Celebrating nonprofits and agents of change

By Ashley Kasprzak, JVA Consulting

Some people profess their love for animals, Doritos and other unique things through Facebook, tweets and bumper stickers. If I had to choose one silly love statement, it would be “I love nonprofits.” Admittedly, love for my family trumps nonprofits, but since it’s nonprofit week in Colorado I am going to put that aside.

I have worked with nonprofit organizations for over 20 years and find the sector incredibly inspiring. So far this year I have assisted leaders in addressing many causes: housing and workforce development for adults with disabilities, historic preservation, public health, early childhood education, abused children, children’s creativity, health care and more. I definitely like diversity in my life!

The Colorado Nonprofit Association annually sponsors Nonprofit Week. This year’s begins on March 6 and culminates with a luncheon on March 11. Click here to register.

Our entire nation is filled with nonprofits, most of them striving to elevate our society, help those in need and resolve difficult issues. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there were over 1.5 million charities in 2009—and there are likely more now. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 997,579 public charities
  • 118,423 private foundations
  • 453,570 other types of nonprofit organizations, including chambers of commerce, fraternal organizations and civic leagues.

This sector is an economic engine. In 2007, public charities reported over $1.4 trillion in total revenues and nearly $1.3 trillion in total expenses.

Whether or not you work for, or donate to, a nonprofit, you are likely impacted by many of them. I encourage you to research the causes you care about and engage. Many are still hurting from the recession and need extra support right now.

As I was, you may be moved to action by a recent performance by students. This 90-second video by my son’s third-grade class that encourages us to “be an agent of change.”

The beat is strong and the words are simple. Songwriter Teresa Jennings starts the lyrics like this:

Oh yeah, that’s right
We are the future
We are the power
We are the agents, agents of change
We know the problems
We have solutions
We are the agents, agents of change
I am prepared from my head to toes
Do what you do and bring what you bring
We are the ones to make it happen
We are the agents, agents of change

Can you answer “What do you have to bring?”

Nonprofit Week is a good time for all of us to consider this question and get involved.

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