Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rick Cohen on the need for the Not For Profit sector to be more involved in political issues

Rick Cohen is one of the best writers and commentators on the US not for profit sector.  His regular Cohen Report can be read on the website of the Non Profit Quarterly.

He has written this excellent piece on the implications of the US elections for the not for profit sector.  There is much in here for the Australian not for profit sector to consider.

One of Cohen's key points is that the not for profit sector needs to be much more engaged in the political debates and issues of the day, whether it is climate change, economic policy, political corruption or corporate power.

Cohen argues that the nonprofit sector can and should be the bridge through which the political parties start speaking to—rather than sidestepping—the critical issues of the day.

Cohen writes:
In a way, the gig is up. It’s no longer sufficient for the nonprofit sector to sidestep critical societal issues of race, campaign finance, climate change, and the fiscal cliff for fear that in speaking out on them they will alienate arenas of political support they need to cultivate and protect. It’s equally no longer tolerable for our nation’s political leaders to be allowed the leeway to feed the nation bromides without coming to grips with the real issues at hand. And it is untenable for the leaders in Washington and in the state capitals to continue down a path of intransigence and obstructionism that makes the nation appear virtually ungovernable. The nonprofit sector has a concrete role to play in telling politicians to get their acts together, to start speaking to the real issues of the day, and to act as if being elected to government means having to engage in the process of governing.

No comments: