This podcast discusses how the nonprofit sector is lagging behind the rest of the economy in terms of pandemic recovery. George and Nick discuss how nonprofits are being impacted by the pandemic and the challenges they face in terms of fundraising and providing services. They also talk about how the sector is trying to adapt and the role that nonprofits play in fighting climate change.
Nonprofits Play Unique Role In Push For Climate Resilience This Earth Day
As Earth Day was celebrated across the world this past week, nonprofits continue to serve vital and unique roles in contributing to our understanding of the changing climate and its effects on our global community. International NGO the International Crisis Group published an interactive visual explainer on how climate change exacerbates civil unrest and humanitarian fragility. More locally, two New York City-based nonprofits, Central Park Conservancy and Natural Areas Conservancy have teamed up with the Yale School of the Environment to launch the Central Park Climate Lab, according to Reuters. The program seeks to better understand the NYC metro area’s increasingly extreme weather and how parks may be part of that solution.
Pandemic Recovery Stalls In Comparison To Broader Economy
As reported by The NonProfit Times, the nonprofit sector’s post-pandemic recovery is lacking behind that of the broader economy, according to data from an analysis by Independent Sector. While giving has largely remained steady, it is not keeping pace with the broader growth experienced by the economy at large. Additionally, the sector remains down approximately 495,000 jobs.
- Union Mental Health Workers Strike for Better Conditions at Nonprofit in New London | NBC Connecticut
- Warren Buffett to host final charity lunch for San Francisco nonprofit | The Mighty 790 KFGO
- Are Colorado’s nonprofit hospitals giving enough to their communities to justify tax exemptions? New reports offer different answers. | The Denver Post
- Seeds of change: Landfill, nonprofit launch next phase of Making Trash Bloom project | Northern Virginia Daily
Resource: Universal Google Analytics going away…
[00:00:00] This week on the nonprofit news feed. Well, we are talking about earth day and the various events that happened and news that came out as well as some top level news on pandemic recovery, maybe stalling, a little bit for nonprofits. Nick has it going.
[00:00:17] It’s going.
[00:00:18] good, George. I can start us off with our first story. And this is about the role of nonprofits in fighting. Emergency. So coming on the heels of an I P C C report, that is the intergovernmental panel on climate change, which says it’s. Now we’re never with addressing carbon emissions in the atmosphere to stave off a climate catastrophe.
[00:00:44] We want it to highlight the role of a couple different nonprofits and NGOs fighting climate change in different capacities. The first one we highlighted in this story was the international NGO, the international crisis group, which published a really cool interactive feature about how climate change leads to conflict in countries that are seeing the effects of climate change firsthand.
[00:01:14] It’s just a great visualization. They always do such great visual journalism work. And I think it really. Emphasizes the importance of looking at climate. When we think about broader political, social, cultural, and unfortunately conflict on a global scale, another angle we wanted to approach this story a little bit more locally to probably many of our listeners is that.
[00:01:42] To New York city based non-profits the central park Conservancy and natural areas Conservancy have teamed up with the Yale school of the environment to launch the central park climate lab. And this is a really cool one. According to Reuters, the program seeks to better understand the New York city Metro areas, increasingly extreme weather.
[00:02:03] And how parks may be part of that solution. And they’re setting up all sorts of different scientific measuring equipment and are going to be using central park as essentially an open air laboratory for climate science. So what does it take a couple of different angles on this approach to climate change coming off the heels of earth day, but George, what’s your take on how non-profits can address climate?
[00:02:29] Yeah, I think non-profits have already been addressing climate change for me. It’s about how you kind of. How do you call this a crisis day in and day out and pull toward these? Like, long-term if the Celsius gets to like two degrees increase and what happens then it’s tough because you have to find different narratives inside of it.
[00:02:51] And I think one of the things that the international NGO international crisis group did was just
[00:02:57] far more visual in terms of explaining this. So one of the links that we did include in this gets back to like how nonprofits can look at it. Show me the visual, honestly. And this is a really amazing dynamic presentation of what’s going on, but then you like juxtapose that with the IPC sixth assessment report, which like even the summary needs a summary of the summary.
[00:03:19] And I think one takeaway is that shirt a highly technical documents are what are needed for maybe policy advisors, but that doesn’t get the donor out of bed. And I think it’s much more. Visualizing what it looks like in, that’s why we went from like very macro to very micro into saying like, this is what it looks like in central park, but these issues touch upon of course, issues of social justice based on the way that you solve for it.
[00:03:43] And also the potential impacts for it. So it’s on both sides. And so peeling out those stories and again, making it visual, making it simple while also not making it a kind of hopeless. Right. If, if you said. That is far, far, far beyond the capabilities of what people can do the, the responses giving up.
[00:04:03] And so sometimes I look at some of these reports and visuals and like, all right, so I got to give I’m, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna drive less. How, how can I solve this? So you have to, you have to tow that very carefully. I think in communications around this, and every year around earth day, we see a lot of reports coming in and it’s good to, to continue to remind our constituents on how this issue touches.
[00:04:25] Absolutely. And I think it’s also, there’s so many threads. You can take this story, right? Cause it’s so. Interconnected and inextricably linked with so many other parts of the global economy and discussions about natural resources. And now we’re starting talking about global oil prices and sanctions and conflict, and all of these things come together.
[00:04:48] So threading that narrative in a way that doesn’t discount any of those really important factors, I think is super important to your point, but we can. We set realistic, but ambitious goals we can get there. All right. Our next story comes from the nonprofit times and it’s how the nonprofit sectors post pandemic recovery is lacking behind that, of the broader economy.
[00:05:14] So according to data from an analysis by independent sector, while charitable giving has largely remained steady year over year. It is not keeping pace with the broader growth experienced by the economy at large. And additionally, the nonprofit sector remains down approximately 495,000 jobs. From, I believe approximately the 1.6, it was down at the height of the.
[00:05:41] This, both these factors are present a lag behind the broader us economy, which despite higher prices is kind of steamrolling ahead with a hyper competitive job market and pretty significant growth. So George, just something to keep an eye on. As we look at the nonprofit sector as a whole.
[00:06:03] Yeah, I’m not super surprised to see a lagging, but it is. Sort of interesting to see that, that recovery there, and in terms of numbers of jobs, one of the places I just always [email protected]. And if you just pop on there currently, they’re like 8,800 jobs on just broadly and open and, and listed out there.
[00:06:26] So it is one of the larger job networks for, for nonprofit. It’s some something to watch. And I think it’ll, you’ll begin increasing and catching up as services, get back to back to more of a normal endemic. Hey, we can go back to work. Hey, we can have preschool programs more regularly and that need is only going to simply increase.
[00:06:52] I think over time.
[00:06:53] Absolutely. I agree. And I think that. The charitable sector as a whole is not immune from broader trends in the economy, like an increase in wages that puts pressure on employers to find qualified candidates for jobs. There’s a lot of factors here and this actually takes us into our next story in the summary.
[00:07:18] And this comes from a local NBC affiliate in Connecticut about how. Union mental health workers are striking for better conditions at a nonprofit in new London. So these workers are essentially outsourced mental health professionals paid for. By local government and they have gone on a strike to demand higher wages.
[00:07:43] We’ve covered stories before about how nonprofits, particularly some nonprofit health providing organizations are really struggling to compete with wages. Even with. Local fast food restaurants, for example. And I think this is an example of workers kind of exercising their power here to demand higher wages, but again, a different angle to the broader macro economic trends we’ve been talking.
[00:08:13] Yeah. For mental health. The type of work is this may be a small story in some respects, but as a, as a larger narrative. And it fits in very, very clearly, especially in a service of mental health, which is at an all time high in terms of demand because of the mental taxes that have been put on communities due to COVID.
[00:08:33] And then on top of that inflation. And so again, nonprofits, it skills me like nonprofits don’t have. The the money lover necessarily to say like, okay, everyone who’s paying services, you have to all pay 10% more. I don’t like the money button. Isn’t there in the same way that gas stations can change their rates.
[00:08:53] McDonald’s can up the price. That’s just not not there at the same point. Yeah. These workers absolutely need to get paid in line with the services they’re providing. It’s just, it it’s takes longer to get there. A hard place for non-profits for sure. In direct service industries.
[00:09:12] Absolutely. I think those are great points. All right, I’ll take us into our next story. And this comes from K F G o.com. And it’s a story about how Warren buffet is hosting a charity dinner. I guess the setup here is you can pay. In an auction, a large and absurd amount of money, frankly, to join Warren buffet at the Valencia steakhouse and Smith and Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan.
[00:09:45] Excuse me. Previous winners have included a cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin’s son who paid a record $4.57 million for the privilege of dining with Mr. Buffet back in 2019. But this is the last time. Apparently this will be happening. Mr. Buffet is quite old and this, this is going to be the last such charity lunch, but George, I’m not super knowledgeable about the, the mega wealthy philanthropy charity universe.
[00:10:17] And even here, it seems like cult of personality, most around Warren buffet, and I guess is investing prowess. But what’s, what’s your take on this?
[00:10:26] I just had to call it out and put it up at the top because this is the 21st time that he’s done it. And in my mind, this is the, this has created a whole model of auctioning off a lunch with a VIP that many nonprofits have, have taken and run with and has raised a significant amount of money. And it’s just an amazing way, I guess now it’s not.
[00:10:51] New and clever, but it’s an amazing way to say, Hey, we have somebody who may be able to write a big check, but more importantly, would you be willing to auction off a lunch, something simple? It seems that then rose was able to raise a lot more money for, for glide over the years. And it’s a I don’t know, it’s just sort of like an interesting note that like, all right, this is the final lunch that he is optioning off.
[00:11:17] And I think a lot of other nonprofits have done that. I think there is a takeaway here for organizations to come back to this, especially as guess what like more and more people are now able to go have lunch together. How can you maybe bring this back into a fundraising, ask of some of the people on your team.
[00:11:35] If you’ve got some of those board members who they are saying like, Hey Buffet’s stopping. Can we start? Can you say, Hey, for the next five years, can we auction off a lunch? Some of the risks can be that, like I crashed my own house party cause no one came. You want to make sure there are people that are going to bid on it.
[00:11:50] And it’s just a funny way of saying like, if you have somebody impressive, but then nobody bids, that is not a good thing. So there’s a little bit of that risk as well. And you can also take a look at some of the models on this, on the charity buzz networks and these auction networks to see how these are packaged also.
[00:12:08] Absolutely. That’s a great point. There’s a whole industry of auctioning off kind of celebrity access. For charity, I somewhat famously donated to the Obama campaign back in 2012 for the chance to get a lunch with Barack Obama. And my dream did not come true, but I donated to the cause and now my email lives on in infamy.
[00:12:33] All right. Our next story is a follow-up on one. We did a couple of weeks ago, and this comes from the Denver post and it’s a follow-up on how Colorado’s nonprofit hospitals. A different take, I should say, on how Colorado’s nonprofit hospitals are giving enough to their communities. So the follow-up is in a fairly splashy report from the lown Institute or loan Institute, a think tank that focuses on healthcare reform, posited that most of our major American.
[00:13:08] Nonprofit hospitals are not reinvesting enough in their communities. And the take of this article was that actually to George, the point you raised when we recorded that podcast, is that actually the more important question is How these hospitals are offering free or discounted care to people who can’t pay.
[00:13:28] So it just adds a little bit more nuance on a couple of different angles, that story there, particularly related to Colorado, but George why’d, you include the story in our rundown.
[00:13:37] I think it’s a follow on of that larger report that we talked about and what that looks at a local level and more and more papers in journalism now looking into, Hey, isn’t that interesting? Yeah, you do get attacks. Advantage of being a 5 0 1 C3. So wait a minute. W w the community service, the service to the people in this community?
[00:14:00] What does that actually look like? Or unfortunately, sometimes are you the number one reason, many of our. Neighbors declaring bankruptcy. And I’m not saying that that’s the case here, but it’s following the larger report and the work that a large sort of research and nonprofit funding can have to then move the needle locally.
[00:14:20] And it’s part of maybe even a potential press, press push and press awareness to, to now pay attention to and in, in whatever sector that you work in. But this is following it through, through hospitals, for sure.
[00:14:32] Absolutely. All right, George, what a bow, a feel-good story for you?
[00:14:37] We can, before we get there, though, I do want to call out one of the resources that we’ve been putting out there around Google analytics and the Google analytics apocalypse that we’ve been talking about. Where essentially Google analytics, universal analytics. That’s the, probably the version you’re using and has been in place for a number of years is being deprecated.
[00:15:00] And it’s going to effectively be no longer collecting any information on your site as of July next year, 2023. So yet you have a year, however, What’s important to note is that in order to get new data into GA for Google analytics, for the newest, greatest latest, you have to actually go through a full different installation process and installation process to make sure that you’re collecting data now that you’ll want to look at later.
[00:15:31] So for example, when the lights go out in July, Of next year, you’re going to be interested in looking at year over year comparisons to similar metrics that you’ve been collecting. So in order to do that, you need to prioritize that now. So yes, this is a bit of a headache, but we are letting all of our clients know past clients and as many people as well, listen, that this is something that you need to prioritize a little bit of work right now to do so that you have data later.
[00:15:58] And aren’t saying, oh my gosh, I didn’t know about this. If this is the first time you’re hearing about it, that’s fine. Check out our site and this post, and we’ll have those resources for you. All right now. Feel good.
[00:16:12] All right. That’s a feel stress story for some of us who work in the nonprofit web analytics field, but a feel good story is from the Northern Virginia. Daily N V daily.com and they talk about a nonprofit called sustainability matters that has gathered at the Shenandoah county landfill to celebrate the kickoff of the second part of their making trash bloom project.
[00:16:45] I am. An expert in environmental science or whatever the field is that manages plants. But they are hydroseeding native wild flower seeds with 900 gallons of water onto the living trash cell. So I think what this means in layman’s terms is they are turning trash into flowers. And I love that. That is pretty, that sounds good for the environment and it’s being led by a non-profit.
[00:17:12] So nothing not to love here.
[00:17:14] Yeah, I always loved the environment meets nonprofits, and it’s a, it’s a great story there. A lot of work to be done, to beautify and manage the tremendous amount of trash we shove under, under the good old earth. And there’s a lot that goes into it, including sort of venting and management of though the wastewater that gets run out.
[00:17:34] But get some, get some flowers going. And it’s a project that frankly nonprofits take on to, to solve the, the downstream problems of like, okay, a bunch of companies threw away a bunch of stuff. And now they don’t have to pay for the, the common problem, but nonprofits pick up in moments like that, which is why it’s good that we have those three sectors always working together.
[00:18:00] But usually the sector I love the most doing the most important work.
[00:18:06] All right, Nick, thanks as always.
[00:18:09] Thanks, George.