Downtown Detroit has been bustling this week with a strong and lively population of nonprofit professionals from all over the country. They come from a variety of different places in the country and represent all kinds of different nonprofit organizations, but they all are working towards similar goals. Goals like social change and having a positive impact. As years pass, the needs of the community change. As a result, there is a need for new and creative ideas to modify and transform the nonprofit sector. Though things may seem grim at times with talk of the downturned economy, the changes being made within the nonprofit sector create exciting opportunities for young nonprofit professionals.

Nonprofits working towards the same goals do not need to compete with one another in the same grant and donor pools. Instead, we are going to need to find out how we can work side by side. We cannot have a ‘what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours’ mentality. Rather, we can share resources, funds time and effort in order to make an even bigger impact.

I remember my mother used to always tell me that I needed to share and play nice. I was the oldest of two and, believe me, it was not always easy. But over time, you learn that there can be many benefits in sharing. My fellow Next Generation leaders must have had a similar experience growing up, as new leadership is taking over more collaborative efforts are being made. This new generation of nonprofit leaders have already begun to take the sector by force, working together to make the independent sector stronger and more effective.

Check out Rosetta Thurman’s post on collaboration within the nonprofit sector written in response to this year’s CMF/IS Annual Conference in Detroit: We Have to Drop Our Gang Colors: Ten Leaders Envision the Future of the Nonprofit Sector

–Posted by Kelly Cleaver


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