Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fighting Concentrated Poverty: Nonprofits and Their Networks of Support

Here's a great article by Rick Cohen of the Nonprofit Quarterly on the role that nonprofits can play in a national strategy of poverty reduction and job creation.

The Cohen Report: Fighting Concentrated Poverty: Nonprofits and Their Networks of Support

If President Obama is going to confront the depths of urban and rural poverty in the U.S., he is going to need to build the capacities of, and infuse capital into, community-based nonprofit organizations in poor communities. In addition to joblessness, lousy schools, high crime, and poor health outcomes, the least successful poor communities lack local nonprofits capable of providing ideas, expertise, and leadership for community renewal. The few localities making some progress, notwithstanding the past eight years of intentional downgrading and corrosion of federal government support, are those with functioning nonprofits—generally backed by an infrastructure of national and regional capacity-builders, financial intermediaries, and foundations.

...Our incoming president ought to be concerned not only with resuscitating the federal government’s commitment to eradicating poverty, but with building and sustaining an infrastructure of nonprofit organizations capable of organizing, planning, visioning, advocating, and implementing solutions.

The National Jobs for All Coalition recognizes the important role played by nonprofits in meeting community needs and advocating for community needs and social justice. Further, we think there are many opportunities for investing in human services infrastructure that will both create jobs and meet critical community needs.

Please check out the Drive for Decent Work to see how using public dollars to create jobs through community-based public and nonprofit agencies is a win-win solution for the current economic crisis. We welcome your thoughts on other opportunities for publicly-funded job creation.

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