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The Vital Voice

March 6, 2017

The nonprofit or charitable sector has a vital role to play to ensure that all voices are heard in public debates, and that their constituencies and beneficiaries are served and celebrated. Because these organizations are neither government agencies nor private businesses, they are – by design – able to operate independently and across a wide political and social spectrum. It’s a challenging assignment, but I think our best nonprofit leaders are up to it.

Dan Cardinali, president of Independent Sector, which represents some of the largest charities and foundations in the United States, thinks that the nonprofit community can work with the government in the following ways:

  • Be a bridge. The sector has a long history of connecting people across divides and creating safe spaces for hard, but necessary conversations. The sector is ready to connect these diverse voices and perspectives across the nation and across the public, private and nonprofit sectors.
  • Share what they are learning. Like change-makers in government and industry, the nonprofit sector places a deep and growing importance on using evidence to improve organizational efficacy and increase mission impact. They are anxious to share what they learn from the data, and to explore the ways in which they can make the power of data more widely accessible to all who work to improve lives.
  • Listen to and learn about ways to advance the cause of equity and inclusion in all communities, and to creatively explore how the considerable resources, talents, and networks of the nonprofit sector can be used to leverage, improve, and to achieve meaningful change.

Individuals, foundations and corporations have a role to play as well. We can assist the nonprofit sector by helping to provide the expertise and resources that will allow these charitable organizations to further their missions, achieve greater impact, and ensure that those vital voices are heard.

If you have a question or comment, please follow me on Twitter at @timmcclimon and start a conversation there. Thanks for reading and sharing this blog posting with friends and colleagues.

P.S. CSR Now! will be on Spring Break until Monday, April 3, 2017.  


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