A Fucking Nonprofit Revolution

No more of this!

The nonprofit sector contributed 1 trillion to the GDP last year. That’s a fact not a lot of people know about. They employ 10% of the workforce, and have grown 20% over the last 10 years. These organizations are out solving the hardest problems facing humanity and I’ve never understood the dismissive attitude that people take toward the sector. The condescending tone that appears when discussing charity, throwing around accusations about irresponsible spending and disorder when in reality most people have no fucking clue what goes on behind those doors.

The for-profit sector on the other hand, is widely praised for it’s success in creating a booming economy. We rarely question their spending habits or moral codes, and we constantly praise a sector that has been consistently accused of ripping people off, poisoning its consumers with products filled with sugar, bankrupting already struggling Americans with bad loans, and producing goods in conditions that are so fucking dismal you wouldn’t even want to take a breath in those factories, let alone spend 14 hours a day in them. In fact, we IDOLIZE them.
We love ourselves some Mr. Fucking Burns

As a society we vastly overlook and underestimate nonprofits. We ignore the 1.5 million organizations working day-in and day-out to actually solve problems that matter, that improve the lives of people, that change our world as we know it. We slap them on the wrist for spending too much on overhead, for taking a paycheck that is just barely above the poverty line, or, god forbid, spending some of that donor money actually ADVERTISING their good cause in order to raise awareness.

How backwards can you get? How can we live in a world in which bad behavior is incentivized with money and success and good behavior is synonymous with pity? Dan Pallotta in his book “Uncharitable”, traces some of these ideals back to the puritan era, stating:

“Our charity is based on self-sacrifice and that anyone who tries to profit in its context is considered wretched. If not, it is certainly odd that society does not brand as “shameful” the making of a profit by the sale of carbonate sugar water to children in impoverished nations of sub-Saharan Africa, or the sale of health insurance at a profit to the impoverished elderly in America..”

We built our company to help open the doors to better resourcing for these nonprofits, we’ve gotten the same exact response from people. And we’re a FOR profit.

“We’re just not sure the market is there” (the average nonprofit spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year outsourcing)

“We just don’t see the need for a separate resourcing platform for nonprofits” (want to know how they’re forced to get their resources now? Craigslist, friends-of-friends, email listservs, expensive staffing agencies, the list goes on and on)

I cannot tell you how many people I’ve met in the last 6 months building another piece of Adtech software. Or another AI bot that makes online chatting easier. Or another automated email system that generates cute gifs. But what about the people who are trying to make shit that matters? What about the organizations who are trying to solve hunger? Or poverty? Who are fighting for the rights of refugees, or the LGBTQ community?

Why are we so fucking focused on making easy lives even easier when there are hard lives getting harder?

These organizations must be paid attention to. They must be listened to. They must have the suffocating economic restrictions lifted from them. We can no longer invest in short term solutions for long term problems. We’re holding back a sector that should be thriving by ignoring it, or worse, by pitying it.

It’s time for a fucking revolution. It’s time to get our damn priorities straight. It’s time to build platforms and resources for a sector that aims to change peoples lives for the better. Can you imagine what would happen if all of Silicon Valley shifted it’s focus to building and making tech more available to nonprofits? If it actually listened to the sector’s struggles instead of assuming we know what it needs? We can’t afford to dismiss this massive portion of the economy any longer. And at Wethos, we’re going to prove it.