The Nonprofit Center of Greater Milwaukee is hosting a presentation “When Good is Not Good Enough: Repositioning Nonprofits as a Force for Systems Change” on March 14th, 7:30-9:00 am at Central United Methodist Church, located at 639 N 25th St.
The March 14 session proposes that while the nonprofit sector must continue to provide services and supports to individuals in need, “we must now reposition the community based nonprofit sector as a powerful force for social change at the underlying systems level”.
Why? In spite of the valiant efforts of many caring people and organizations over a long period of time, life has not improved for many Milwaukeeans. Our city continues to set records of the wrong kind: Often when a new study is released, Milwaukee is at or close to the bottom of the pack on key indicators.
If things are going to really change, we need to shift attention from modest service goals providing temporary relief for some to courageous actions that challenge and change the economic, social and political systems that are the root cause of the many problems we face.
For this shift to occur, we must reassess our work in the nonprofit sector — especially those nonprofits working in low income communities. Nonprofits need to direct more efforts at actually changing the underlying systems. Good is not good enough: While we continue to provide services to individuals in desperate need, we must now reposition the community based nonprofit sector as a powerful force for social change at the underlying systems level.
For nonprofits that want to move in this direction, there are key strategies that can help them move more of their impact to the root cause level.
- Uncover the root causes of community problems and redesign and/or develop programs/initiatives that address these root causes
- Increase advocacy and public policy work by nonprofits
- Carry out ongoing nonpartisan voter registration and education efforts at the neighborhood level
- Connect community-based nonprofits to efforts already underway ― like expanding public transportation to link the unemployed to jobs; to living wage campaigns like the Fight for $15; and, to other initiatives tackling racism, income inequality and poverty at the root cause level.
And for each of these strategies, there are resource organizations ready to help nonprofits move their impact to the root cause level. Attend the March 14th presentation to learn more about these strategies and the resources available that can make it happen in Milwaukee.
Presenter: Frank Martinelli, The Center for Public Skills Training
This session is based on a TED Talk delivered in Milwaukee in October 2016 by Frank Martinelli of the Center for Public Skills Training. Frank has been involved Milwaukee’s nonprofit sector for many years ― as a community organizer, volunteer, staff director, board leader, and as a trainer and consultant to nonprofits
There is no charge for Agency Executive Group members; $15 for non-members
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