Nonprofits not always speaking the same language
February 12, 2013
Nonprofit organizations across the country are working to resolve a range of important issues. Basic human services were in the spotlight during the recent recession, as more communities across the United States needed housing services and reliable food sources. As the economy rebounds and those needs are being met, nonprofits are taking social justice work off the back burner and once again making this arena a top priority in future efforts.
Social justice, which is defined as "any structural or systemic change in order to increase the opportunity of those who are least well off politically, economically or socially," by the Foundation Center, might be more effective nationwide if nonprofits are speaking the same language, according to a recently released Grantmakers for Southern Progress report.
The study points out that southern nonprofits tend to use softer language when discussing social justice, such as "structural change," "opportunity" and "vulnerable communities." Organizations outside of the North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi are more apt to talk about "equity," "organizing" and "power."
Upon identifying this language inequity, the Grantmakers for Southern Progress recommended national and southern funders create stronger alignments and think out of the box as they look to tackle important issues.
As foundations tap into emerging digital channels to raise funds online, they can benefit from nonprofit fundraising software that tracks incoming donations and quantitatively measures the success of their efforts.