“A system rife with dysfunctions that prevent us from making the kind of population-level change and reduction in disparities we desperately want to achieve …” That’s how I characterized what I and others call the Nonprofit Industrial Complex in my previous blog post. These dysfunctions in the massive mix of nonprofit organizations, foundations, school models, and government programs rear their ugly heads in the work we do at every single point along the Pathway to Lifelong Success from healthy birth, to a quality education, to a good paying job, and to healthy and sustainable aging—a pathway all people deserve to get on and be able to stay on. I don’t know a single person who has worked in our sector—myself included—who won’t recognize these dysfunctions and who hasn’t been a part of at least some of them.
Over the next year, I will explore these dysfunctions in detail along different parts of the pathway to illustrate how we’re failing and what we need to do differently. I aim to show you examples of how they stymie even our best efforts and most commendable programs and initiatives. You will meet people who have hit brick walls—in the form of these dysfunctions—that have forced them to reverse gears and compromise what’s best for the people we serve. You will also learn about examples of where they’ve been overcome—usually only in part, but in ways that point to what others might do and to how we might be able to tear them down altogether.
I’m excited to announce that the “Finding Common Purpose” blog is migrating to my new website. There you’ll also find links to my new podcast—see below for a preview —which will feature the interviews on which many of my previous posts have been based, as well as new content to come. Those of you who subscribe to this blog won’t have to do anything with this change; we’ll be sure to keep you on the list.