By Kevin Bailey, CEO, Idaho Nonprofit Center
Even as someone who has spent my whole career in nonprofits in various capacities it had never really occurred to me just how much nonprofits touch every aspect of our lives as Idahoans. Previously, I had always thought of the nonprofit sector as the mortar that fills the space between the bricks in our society. However, I think that analogy has got it exactly backwards.
Nonprofits are the bricks themselves that great communities are built on. In short, nonprofits are essential to our way of life in Idaho. Of course, you and our friends in organizations across the sector inherently know this.
As I approach three months in this role, I am convinced that our sector has a big opportunity in front of us: It’s time to let the best-kept secret out of the bag and lift up our voice as a sector to make sure our sector is getting its due. Nonprofits are the foundation on which great communities are built.
Over these last three months, the Idaho Nonprofit Center has been advocating and meeting with public officials from every level of public office in our state to make sure that nonprofits in your community are prioritized with ARPA relief funding and other national nonprofit priorities. We’ve been advocating with funders in support of a funding model which favors more unrestricted funding for nonprofits to hire and retain high-quality staff to deliver the amazing programs in your community. And, finally, we’ve been sharing the wonderful stories of our sector with the public to make sure that the public trusts and continues to support nonprofits in their community.
If you can do one thing this week it’s this: Commit to sharing the story of your nonprofit. Contact your local Idaho legislator and send them a quick email sharing the good work you are doing as well as some of the needs you are seeing. Our elected officials are highly accessible and there’s a good chance you’ll even get a direct response back!
Contact your local mayor or county commissioner (if in a rural area). Let them know that nonprofits in your community are eager to understand the process for applying for ARPA funds and share a list of your organization’s or partner’s needs.
Don’t underestimate the voice you have as nonprofit leaders, employees, volunteers, and donors. We are sitting on the precipice of a once-in-a-generation opportunity as a sector to build out the projects, systems, and programs which will increase the quality of life and financial stability of citizens across our state. And nonprofits will be a large reason why.
So let’s get to work and use the collective power of 6,000 registered charitable organizations in our state. Join us!
The Idaho Nonprofit Center strengthens our state’s over 6,000 registered charitable nonprofit organizations through training, advocacy, and collaboration.
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