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Mel Gravely

The Importance of Non Profit Organizations and Effective Non Profit Boards


“The nonprofit sector is like air — it is all around us.”

I believe that there is a critical role that nonprofits play in communities across the nation. Thus it is imperative that a nonprofit Board function at a high level to ensure a clear and strategic organizational direction that supports the agency’s efforts to successfully navigate the challenges, responsibilities and opportunities of a new and changing environment.

The research of the Urban Institute indicates that for more than a decade, the nonprofit sector has experienced a steady growth in size and financial impact.

Between 2001 and 2011, the number of nonprofits has increased 25 percent; from 1,259,764 million to 1,574,674 million today. The growth rate of the nonprofit sector has surpassed the rate of both the business and government sectors.

In 2010, nonprofits contributed products and services that added $779 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product; that’s 5.4 percent of GDP.

Nonprofits are also a major employer, accounting for 9 percent of the economy’s wages and over 10 percent of jobs in 2009.

However recent economic and political issues have had a negative impact on nonprofit organizations. The economic recession, a reduction in private and corporate philanthropy, political battles resulting in sequestration have brought a heightened level of uncertainty, distrust and competitiveness to the nonprofit sector.

Imagine a world without nonprofits. It asks us to remember that:

  • We are born in nonprofit hospitals.
  • We leave our children in nonprofit child care.
  • We are educated at nonprofit schools and universities.
  • We come together in nonprofits seeking social justice.
  • We are inspired in nonprofit museums and theaters.
  • We worship in nonprofit churches, synagogues and mosques.
  • We rely on nonprofits when challenges confront families and tragedy strikes our communities.

The Gravely Group offers Board Training for non-profits of all kinds. Contact us today for a free phone consultation with Melvin Gravely.

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