Nonprofit Explore: what is it about?

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  • Highly publicised causes such as breast cancer
  • The household names we donate to
  • Starving children’s charity ads on late-night TV
  • After-hours tele-marketing fundraising calls
  • The moments we reach for a few coins to give in the street…

…unless we are intimately involved in the not-for-profit sector, chances are our awareness of it is limited to the above. The charitable and not-for-profit sector is something most of us take for granted, if we think about it at all: relative to its business and government peers, it is little discussed and not well understood.

In other words, rarely do we go further and consider what lies behind the kinds of activities referred to above – the organisations, the people, the funds, the philosophies.

Rarely too do we stop and consider whether all this activity actually works – at the functional level (inside the organisations themselves), and at the ‘big picture’ level, where questions such as is charity the best way to address global poverty or local ills, and to what extent are donations of time and or money effective in addressing these ills might arise. In other words, we fail to question what happens or changes as a result of not-for-profit or charitable enterprise and whether or not it works.

And what of our relationship with charity? It might serve us to also ask:

  • why we get involved with charitable enterprise
  • how being charitable or useful makes us feel
  • what it is we want or need charity to do for ourselves or others
  • to what extent self-interest motivates us to get involved, and
  • if there can be charity free of self.

This site is dedicated to answering these questions and more.

In examining the ‘ins and outs’ of all things related to charity, philanthropy and the not-for-profit sector it aims to:

  • act as a platform for discussion and sharing
  • increase understanding and awareness of the sector
  • investigate the nature of the sector
  • answer basic questions, and
  • ask and explore the big ones

Whilst it promises to at times be both thought-provoking and challenging, the site will be founded in calm, considered and philosophical ponderings on a range of topics through the use of blogs, podcasts, articles, interviews and more. It does not claim to have all the answers – or all the questions – and actively seeks input from interested parties wherever they are located.

From experienced insider to not-for-profit newcomer, Nonprofit Explore is available to all to ponder the nature and purpose of charitable, philanthropic and not-for-profit enterprise, and the nature of charity itself. The conversation starts now, and your contributions are welcome.

by Nonprofit Explore

4 Comments on “Nonprofit Explore: what is it about?

  1. It is great to start the conversation around nonprofit functionality. Most sectors have a watchdog or critics who assess, unpack and constructively critique, so why should the nonprofit sector be any different? I look forward to participating in the conversations this website will help generate. It will act as a platform for constructive observations, sharings and feedback on what’s working and what’s not so that we may all find a way forward that truly supports all of humanity.

  2. I agree Megan. I’ve met many nonprofit people who are keen to discuss the realities of nonprofit life. There can be a lot of disillusionment when it’s discovered the values espoused by many organisations don’t match the reality of working in them.

    • I agree Victoria, I have come across that a number of times in my career in the nonprofit sector, having had 9 jobs in total over 12 years. When it appeared to me that the organisation I worked for had little or no regard for integrity I simply left, an action you think you can get away with in your early to mid 20’s. But as time wore on I learnt to a) be much more discerning when choosing an organisation to work for and b) speak up when I feel something isn’t right. This website provides a space for those of us working for or with the nonprofit sector to talk about issues that affect our working life and wellbeing.

  3. This is really exciting, and I hope it helps newbies like who are new to the nonprofit scene.

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