December is here! It is hard for me to believe 2018 has come to an end.
I just published a new article on Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog, “2019 | Nonprofit Predictions.” Follow the link to read it. I have gone into a little more depth than usual this year, and I have provided helpful links to other resources. I cover federal funding, crypto currencies and Blockchain, crowdfunding, data, donor advised funds, and more.
This is the fifth year I have attempted to predict the future. If you have questions or want to share comments, please use my secure contact form.
I agree with those quoted in my article that 2018 has been one of the most tumultuous the nonprofit sector has experienced. But despite numerous challenges, nonprofit organizations and several donors – including some leading American corporations and foundations – are stepping up to the plate. I am proud of our sector and our partners for continuing to innovate and to, “push back” against those whose actions hurt our sector.
Here’s wishing you a successful year-end fundraising season! Thank you for following Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog. As you know, I launched the blog back in 2011 with the aim of sharing my extensive fundraising experiences for the benefit of the public. I do it as a public service, free of charge. It has been my hope that the challenges I have faced – and the ways I have overcome them – will inspire others to continue forward to make our world a better place in which to live and work.
Carolyn M. Appleton | December 2, 2018
P.S. – If you have ideas for future topics you would like me to cover on Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog in 2019, please let me know. Happy holidays!
It is hard to imagine, but across the United States there are still many who have no idea how to use a computer. And while most people own mobile phones, access to wireless remains a constant challenge.
I don’t know about you, but I am highly cognizant of how most job applications are only available online today. Not knowing how to use email, Microsoft Word and the Internet (or simply not to have ready access to a wireless “hot spot”), prevents some from applying for jobs, pays bills, submitting inquiries for essential information, completing medical forms and the like. Even if “computer skills” are not part of the job description, to apply for them one must have access to a computer of some type. Time sheets, product inventories and cash registers are all connected to complex corporate networks, and they require employees to be competent – at least in a basic fashion – with using technology.
Austin Free-Net is working to address these now-essential needs. I have enjoyed doing a bit of supportive grant research and writing for Austin Free-Net this year, and I am impressed with its work. Executive Director Juanita Budd notes,
“When citizens cannot find work and families cannot support themselves, the repercussions echo throughout the community. Less people working means less tax revenue, while simultaneously there is an increased pressure on social services providers. A family might need an older child to quit school and go to work, which means the cycle of low-paying jobs continues for another generation. Improving the education and technical acumen of our residents will draw more businesses to Austin, increasing tax revenue and reducing unemployment. In short, a computer literate population makes a city stronger economically and makes us more attractive to new industry.”
During the event, Robert F. Smith of Vista Equity Partners spoke with Kristin Nimsger, CEO of Social Solutions. Part of the discussion is found below in my Facebook Live video (3 minutes). Robert discusses the need for effective use of data, the increasing digitization of business globally, and how everyone is struggling to keep up! This is certainly true for those who find themselves in low income and underserved communities.
“In making this film I really began to understand the depths of the issue and the fact that there are over a million classrooms in this country that don’t have adequate broadband, a huge number of kids who don’t have access to computers, and the reality that 77 percent of jobs are going to require technology education and background by the year 2020.”
“As inclusive as the Web can seem, it’s not yet an equal playing field. More than half the world is still without it; emerging economies and marginalized communities are often the last to gain access. Far fewer women are using the Internet than men. And without diversity among its creators, the Web itself will reflect unconscious biases, while personalizing algorithms can reinforce our own.”
I urge you to find the organizations in your community working to alleviate the “digital divide” and support them today. People of every generation and nation need to be included, and the time to start is now!
Carolyn’s Nonprofit Blog is focused on nonprofit fundraising and communications. It does not address political issues often if all all, but I feel compelled to do so now.
I am an Independent voter, and I have found friends on both sides of the aisle over the years. I respect the opinions of others, and I hope they respect mine.
Our nation finds itself at a ethical crossroads. Even as our nation’s economy has begun to improve – a process that began before the current Administration took office – I find it perplexing that we struggle with even greater fervor over equal rights and treatment for all citizens, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation. Nature – as it does for all species on Earth – makes us diverse. Why do we ignorantly cling to the idea that one human being is less equal than another because of their physical traits or beliefs (within the bounds of law, of course). Why do we fear diversity?
Last but not least, I am saddened that a speech by our nation’s chief executive before thousands of young Boy Scouts at a national event should include political jabs at prior opponents. Harkening back to my comments about our shared natural resources, the Boy Scout “outdoor code” reads as follows:
“As an American, I will do my best to –
Be clean in my outdoor manners
Be careful with fire
Be considerate in the outdoors, and
Be conservation minded.”
Many have criticized the Boy Scouts of America over the years, and indeed the organization has evolved (that’s a good thing). But keep in mind, many of our nation’s finest leaders were trained within its ranks. The Boy Scout Law requires Scouts to be:
Let us ask ourselves, do our current national leaders demonstrate these qualities? If they do not, should we make changes? Should we demand more from them? Voter turnout in the United States is lower today than other developed countries. Voter apathy is not the answer to making positive, ethical change.
“By practicing and demonstrating the use of ethical, honest and unselfish behavior … ethical leaders may begin to earn the respect of their peers. People may be more likely to follow a leader who respects others and shows integrity.”
Stand up and hold our leaders at every level accountable, including our chief executive. We must expect higher standards, and smarter thinking. Be courageous. Do not stand back and just, “take it.” Speak up.