Welcome to Fall 2008

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People: They are our greatest asset. Does this oft-repeated phrase hold real meaning in the nonprofit sector (where it certainly should), or is it a mere cliché? How do those who spend most of their waking hours in nonprofits feel about the third sector as a workplace? In this issue of the Nonprofit Quarterly, we attempt to answer these questions by exploring the motivations, aspirations, and struggles of nonprofit employees and by reviewing trends in the management of our people and our work. As always, we are anxious to hear back from you about the resonance of this coverage and your ideas for other related topics.

As this issue goes to press, we face political and economic shifts that could ripple out powerfully to nonprofits, philanthropy, and the communities that they serve. Some of these developments have taken place quickly, and a quarterly magazine can’t provide the kind of real-time response our readers need to interpret these rapid
changes and their implications.

In responding to this need, we have worked hard to make its Web site a goto place on developments in our political and economic environment. Going forward, NPQ will make every attempt to ensure that we provide the analysis you need of current events as they happen. We’ll work to be your early-warning system. As you may know, NPQ has hosted a number of reader sound-offs. Some of the topics include philanthropy and nonprofits, but increasingly we will also host discussions about political shifts that affect our communities more broadly.

NPQ readers tell us that they appreciate the fearlessness and “edge” with which we approach our work, and this will be carried through to our online venue. We want to promote honest, sometimes even uncomfortable, dialogue about the difficult issues of our time. We will rely on the knowledge of experts to seed discussions but also depend deeply on you, our readers, to inform and ground the discussion of topics, including legislative proposals, philanthropic policies, and the bright new ideas that have made their way into the sector.

So make sure and visit us, and send your feedback . We’d love to hear your suggestions for topics and on how we can make the site more useful and provocative.