Home Clients Community Service Organzations
Community Service Organzations PDF Print E-mail

Perspective and Approach

E. F. Schumacher, whose little book Small is Beautiful revolutionized the way we think about values and service in a post-industrialized, mass communication society, once said, "The party's over. The only question for us is, what happens now after the party?"

It's a good question, and one that all of us have to address very seriously. It is appropriate that we celebrate the massive impact of the nonprofit sector on life in the United States, and the work of non-governmental organizations around the world. This voluntary, so-called "Third Sector," is an essential component of a civilized society. None of us would want to live in a community where there are no Scouting programs, no Friends of the Library, no churches, no volunteer firefighters, no shelters for the hungry and the homeless. The voluntary sector is what provides vitality and "quality" to the lives we enjoy as free citizens.

handshakeBut, the party's over. Any of us who serve on boards and volunteer committees know that our social and community organizations are under close scrutiny in almost every quarter. Some local jurisdictions want to impose taxes on schools and other social service organizations just to meet short-term budget deficits. Newspapers delight in uncovering a "scandal" when a greedy executive takes advantage of perks or misappropriates funds. The media seems often to ignore the positive actions of nonprofit organizations in the community. Our Congressional leaders are always eager to mount a new "investigation" when an accounting discrepancy appears on the books of a philanthropic organization. It is rare when public officials make a positive comment about what nonprofits have contributed to healthcare, land conservation, and support of education.

So we have come to live with words like "accountability," "transparency," "impact evaluation," and "strategic budgeting." Not that this is a bad thing -- it's just that when one is always on the defensive, it is so easy to forget the organization’s Mission.

So what happens after the party? We discover we must bring new leadership into the organization. We find that we must look to an invigorated and technologically competent staff. We realize that we must boost the learning curve to stay ahead of developing trends. We learn that we must develop new strategies for marshalling the financial resources required to transform the organization for new challenges next year. But then it dawns on us that once we think we have the answer, a new question pops up that promises to change the entire landscape.

CommunityNexus Consulting welcomes the opportunity to work with social service agencies and community development organizations that seek to expand their programs or enhance their impact by generating new resources for their Mission. Capturing new resources, recovering previous donors, developing new strategies for new initiatives, training the Board and cultivating new constituencies -- all of these factors should mesh for the organization to revitalize its Vision and Mission. Our consultants have worked with a variety of social service and community development organizations on such tasks, including:

  • FEDERATION OF SOUTHERN COOPERATIVES, Atlanta, GA
  • NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SOCIAL WORKERS, Washington DC
  • LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS EDUCATION FUND, Washington DC
  • MENTAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION of ERIE COUNTY, Buffalo, NY
  • SPECIAL KIDS in PUBLISHING (SKIP), Bethesda, MD
  • AMERICAN RED CROSS -- Chapters in thirteen communities nationwide
  • CHURCH FEDERATION OF GREATER WASHINGTON, DC
  • FLORIDA SHERIFF'S BOYS RANCH, Tallahassee, FL
  • NATIONAL COUNCIL OF NEGRO WOMEN, Alexandria, VA
  • HABITAT FOR HUMANITY INTERNATIONAL, Americus, GA
  • PAX CHRISTI, U.S.A., Erie, PA