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  • Writer's pictureMichael Rose

I just had a glimpse into the future of nonprofits. You may not be a part of it.

Earlier this week I met an amazing young man. He was well dressed, intelligent and articulate. He was also astonishingly well informed.   

Expressing multiple interests within an emerging climate of activism he had done his homework. He knew the priorities and recent funding history of every major funder in the community.

He mentioned the names and interests of decision makers with a familiarity of someone who regularly enjoys a casual brunch with them.

His personal sense of awareness (Emotional Intelligence) reflects everything I believe to be important in creating and maintaining a strong presence. I am betting that he will be an appropriately collaborative partner when required, but will also prove to be a consistently fierce competitor in pursuit of a new order to things. He believes that real change requires new vehicles. Entrepreneurial in spirit he intends to make a difference, his way.

The young man is very good. He is the future. He is already at work. He has new ideas about what needs to be done and how to go about doing it. If he thinks that you are not doing your job he will have little hesitation in doing it for you. 

The world is now a very different place than it was even a year ago. Nonprofits are not immune to the changes. The emergence of aggressive activism offers both opportunityand challenges to established organizations. It requires that leaders and organizations continually evaluate and validate their relevance and impact. It demands that they know who they are, what they do and why they do it. Efficiency and effectiveness are more important than ever. Information is the key. Listening, not telling, is the new norm in the nonprofit world!

If you are not paying attention to the changes, you may not survive them. Don't wait until you are "outatime."


At McMillan Rose awareness is our business. Helping people and organizations to create a competitive presence is our focus. A conversation is an easy first step. Contact us.

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