Ruth McCambridge, editor-in-chief of the Nonprofit Quarterly, writes about how today’s nonprofits need to develop an attitude of co-creation with those they serve — or miss out on a crucial resource and get left in the dust…
The investment is in the faith placed in those with whom you are in common cause. The integrity with which you approach that relationship is your coin of the realm—it buys you more confidence, donated labor, intellectual contributions, and ambassadors than the other two sectors. The investment is far from transactional but there is give and take—with trust flowing in both directions. Promise and don’t deliver, contract to listen but remain deaf, refuse to share decision making and violate your stakeholders’ sensibilities with no, or a weak, explanation, and you are headed into bankruptcy as a nonprofit—you have relinquished your advantage and distinction. In short, we are re-approaching our nonprofit traditions as nodes of democratic activity when it seems like the reins of our communities’ futures have slipped from our individual hands. And that is a position with powerful potential for success or failure, but the outcome will be of your choosing.
Read the article: Use It or Lose It
Photo by Morgan Sessions