Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What’s in a Word? How Did We End Up as Nonprofits?

Are those in the nonprofit sector really nonprofits? A recent president’s column in Board Member, a publication of the BoardSource organization, had a provocative article about the term "nonprofit." President/CEO of BoardSource, Linda Crompton refers to comments by David Vidal, director of The Conference Board’s Center for Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability, made at the plenary session of the 2009 BoardSource Leadership Forum.

Mr. Vidal objected to the term "nonprofit." He pointed out it’s difficult for an organization to feel powerful when it is referred to as a "non" entity. What notion of profit, he asked, excludes community benefits? He suggested the group be called "Community-profit" organizations and be known as the "Community-Profit Sector."

Ms. Crompton ends her column saying, "While I remain hopeful that our economy will continue to improve in the new year, I know the 'community-profit sector' will continue to be challenged by our rapidly changing world."

Posted by Howard Barlow, NRS, Fargo

1 comment:

Susie Bowie said...

So true. When Lynn Twist was visiting out Community Foundation, she referred to the sector as the "Social Profit Sector." Nonprofit is a terrible way to describe our sector. Let's start changing that!