I've got to put together a presentation for a gig coming up in a few months. It's about the biggest trends/issues/challenges that nonprofits face in the next five years. I've been thinking about this issue on and off for 10 years. It shows up in my books, in my other writings and in presentations, but my list has just slowly evolved, and I've never really started it from scratch.
Additionally, I was wondering what my blog readers think.
So, let's collaborate. Take a look at my list and post a comment or two. Do you agree? Disagree? Do you have issues to add? Some that we should remove? It's not a wiki, but by providing us your list, we can learn, comment and amend our own.
Here's mine--in priority order.
The Big Issues of the Next 10 Years
1. Funding. Same old same old, but we're getting to a critical point which I think will lead to my issue #4. Government's ability to help is saddled with debt, direct fund raising is incredibly competitive and foundations and corporations often put so many restrictions on funding that it's a loss to take their money.
2. Accountability/Transparency/Outcome measurement. We have to get even better at proving that our mission is worthy and that our way of accomplishing that mission works.
3. Generational Transition. Our management teams are mostly over 55 and will move out. Who will be there to move in?
4.Unpaid Professionals. I believe we're going to need to use more and more unpaid professionals (think: super-volunteers) to be able to afford to deliver services. With waning funding and more and more requirements for outcome measurement, this may be our only option.
5. Technology as a Mission-Accelerator. How do we incorporate technology in ways that make us more mission-effective?
6. Diversity. Ethnically, generationally, economically, culturally, and in terms of families, we're more diverse than ever. How can/will we respond with our services, our employees, our volunteers, and our technology?
Whew, that's enough. Think about these and tell me what I missed, what priorities are of order, what you would add or subtract.