Why are you here?

Posted by Laura Otten, Ph.D., Director on August 17th, 2017 in Thoughts & Commentary

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Most folks who chose to have careers in the nonprofit sector do so because they want to “make the world a better place.”  That definition of “better” is almost always based on social justice values.  Thus, these same people are surprised—and, honestly, quite often angry—when they discover that organizations that believe in things contrary to their definition of “better” are also nonprofits.  After all, what makes a nonprofit a nonprofit is that it is working on behalf of some portion of the public good.  And the public that is the United States is a very diverse one.

The public good needs our help, now more so than in many other points in history.  While I am a firm opponent of weakening the Johnson Amendment in any shape or form, I am even more opposed to opening the door to some to proselytize and promote political views and candidates while keeping the door closed for others.  Right now, with the Executive Order instructing enforcers to, in essence, turn a deaf ear to the pulpits of the country, every nonprofit should consider the message it needs to be pushing out.  The very essence of our sector begs us not to follow the leads of the CEOs who resigned from the President’s business councils, but to step out ahead.  It begs that each of us, in our own way, in synch with our own missions and core values, now, more so than ever, make it clear why we exist and why we need to exist.


The opinions expressed in Nonprofit University Blog are those of writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of La Salle University or any other institution or individual.