Sunday, January 20, 2008

Firing up the ReGeneration

Nonprofit ReGeneration is a forum for people who care about civil society. 

More specifically, I mean the nonprofit sector. The third sector. The charitable sector. Those organizations we call 501(c)3s, NGOs, and charitable institutions. That massive conglomerate of eleemosynary groups that breathe life into our democracy and, generation after generation, snatch up recent college graduates from their parents' dreams of Wall Street and medical school and smack them right down into $30,000 jobs filled with headaches and passion and little conceivable path to promotion.   

The newest nonprofit generation can probably tell their parents to relax and that they'll move out of the basement soon enough. Wall Street is kind of a sucker place to land anyway these days. And need I repeat this old go-to: "Mom, I told you, the Teach for America commitment is only two years. The HR people said we have a relationship with JP Morgan and that if you don't get maimed in the classroom and quit, you totally end up landing a sweet job later. And, hello, TFA's acceptance rate is, like, lower than Harvard's." 

From Teach for America to your grandma's bridge club, the sector is everywhere. Whatever brought you here, whatever your passion, whether you're a front-line staffer out pounding the city corners fighting for tenants' rights or you're part of a four-person foundation board whose only other members are your dad, your mom, and your awkward uncle, you have a meaningful stake in the sector.

With President-Elect Obama riding the wave of energy and enthusiasm across all generation of Americans, with the private sector crumbling, and with government budgets shrinking across the board, nonprofits have never been more important to the nation's welfare. And never have they been expected to do so much more with so much less.

This blog is about the ReGeneration of the nonprofit sector. Across the generations. Moving forward.  I hope you will join us to explore new ways to build and sustain a voice for this sector that is attentive to the quirkiness and awkwardness that makes this sector so damn hard to resist and even harder to leave.