One thing undoubtedly I know about myself is I’m getting the “itch”. Hey! Not that type of itch…the “I-know-I-can-do-more-with-my-life-and-career-and-have-a-greater-impact-for-social-change, yadda yadda…" itch. I recently went to another social enterprise workshop in the Chi and I was uber impressed with this one. Unlike other "bait and switch" events that claim to teach social "E" concepts, i.e. the bait. Yet, they use it as a platform to convince you to engage in social impact by purchasing their professional, legal services or a buying into a ponzi scheme, i.e. the switch. This workshop actually provided solid content on how to use creative measures to induce ideas that can lead to social change through design strategies.
The people in the room ranged from nonprofit professionals, a U of I alum, the usual suspects “pushing p” (message me if you don’t know what pushing p is), and of course B-school students. B-school students are all over this movement, which is exciting because they somewhat set the pace of being both innovative, eager, intelligent and most importantly properly trained. I highlight the last word, because it is the most important. B-schools have the resources and talent pool to research the heck out of social “E” and that’s exactly what their doing.
So back to my itch, (okay, that’s funny!)…my personal mission is still the same — bring social “E” to the social sector masses — however, as a consultant it is very difficult to do this one project at a time. The NEED for financial sustainability for nonprofits is there, but the DEMAND to use business methods to gain it is not! I’ve wrecked my brain thinking about how to include this sector in the movement…a web series on barriers to social “E”…maybe a workshop sponsored by major funder with a big headliner (Shakira, you’re a fan of “Philanthropcapitalism — I love how people just make up words — you available???) pushing p…scare people by telling scary stories about the Blue Gargoyle and Hull House…blogging????
I’m certain, if I did all of these things, I might garner a few interests and even inspire an organization or two to move forward with a social venture, however, it probably won’t reach the masses. Then I started thinking about those darn B-school students in all their “learnedness” (yeah, I’m creating words — it’s my blog!) and the access they have to ideas, concepts, models, etc…Perhaps, there’s something to spending $75,000 on a piece of paper with the ability to add a title the end of your name?
Nonetheless, I still have this itch, my personal mission is unchanged, my eagerness is unwavered, yet I still don’t have the answer to my question…”How do you create a demand for financial sustainability in the social sector?”
Deep down inside I know the answer to that question will also be what relieves my itch.