I was matched with a blog titled Nonprofiteer: Helping Till it Hurts. (2014 Editor note: site not longer active)
The latest message posted is one close to my heart. The author talks about how the fragile fund raising efforts of many small non profits have been negatively impacted by the huge charitable response to Hurricane Katrina. In an earlier blog you can read my own thoughts like this. I feel we're a nation that focuses on random acts of kindness and we don't have the leadership to focus consistent attention over a long period of time on all of the different efforts that are needed to solve any significant social issue.
I don't think that leadership will ever come from elected people. For the most part their only goal seems to be to get elected, or stay elected. I think the leadership has to come from private sector organizations of people who are deeply committed to a cause and who will find ways to sustain their efforts over many years.
Of course, those people need consistent funding, unless they are independently wealthy, which I am not. Which leads us back to charity and random acts of kindness.
In the web links to the left you can see how I have tried to provide a solution to this. I've created a program that connects those who can help with those who need help and use traditional advertising concepts, which I learned during 17 years of advertising for a nationwide retail store chain. I've also piloted the use of GIS maps and searchable databases to focus on all of the areas of the city of Chicago where tutor/mentor programs are needed, not just on my own program, or a few brand name programs or highly visible neighborhoods. Without the map its too easy to make a contribution to one place and think the problem is solved. Until there are good programs every place where they are needed, the problem will persist.
I've also made an attempt at creating visual blueprints to show that many services need to be supported in a single charitable category, not just one or two. I use the analogy of the blueprint for a building to illustrate my point. A blueprint shows all of the steps needed to build a building, from the foundation to the top. It also shows all of the sub contractors who need to do the right thing, at the right time, if the project is to be completed. They all need to be paid.
If we could create blueprints showing all of the actions that are needed to assure that kids born today are in jobs/careers by age 25, then we'd be more likely to be able to lead a campaign intended to pay all of those people. That's the only way this is going to work.
Of course I don't have the dollars that company spent every year, so I've innovated some other ways to create reach and frequency, such as enlisting the self interest of my peers in trying to share the responsibility for building visibility for all tutor/mentor programs.
I encourage anyone who's willing to take the time to look through the sites and understand the strategy to offer me feedback or become a partner. I'd like to find ways to motivate people to give until it hurts. That's not the ultimate sacrifice, but it's the type of generosity that's more likely to sustain charitable services in all the different places where they are needed.
PS: Learn more about the Non Profit Blog exchange at http://nonprofitblogexchange.blogspot.com/