When I started A Wider Circle in 2001, it was after consulting with many shelters and other nonprofit organizations in the region, looking at what was being done to help those in need. As we began serving, we reached out to many of these organizations to see how we could support their efforts and partner in service. This spirit of collaboration and partnership has always been at our core, leading us to say yes to hundreds of government and nonprofit agencies that need the services we provide, and, in turn, who help us serve those who come to us for assistance.
I have been thinking about these partnerships since I got the news this week of being selected as a 2014 CNN Hero. That is because this honor really belongs to A Wider Circle and the many partner organizations with which we work throughout the Washington region.
Our mission is to end poverty. But that will never happen without collaboration between community organizations and support from regional institutions like the Nonprofit Roundtable, which does so much to advance its allies' work in health and human services, education, the environment, the arts and more to improve the quality of life for all residents of our region. As they often say, the Roundtable solves problems none of us can solve alone.
When I founded A Wider Circle, I did not anticipate that we would get more than 450 calls a day, or that more than 10,000 volunteers would come each year. I knew we would charge hard, uncompromising in our efforts to help our neighbors rise out of poverty. I knew this work could not be done any other way than all-out, for poverty is widespread and in need of a movement, not just an organization.
At the same time, I did not expect to develop the multitude of relationships that A Wider Circle has formed with colleagues who share our vision and are willing to do whatever it takes to move their clients out of poverty. Take, for instance, Pathways to Housing DC, which is devoted to moving chronically homeless people from the streets of Washington, D.C. into their own apartments. A Wider Circle helps to furnish many of those homes. In the District, we also work closely with Community Connections, Green Door and other mental health organizations. And since we serve clients who are escaping domestic violence, we frequently get referrals from House of Ruth and DASH.
We get calls from nonprofits as far away as Fairfax and Baltimore and from groups located just around the corner from our Silver Spring offices. Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless recently asked for assistance for its new Safe Havens for Veterans Initiative. We responded by providing furniture that will enable eight formerly homeless veterans to move into the first of these new facilities. As I write this, I am looking out my window as a Montgomery County nonprofit partner receives several beds that will be in their client's home tonight.
There is one thing I hear about my job that bothers me more than anything. And the strange thing is, it’s usually meant as a compliment. Some people look at my work highlighting nonprofits, and they tend to say the same thing: “It’s so great that you’re out there giving a voice to the voiceless.”
I usually respond by furrowing my brow and shaking my head.
It generally becomes clear to me that they do not have experience working with a client who is having trouble, and if they do they are looking at it the wrong way. The people who are characterized as “voiceless” could be those experiencing homelessness, struggling with mental illness, or even stopping by a food bank to get a week’s worth of food. But I would never characterize them as voiceless. Nonprofit clients are struggling, to be sure, and they are in need of support, but they have their own voices. They do not need someone else to create their story. They know their story. They spend every minute of every day living it.
What they need is an audience.
As nonprofit communicators, we do not speak for them. We do not invent their plight. We do not embellish or exaggerate their hardships. We find their stories and we point big arrows in their direction. We draw eyes and ears to it and say, “You need to hear this! This is important!”
We may repackage, we may polish and refine, but I have never seen my job as creating someone else’s voice. The people our region’s nonprofits serve are strong, resilient people who have gone through an immense amount of struggle. My job, as a nonprofit communicator, is to underscore the importance their story carries and use it to help make change in our communities.
You see, we do not create a voice for the voiceless. We repackage these stories, amplify them and spread them to create the highest amount of impact possible.
So if you’re a nonprofit communicator, the next time someone tells you that it is so great you are giving a voice to the voiceless, I urge you to correct them. Let them know you do not give a voice to the voiceless. Tell them that you provide an audience to those who are already speaking.
Are you a nonprofit communicator? Then join us for our CommMission: Leveraging Communications event on March 12th or our Nonprofit Communications Networking Happy Hour on March 11th!
Allison Carney is the Strategic Communications Manager for the Nonprofit Roundtable.
My son, Christopher, is a speed skater.
In one of his earlier races, Christopher faced a fierce competitor who was older and more seasoned than he. During the race, Christopher kept turning around to look over his shoulder at this other racer, who was gaining on him. As they circled the track again and again, he kept looking back, and as a result, he fell behind into second place.
Christopher was devastated. “Why did this happen, mom?” he asked, “My time has always been quicker than his.” I looked at him and I told him, “You cut yourself short on time by turning around to look at your competitor instead of focusing on what was best for you to win the race. You need to run your own race.”
The same principle applies to the nonprofit sector.
As nonprofits, we are constantly comparing ourselves to private businesses in terms of results. But instead of focusing on best practices we limit our salaries, opt not to invest in employee development, and tout low administrative costs. And, in so doing, we slow down our own progress. Society says nonprofits do good, they don’t make a profit. But the truth is, the good we do adds value to our community, and that is our profit.
The same idea is central to Uncharitable by Dan Pallotta. He underscores the importance of investing in so-called “overhead” like compensation and advertising. He writes, “To say that it is a bad expense is like saying the launch pad is a bad expense, because it is really the rocket in which we are interested.” By refusing to label ourselves the “anti-business,” we allow ourselves to use the very same tactics that have helped many businesses succeed.
Once Christopher stopped caring about the other boy’s performance, he began to focus on what he needed to do to be his personal best. He invested in developing his personal best, not simply what could get him ahead of the other guy. And, as a result, his speed increased. His form improved. Race after race, he won more and more often. By not comparing his performance to everyone else’s, he allowed himself to soar.
By reinforcing a philosophy where nonprofits are the anti-business, we inhibit ourselves from utilizing the very practices that have built our economy. As nonprofits, we need to disengage ourselves from this stereotype, and unleash the power of doing good and doing well.
Join us for our Annual Meeting on May 20th to hear Dan Pallotta speak more about Uncharitable and learn about what we have in store for our strategic plan for the next 5 years.
Also, see Dan at WRAG’s CEO Coffee and Conversation
series on May 19th.
What is your role at the Nonprofit Roundtable?
I have been the Membership Associate at the Roundtable since October of 2013. I handle all of our membership dues, as well as all of the IT needs of the organization. My days are filled with lots of Salesforce and the occasional question about why someone’s calendar isn’t syncing!
Why are you interested in nonprofits?
Ever since I got involved in the nonprofit world I have felt this passion for the sector that I never felt for any other job that I’ve held. Seeing the benefits of the work that nonprofits do every day is a rewarding experience that I don’t think any other job can offer.
How would you describe the culture of NPRT?
We are a really hard working, supportive, and fun group! Everyone I have met through this organization so far has really impressed me with their knowledge of, and passion for, the nonprofit sector.
What was your first job?
My first job was at Starbucks back home in NJ. I loved it so much that I decided to work at another Starbucks location near my college while I was in school. Like any service industry job, it had some pretty ridiculous moments! But hey, I can order an iced quad venti 2 pump sugar free vanilla soy light ice latte correctly.
What brought you to the Roundtable?
My outgoing Executive Director at my job before this actually told me I would love it here and that there was an opening that fit my skill set well. I came in for one interview and was so impressed by Amy and Malcolm, and their passion for their work, that I just knew I would love it here. I also love the mission of the Roundtable and I think that collaboration is absolutely the key to success for nonprofits.
If you were an animal, what would it be?
Ummm, obviously a tiger. No explanation needed. They are awesome. I got a house cat because it was as close as I could get to an actual tiger.
What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Cookie Dough...so good.
Mac or PC?
Mac! 100%. I worked at the Apple Store for 2 years :).
On a given night in the District of Columbia, nearly 1,800 people living on the streets and in shelters are considered "chronically homeless." They have been homeless for years and struggle with significant issues like mental illness and chronic health conditions. They are vulnerable and dying young, and they are dying of preventable and manageable diseases. People who are chronically homeless are predominantly in their early to mid-50s and have a life expectancy in the early 60s. For this population, housing is health care.
Ending chronic homelessness is possible. We know the solution: housing with support services that is available without barriers like sobriety requirements or participation in health or mental health treatment. This approach, called Housing First, is working in other communities around the country. Phoenix and Salt Lake City both ended chronic homelessness among veterans in their cities. New Orleans decreased chronic homelessness by 48% from 2010-2012.
Our city has the resources, creativity and ability to end chronic homelessness. People in our community care about homelessness and want to know what they can do to be part of the solution.
This week, a network of nonprofits, faith-based communities, local businesses, and concerned citizens gathered together to launch The Way Home: A Campaign to End Chronic Homelessness in DC by 2017. National and local leaders spoke about the urgency and solutions. People spoke powerfully about how supportive housing has transformed their lives. Individuals pledged to take action.
We hope you will join the campaign by pledging your support to end chronic homelessness.
It was an amazing start, but campaigns aren't easy. You have to prepare, communicate with allies who are doing essential work, and learn from your mistakes when you make them. But more than anything, you have to believe and not give up and know that anything is possible when you set a bold goal and have a talented community who cares.
Believing is contagious—and innovation and impact aren't far behind.
Adam Rocap is the Chief Program Officer at Miriam's Kitchen, a partner in The Way Home: A Campaign to End Chronic Homelessness in DC by 2017. To learn more about The Way Home and pledge your support to end chronic homelessness in DC click here.
Maybe it's true that the best things in life are worth waiting for: Nonprofit NoVA's Community Town Hall was rescheduled after Mother Nature decided to RSVP for our original December date. Holding the event in January really captured the energy and focus of members, who are preparing for local budget seasons to begin in just a few weeks.
Diana Léon-Taylor, Nonprofit Roundtable's CEO, welcomed more than 60 attendees to the event, held at the Arlington campus of George Mason University. Nonprofit NoVA Co-Chairs Amanda Andere and Sonia Quinoñez emceed the program.
To get us in the right frame of mind, we kicked off with a presentation on best practices in advocacy for nonprofits – and a reminder that from the first time we ask our parents to stay up late, or request ice cream for dinner, we are born advocates!
Next up, Dr. Alan Abramson, who directs GMU's Center for Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy, and Policy, demonstrated Connect Northern Virginia, the web-based tool for nonprofits and communities. All organizations are encouraged to register on the site to make it easier for businesses, volunteers and the public to find nonprofits in Northern Virginia.
Following these great presentations, we organized into local breakout groups by jurisdiction for on-the-ground conversations among leaders and advocates in preparation for the budget season. Several local government staff members helped to set the stage with information on budget processes and major elements in the budget, and answered questions to help all audience members understand what to expect this season.
Each group worked together to coordinate goals, both for budget advocacy and for expanding local networks, to make sure all potential allies are engaged in supporting our sector, far beyond budget adoption. We heard some great ideas – from looking at cooperative office space for small nonprofits, to organizing a clever communications campaign that supports maintaining current local funding.
Thank you to everyone who helped make our first town hall such a success!
Melissa Bondi is the Director of Nonprofit Virginia.
The IRS announced a new procedure for nonprofit organizations that automatically lost their exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) because they failed to file some version of the Form 990 for three consecutive years. I wanted to pass along information about the new procedures in case they would apply to any of the nonprofit organizations with which you work.
As you may recall, since 2008, the Internal Revenue Code has required that Section 501(c)(3) organizations file a version of the Form 990 every year. (Only certain religious organizations are exempt from the requirement.) If an organization fails to file a Form 990 for three consecutive years, the organization's tax-exempt status is automatically revoked.
There are three versions of the Form 990 that apply to public charities – Form 990-N, Form 990-EZ and Form 990. (Private foundations file Form 990-PF.) Which form the organization should file is based on its size, as illustrated by the following chart:
||Form to File
Gross receipts normally ≤ $50,000
Note: Organizations eligible to file the 990-N e-Postcard return may choose to file a full return.
990-N e-Postcard return filed electronically through the IRS website.
Gross receipts < $200,000, and Total assets < $500,000
990-EZ or 990
Gross receipts ≥ $200,000, or Total assets ≥ $500,000
Starting in 2012, the IRS began revoking the tax-exempt status of those organizations that had not filed a return for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010. Each month the IRS publishes a list of the organizations that have failed to meet the three year requirement either initially or in subsequent three-year periods. To date, tens of thousands of organizations – many of them inactive – have lost their exempt status for failing to file their returns. In 2012, the IRS announced a special program to allow smaller nonprofits to regain their exempt status retroactively but that program expired on December 31, 2012.
B. What Has Happened to an Organization That Lost Its Exempt Status?
Prior to Revenue Procedure 2014-11, an organization that lost its exempt status was subject to federal income tax on any income it earned once its exempt status had been revoked. In addition, its donors could not claim a tax deduction for contributions to the organization. The IRS regularly publishes a list of organizations that have lost their status, and from the date the organization appears in the revocation list, no donor deductions are allowed. The organization has also been liable to the IRS for penalties for failure to file the Form 990. The penalties equal $20 per day, up to a maximum of $10,000 for each return not filed. Finally, a private foundation cannot include a grant to a non-exempt organization in its calculations to determine if it has met the minimum charitable distribution requirements applicable to private foundations.
In order to regain its exempt status, an organization has had to refile a Form 1023 with the IRS setting forth why it met the requirements of Section 501(c)(3). It had to pay the application filing fee ($400 or $850, based on the organization's size). Unless the organization could show that it failed to file its Form 990s for reasonable cause, its reinstatement was not retroactive to the date of revocation, but was effective only as of the date the new application was filed. Moreover, the loss of exempt status did not relieve an organization of its obligation to file the Form 990. The organization still had to file the form for those years for which it had not filed a return.
These rules were harsh, especially for small nonprofits. As a result, the IRS has released a new procedure that will ameliorate some of the more severe consequences of the automatic revocation. Under Revenue Procedure 2014-11, the IRS now classifies these organizations into three categories:
- Small nonprofits that refile for exempt status within 15 months of loss of exempt status;
- Other nonprofits that refile for exempt status within 15 months of loss of exempt status; and
- Nonprofits that refile for exempt status more than 15 months after loss of exempt status.
C. Revenue Procedure 2014-11 Relief for Small Organizations
A small organization is a nonprofit that was eligible to file either a Form 990-N or a Form 990-EZ in each of the three consecutive years it failed to file a return. This includes any organization that in each of the three years had either:
- Annual gross receipts of less than or equal to $50,000; or
- Annual gross receipts of more than $50,000 and less than $200,000 and total assets of less than $500,000.
A small nonprofit that that has not previously lost its exempt status for failing to file its Form 990s will have its tax-exempt status reinstated retroactively to the date its status was revoked if it files for reinstatement with the IRS within 15 months after it lost its status. In order to file for reinstatement, the nonprofit must complete a new Form 1023 application for exemption and pay the filing fee. The IRS recommends that the nonprofit write "Revenue Procedure 2014-11, Streamlined Retroactive Reinstatement" on the top of the application.
For purposes of this rule, the 15 month period begins on the later of:
- The date the IRS issues a letter notifying the organization of the loss of its exempt status (the "Revocation Letter"); or
- The date the IRS first publishes notice of the organization's loss of exempt status (the "Revocation List").
An organization that has not received an IRS Revocation Letter should not assume that the 15 month period has not started. There is a good chance that the IRS does not have the organization's current mailing address. In which case, the IRS may have issued a Revocation Letter without the organization receiving it. Therefore, the organization may want to file its application for reinstatement within 15 months of the date it first appears on the Revocation List, to ensure that its application is filed on time.
Once the IRS grants the reinstatement, the organization must file any Form 990-EZs that it previously failed to file. (An organization that was eligible to file the Form 990-N is not required to file back returns.) The IRS will waive any penalties for the failure to file.
There are many benefits to following this procedure. First, the organization will not be subject to federal income tax for the time its tax-exempt status was revoked. It is also not subject to penalties for failure to file the Form 990. Its donors can continue to claim a tax deduction for contributions made to the organization prior to its reinstatement and a private foundation can include any grants made to the organization in its calculation of charitable distributions.
D. Revenue Procedure 2014-11 Relief for Larger Organizations
Larger organizations may also apply for retroactive reinstatement of their exempt status. If the organization files within 15 months of the loss of its exempt status, it should follow the same procedures used by small organizations, with two critical changes:
- It must file all of its past due Form 990s, including any Form 990s that were due after it lost its exempt status, prior to filing its application for reinstatement; and
- It must show there was reasonable cause for its failure to file its Form 990 for at least one of the three years in question.
The IRS has stated that in order to establish "reasonable cause," an organization must show that it exercised ordinary business care and prudence in attempting to comply with the IRS reporting requirements.
In determining whether the organization has established reasonable cause, the IRS will take into account all pertinent facts and circumstances. The following factors weigh in favor of finding reasonable cause. The IRS has stated that the organization does not have to satisfy all of these factors, and that no single factor is determinative:
- The organization's failure was due to its reasonable, good faith reliance on erroneous written information from the IRS;
- The failure to file the return arose from events beyond the organization's control that made it impossible for the organization to file a return for the year;
- The organization has an established history of complying with its Form 990 reporting requirements and any other applicable reporting or other requirements under the Internal Revenue Code; and
- The organization acted in a responsible manner by undertaking significant steps to avoid or mitigate the failure to file the required return and to prevent similar failures in the future, including, but not limited to—
- Attempting to prevent an impediment to filing or a failure to file, if it was foreseeable;
- Acting as promptly as possible to remove an impediment or correct the cause of the reporting failure, once it was discovered; and
- Implementing safeguards designed to ensure future compliance with the reporting requirements.
If the organization is successful in its application for retroactive reinstatement, the IRS will waive any penalties for the organization's failure to file its Form 990s in a timely manner.
E. Revenue Procedure 2014-11 Relief Once 15 Months Has Passed
Once the 15 month period has passed, an organization may still apply for retroactive reinstatement, but only if it can demonstrate reasonable cause for why it failed to file the Form 990 for all three years. If the organization cannot satisfy this requirement, it may still file for reinstatement. Once granted, the reinstatement will be effective as of the date the organization files its application for reinstatement (the "Post-Mark Date").
F. Effective Date of Revenue Procedure 2014-11 and Its Impact on Pending and Past Applications
Revenue Procedure 2014-11 is effective for applications submitted after January 2, 2014. To the extent the revenue procedure benefits an organization's ability to have its tax exempt status retroactively reinstated, the IRS will apply this revenue procedure to applications that it has already received and are pending.
A small organization that had already received reinstatement of its tax-exempt status prior to January 2, 2014, and that would have met all of the requirements for retroactive reinstatement, will be treated as if it had been reinstated retroactively from the date its tax exempt status was revoked. The organization should keep its determination letter reinstating its tax-exempt status and a copy of the revenue procedure with its books and records.
An organization that applied for and received reinstatement of its exempt status prior to the effective date of the revenue procedure, and that:
- Would have satisfied the retroactive reinstatement requirements for larger organizations that filed for reinstatement within 15 months of its loss of status; or
- Would have satisfied the retroactive reinstatement requirements for organizations that filed after the 15 month period, may reapply for retroactive reinstatement if it meets the requirements of Revenue Procedure 2014-11. The organization should submit a copy of the application it previously filed to receive reinstatement and any other materials required by Revenue Procedure 2014-11 on or before May 2, 2014. The IRS will waive the user fee. In addition, the organization should include with its copy of its previous application, a copy of its determination letter reinstating its tax-exempt status.
Regina Hopkins is the Assistant Director for Community Economic Development at the DC Bar Pro Bono Program.
In December 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released their Preliminary Report on Impact of Arts and Culture on U.S. Economy, and the facts are impressive. According to these new estimates, 3.2 percent -- or $504 billion -- of current-dollar GDP in 2011 was attributable to arts and culture. In comparison, BEA's estimated value of the U.S. travel and tourism industry was 2.8 percent of GDP.
"Art and culture is a significant part of the U.S. economy. Not just its contributions of ideas and creativity to the innovation economy, but also as an important part of the labor force and our country's GDP," said NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa. "The Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account is an unprecedented resource for detailed, reliable data on the economic value associated with arts and cultural activity."
With over 450 arts and humanities organizations and over 1,500 individual artists and scholars in Montgomery County, it is only fitting to celebrate Montgomery County's continued investment in the arts and humanities sector. At both the national, state and local levels, it is clear that investment in the arts and humanities yields significant returns!
"The positive value of arts and culture on society has been understood on a human level for millennia. With this new effort, we are now able to quantify the impact of arts and culture on GDP for the very first time. Better utilizing this type of knowledge and information is part of the Department of Commerce's 'Open for Business Agenda,' through which we are seeking to provide more transparency and data to enhance decision-making, create more value, and better understand and grow our economy," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
I encourage you to read the entire brief, related articles and data.
The arts and humanities create beauty and stimulate the mind, but they are also an important component of Montgomery County's economic ecosystem. When you support our cultural sector, you can count on a powerful return on investment for our county and a punch for our bottom line!
Suzan Jenkins has extensive experience spearheading organizational and programmatic development for organizations such as the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and the Recording Industry Association of America. Currently, she is CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, MD, and Co-Founder of the Nonprofit Energy Alliance.
By any measure, 2013 was a year of tremendous change for our nonprofit community. Some of the major drivers in our economy - congressional budget negotiations, sequestration, and the federal shutdown - served as international front-page news for weeks. The Affordable Care Act is now being implemented in every state; Medicaid expansion is underway in Maryland and the District, but remains a major policy debate in Virginia. Our region is also moving forward without the support of two major philanthropic partners, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac end their grantmaking capacity entirely within two years.
Increasingly, government leaders at all levels are re-considering the role of nonprofit partners. Through this dynamic, changing landscape, nonprofits must anticipate and participate in these conversations, while keeping in mind the best approaches for our missions, and for our bottom lines.
Here are a few of the major trends I see for our sector in 2014:
Acknowledging Overhead and Administrative Costs: For years, nonprofit organizations have been measured explicitly on their ratio of direct services spending to administration and overhead. Excellent organizations ensure that the majority of resources are spent to directly benefit the community, and many donors prioritize their contributions toward such programs. However, like any other business, nonprofits will not be sustainable without making adequate internal investments, too - from staff salaries and continuing education, to upgrading outdated facilities, equipment, and technology.
General operating support revenues are harder to come by than ever before, which hurts our ability to ensure that nonprofits have the administrative and financial infrastructure to manage resources effectively, to prevent fraud, and to continue to meet mission with a robust professional workforce for years to come. We started this conversation by blogging in response to the Washington Post article about nonprofit fraud. We’re ready to continue the conversation about what it really takes to ensure nonprofit sustainability. Through our FIRM program, we continue to strengthen nonprofits’ financial management and leadership. Join us on January 23 for Fraud: Not on my Watch! to continue the discussion.
Evolving Relationship between Nonprofits and Governments: In the wake of the economic recession and ongoing recovery, federal, state, and local governments are re-considering the role of the nonprofit sector in generating revenues for meeting community needs. From property tax and fee assessments, to the role of the federal charitable deduction, conversations about our sector’s nonprofit status are taking place across the region. We must ensure we have a seat at the table - both to represent the nonprofit perspective, and to share our expertise in crafting solutions that ensure our continued, mutually-beneficial partnerships with government. On January 15, you’re invited to join Nonprofit NoVA at our first-ever Community Town Hall, bringing together nonprofit leaders and local advocates to consider major budget trends affecting our region, to learn about best practices in advocacy and communications, and to work together in jurisdictions to build priorities and networks for the upcoming local budget season.
Building New Strategic Alliances: We think that the most successful nonprofits in the coming year will be the ones that are open to truly exploring meaningful partnerships through strategic alliances, fiscal agency, and even mergers. While it may not be the best option in all circumstances, nonprofits that work to find strategic collaborations with peers may have better access to resources, efficiencies, and stronger mission outcomes. Along these lines, Nonprofit Montgomery is working with a University of Maryland graduate researcher and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services to research best practices in various types of fiscal agency arrangements.
Stating Our Value Proposition: With increasing competition for resources and opportunities, our nonprofit sector will need to further define our unique value and contributions to society, and to our communities. We know that the nonprofit community is essential to the success of our region, and to the economy; we must demonstrate that to our partners across sectors. The Roundtable is committed to this both in our local jurisdictions and on a regional level though our work on leadership development for the sector, research and advocacy. This is essential to our sustainability and identity as a sector, especially as we continue to operate in a new reality of reduced funding and ongoing need. In February 2013, we published Beyond Charity: Nonprofit Business in Montgomery County and since then have been experimenting with a new way of working with business, academia, government, philanthropy and neighborhood leaders so that more residents achieve self-sufficiency and more businesses find qualified workers . In early 2014, we will release Beyond Charity: Nonprofit Business in Prince George’s County that documents the strengths and opportunities in the Prince George’s County nonprofit community.
If you haven’t already, renew your membership to join us in demonstrating the power, value and leadership of nonprofits. Or join us here.
I know you’ve been thinking about the future of your organization, and of nonprofits, as well. What key issues do you see for 2014? Please share your thoughts with me at
The inescapable question everyone is asked at some point in their life is, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Some people become exactly who they hoped to be. Most of us turn into a tangent of a tangent of a tangent of that person we wished to become. Some of us even grow to be a person who bears no likeness to whom we originally aspired to be.
I became a nonprofit-teer. Becoming a nonprofit-teer is only slightly farther than a stone’s throw away from my original declaration about who I wanted to become--a doctor. To young Thuy, a doctor was simply someone who cares for others. Being part of this nonprofit world surrounds me with amazing people who keep me empathetically buoyant and, in turn, prevents me from falling into an idle uncompassionate slump. My outlook on the capacity of human kindness and drive for good stems from my interactions with these leaders and future leaders of our sector such as Frank Karel Fellow in Public Interest Communications Alvin Kim, who was matched with YWCA of the National Capital Region; Ari Weisbard Future Executive Director Fellow from the Employment Justice Center; and Donna Hurley, CAFN Leadership member from Housing Options and Planning Enterprises (HOPE). These men and women taught me about advocating for those you serve, dedicating yourself to personal and professional growth, and writing seriously compelling and truly eloquent funding applications.
My best friend’s five-year-old nephew recently said, “I don’t need to become anything; I already am something.” I wholeheartedly agree. Although I became a nonprofit-teer, that does not color all of who I am. Moving on from my time within the Roundtable, I know my heart and work will always be tied back to my experiences in this sector. I have hopped from wanting to become a doctor to history teacher to english teacher to Project Runway contestant to children’s book author to nonprofit-teer. Before I leap into my next adventure, I will remind myself of a question from Kid President’s Pep Talk, “What will you create that will make the world awesome?”
Thank you all for your work, kindness and support. Please feel free to stay in touch over
or on LinkedIn.
Thuy has been a Program Coordinator for the Nonprofit Roundtable for almost two years. We will miss her greatly, but we know we will be seeing her soon. Good luck Thuy!