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institutional development: February 2009 Archives

A colleague and friend of mine is currently nursing a parent through what is canning.jpgprobably the final illness. As often happens in these situations, my friend has spent a lot of time talking with her parent about the past, about shared experiences, and what life was like for earlier generations of Americans. I was struck by the fact that my friend's parent liked to reminisce about life during the Great Depression - not to recount tales of horror and deprivation, but in a positive way. "People were just decent to each other then," this older person remembers.

Now, I don't believe that anyone longs to be hungry, impoverished, or anxious, but I can definitely see what my friend's parent means about decency. The past six months have seen the media shrilly panicked about The Global Financial Crisis, and I know many individuals and nonprofit organizations are really hurting. I myself am a statistic of the New Economy. However, I've gone from being panicked to realistic: we will all be making do with less. And I've also seen heartwarming instances of people helping each other out. Families are being brought closer; the stigma of joblessness is gone, and nonprofits are not somehow miraculous expected to buck all the major economic trends to turn in stellar financial performance under any circumstance. 

We're also rediscovering "lost" skills. Apparently there is great new interest in things like canning, knitting, and do-it-yourself repairs. I've even taken up sewing, and if you know me you'll know that that's a major accomplishment. It's a very old adage that necessity is the mother of invention, but I'm seeing organizations thinking more creatively about sustainability and yes, survival than they have in years.

What is your nonprofit doing these days? How are you reacting to the New Economy? Are you feeling positive or discouraged? I'd love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

institutional development: Monthly Archives

   

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