We are running this classic NPQ article today in preparation for a series of articles from the spring 2019 edition of Nonprofit Quarterly on the role of nonprofits in democracy. The idea that the strength and influence of nonprofits is centrally contained in their practice of democracy is too often lost—traded away for immediate gratification—but the cost for nonprofits and communities could not be higher.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Some advocates or “thought leaders” appear to believe that if they repeat often enough that donors are overwhelmingly interested in metrics and outcomes, that it will eventually be true. This classic article, published by NPQ in 2010, took a uniquely clear eyed look at the research and found a much more nuanced reality. It was our most read article in 2010 but we wished more people had paid attention to it then and urge everyone to take another look now.
Last week Barron’s magazine ranked the 25 best givers of the year, tapping Pam and Pierre Omidyar for the top spot. I’m not one to dismiss lists but it’s way too easy to throw up lists—with nary an explanation as to how the winners were chosen.
You can download a PDF version of this article here .The upward trend in the number of foundations providing support for building the capacity of their individual grantees, however, has not been accompanied by a parallel level of interest in supporting the organizations providing this capacity-building assistance. These oganizations are the intermediaries working at the local, state, regional, or national levels that offer management support, advocacy, data, training, technical assistance, and other services to grantees and thousands of other nonprofits that benefit from them.