Saturday, March 18, 2017

White House Budget Causes NonProfits to Fight Each other for Funding

 I created this graphic in the 1990s to show a goal of attracting consistent attention and support for non-school tutor/mentor programs from a small segment of leaders, businesses and donors, recognizing that other causes also needed the same support.

With the announcement of the Federal budget draft, with dramatic funding cuts for all sorts of social programs and services, as well as for environmental protection services, I'm already seeing messages from different stakeholders asking that people contact their elected officials and demand that their programs be funded.

Below is a concept map with this image, with others like it, and with links to web sites where maps are used to show a distribution of problems in the United States and the world.  When I look at how many different issues and causes need funding, I'm overwhelmed.  This problem is too big.

Below is another graphic, part of this blog article,  Its goal is to emphasize the need for on-going, flexible funding, that continues for many years, and funds non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs in all high poverty areas of the Chicago region and other cities and states.  This type of  long-term commitment, distributed to many places, has not been seen in the past from the private sector and philanthropy. Government programs that build and maintain roads, infrastructure, public schools and our military are examples of on-going support distributed to many places, even though that support is often not very flexible in allowing for local innovation.

But the White House is proposing to cut many of those funding streams. The natural response is what I'm already seeing. Each program is trying to protect its own funding. That's a natural response. It's one reason I've had limited success in getting non-profit tutor/mentor program leaders to work with the Tutor/Mentor Connection for the past 20 years. When competing for a limited pool of resources ME, not WE, is a survival strategy.

Yet, is it the wise strategy?  

I created this graphic several years ago, for this article, to illustrate how many of us focus on self interests, using the "I can't drain the swamp because I'm up to my neck in alligators" thinking.

The swamp is getting bigger. We need to find some new, innovative, ways for people to connect and find some ways to drain it.

I don't have an answer. I can point to links in one section of my web library, where collaboration, innovation, creativity and similar ideas are discussed.

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