It's time.

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Nonprofits are on a roll. Can you feel it? Our rate of job growth continues to outpace the for-profit sector, and incoming generations are hungry for a career that makes a difference. The sector grows stronger and we are creating more and more positive impact in our community. However it seems the issues affecting our world aren’t getting any better. In fact, the needs are getting greater. When it comes to society’s biggest problems, nonprofits often pick up where government leaves off. And in this tumultuous time, nonprofits are feeling the burden of greater demand for services and inadequate government response.

It’s time to embrace our unique nonprofit strengths. It’s time to demonstrate our nonprofit pride.

Lean, Mean, Mission-Focused Machines
Do you often hear that nonprofits need to operate more like a business? I’d like to see more businesses operate like nonprofits. Nonprofits don’t have to build community relations into our business plan because it’s our core mission. We’re feeding the hungry, providing shelter for the homeless, opening opportunities through education, expanding minds with arts and culture, saving animals and the environment, and delivering health care to those in need- all while boasting lean and transparent operations. We drive impact and stay accountable. Can we get a little respect over here? Nonprofits and businesses can learn from each other, and there is a place and need for all of us. Let’s find some mutual respect for the hard work and good we collectively create in our community. It’s time!

Passionate, Dedicated Workforce
Nonprofit professionals are passionate, driven, and loyal to the cause. Our employees work long hours to create a positive impact in our community for today and our future. Too many times I’ve heard someone say they’ve left their corporate job to “slow down” and come to the nonprofit sector. Ultimately they come to the realization that the nonprofit sector is hard work. Making the difference in the lives of those we serve requires more than our best efforts. It often requires all of who we are. It’s not easy to routinely tackle challenges like domestic violence, educational inequity and homelessness, and our employees often pay an emotional toll. Nonprofits need to recognize that their people are their greatest strength. Let’s embrace the value that nonprofit professionals bring to the organization, and make sure our wages and benefits reflect their true worth. It’s time.

Major Economic Impact
Nonprofits’ greatest accomplishment is their impact on society, but have you ever thought about the nonprofit sector’s contribution to our local economy? The nonprofit workforce is America’s third largest workforce, behind only retail trade and manufacturing. Here in Kansas City, the nonprofit sector represents close to 11% of the economy, and employs nearly 10% of the region’s workforce. Let’s acknowledge that nonprofits are a major industry in our city, and that we are responsible for significant direct and indirect impact on the local economy. It’s time.

Nonprofits are efficient, passionate, and impactful. It’s time that we come together and embrace these strengths. In addition to recognizing our strengths, it’s time to recognize our areas of need. Looking into 2019, I invite you to consider how your organization will grow and change to meet these growing needs in Kansas City.

Advocacy
As a major industry in the economy, nonprofits need to stay up to date on policy decisions that affect our work and those we serve. Whether or not your organization decides to take an active role, it’s important to be well-informed. Learn what’s happening locally and nationally, and what it means for your nonprofit. It’s time.
 
Nonprofit Connect policy alerts educate and inform nonprofits about policy matters that impact our sector. Sign up here.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Social equity is part of our core missions, so nonprofits are ripe to lead our community in diversity, inclusion and equity work. Recognizing diversity is not enough, and remaining stuck in conversations about the complexity of the problem doesn’t work. Nonprofits need to break down barriers, gain mutual understanding and move full speed ahead in achieving diverse and inclusive workplaces. It’s time.

Take the next step by bringing your team to Inclusion 2019: Redefining Organizational Culture with Dr. Shirley Davis on January 30. Learn more here.

Connectivity
As society races forward, it’s important for nonprofit professionals to remember our greatest strength: connection. Even though we work every day to help others, we can often feel overwhelmed and alone. Luckily Nonprofit Connect serves over 600 local nonprofits whose employees face the same challenges, feel the same passion, and work for the same causes as you. Let’s be intentional about building relationships in the nonprofit sector. It’s time.

Mark your calendar to connect with other nonprofit colleagues at an educational program or networking event. Find one here.
 
We’re proud to be part of a community that is more efficient, passionate and impactful than ever before, but we know we have work to do to become informed, inclusive and connected. In 2019 the board and staff at Nonprofit Connect is working hard to meet the growing needs of our nonprofit members and ultimately help you achieve your mission.

It all starts with us. If nonprofits can recognize our own unique strengths, we can certainly demonstrate the importance of our work to others. Let’s come together, strengthen our community, and show our nonprofit pride. It's time.