I remember the looks on the faces of my undergrad sociology classmates when they learned I was also majoring in business. A traitor was in the ranks! How could I possibly be one of the good guys while learning about global markets? Conversely, in my business courses I was suspect for having an affinity for the “softer” side of academia—subjects that surely weren’t as important or rigorous as microeconomics.
This stereotyping divided our student body – groups were aware of each other, but rarely interacted and certainly didn’t recognize their commonalities in perspective or purpose. During my professional career I have witnessed similar antics between our sectors – nonprofit, business, and public. Sure, we know the others exist, but we aren’t really playing on the same team. Read more »
Tough times have spurred a renewed interest in collaborations among nonprofit agencies – everything from co-location to formal programmatic partnerships to organizational mergers. With fewer public dollars available to support programs, and the economic pinch slowing private contributions, it makes sense to rethink how the nonprofit sector operates.
The nonprofit sector has certainly grown in both numbers and scale over the past few decades. The National Center for Charitable Statistics reports, for example, the number of registered nonprofits in New York State nearly hit 104,000 this year, up 50% compared to the mid-1990s. The human service sector alone (excluding health care) represents over $25 billion in annual revenue in NY with nearly $40 billion in total assets. In Rochester, Guidestar reports 245 human services agencies with income over $100,000—from Hillside Family of Agencies with revenue of $100 million to Bethany House women’s shelter with income under $130,000. Read more »