Robert Penna's research suggests that most money in the nonprofit world goes to a tiny percentage of nonprofits and that increasingly all are asked to be good business folks and show growing results and return for "investors."
I learned of the vast inequity in the sector. I learned that there are about 1.7 million nonprofits in the U.S., and that about $1.5 trillion flows through the sector each year. But, I also learned that 94% of this revenue goes to only about 6% of those charities, that 85% goes to only 1.3% of them, and that 60% goes to only .02% of the charities in the country. What this means is that the vast majority do not have access to most of the resources flowing into and through the sector each year. Yet, at the same time, all of them were being asked to show evidence of outcomes.
Robert has written a book, The Nonprofit Outcomes Toolboxto help small orgs survive in this mercilessly managed approach to giving, to join what they cannot fight. I have added the book to my reading list. I certainly don't want to disappear or be crushed. Given a choice I would rather be Pope than Jesus, better yet Steve Jobs. To reliably subordinate being to doing, I must have some outcome that I am managing to achieve. I seek a cure for blindness, and have found it among ancient manuscripts. My problem now is distribution. I have to get Horace and Juvenal into the heads of "social investors." I find that difficult. The mind has to open before it can admit evidence that it is closed. The proven best practices in my field involve a long convalescence, curing yourself before you attempt to cure others. At this point, I just keep getting sicker. They say that the worst thing you can do these days is to go into a hospital, because there you find flesh eating incurable bacteria. I find that philanthropy works that way too.