonprofit Sector' Survey: https://nff.org/learn/survey

The linked SSIR article, "What nonprofit leaders wish more people knew..." a little listicle, in part advertisement for Bank of America, highlights four takeaways, the first and last on which I'm focused right now:

1) "Funding practices stymie innovation."

4) "It's hard to attract and retain top talent with limited and restricted funding."

I can't help wonder, how long will this be the case?  Will it ever change?  What's my purpose posting this story here today?  


It's definitely not to complain.  Though there is a little lament in my voice at the displacement of funds and skills from the nonprofit (and public, let alone rural!) sector to more lucrative parts (and places) of our economy.  I recognize I'm generalizing.  I know there are inefficient and ineffective actors in the nonprofit sector too.  There's no perfect cure.  Certainly no one answer.  But... So many of the pieces to work toward sustainable systems improvements and solutions already exist within the nonprofit sector.  

There are so many frontline organizations, subject-matter experts, deeply rooted in their communities.  There are so many networks, increasingly linked together horizontally and vertically across scale.  There are even platforms like this one, the Food Systems Leadership Network, built around specific systemic issues with tools and resources to support the efforts of those putting in the work to achieve their community-oriented visions.

What else does it take?  I write this short post with that question.

I think it takes money.  More money.  Limited and restricted funding are the biggest constraints on nonprofits achieving their vision.  What's being done about that?  What can be done about that?  What ideas or examples has anyone seen that address this lynchpin issue?  It's an elephant in the room obstacle in my eyes, and I hope to hear from anyone else grappling with how we as a sector or citizenry might overcome it.

Any suggestions?

Jay Eury
Author