Written By: Karuna Reang
Recently, I came across an article in the Boston Business Journal. The headline read Boston’s new wealth on a mission. This seemed like an interesting topic because the two words “wealth” and “mission” are terms you find hard to resist.
The article discusses how people are willing to support nonprofits more than ever and explains that those in the wealthier part of society are ready to give back to the world from their assets. Thus, the proliferation of the nonprofit sector may be permanently altering the relationship between states and citizens, with an impact extending far beyond the material services they provide. In the article, they discuss how the new wealth breaking over Boston is “capsizing traditional ideas about civic engagement and social responsibility.” One may be curious and ask why are they doing this? What is their main purpose or goal?
Through my research I have found that, with the increase in nonprofits around the world– from the developed countries of North America, Europe and Asia to the developing societies of Africa, Latin America and the former Soviet bloc– people are forming associations, foundations and similar institutions. Their goal is to deliver human services, promote grass-roots economic development, prevent environmental degradation, protect civil rights and pursue a thousand other objectives formerly unattended or left to the state. As part of their philosophy, the article further mentions, millionaires are taking risks and putting their wealth not just into nonprofits, but also into supporting companies. For instance, Sean Marsh, co-founder of venture firm Point Judith Capital, has a simple philosophy for his personal wealth: Put the money to work by supporting startup companies.
This then brings us to an important question: how are the nonprofits going to put themselves in a position to benefit from this new wealth? There is going to be a real tidal wave of competition to adapt to the new philosophies. However, the nonprofits need to make sure to do their best to stand strong in serving their mission and demonstrating a meaningful outcomes and impact of their work.
These past three weeks as a Resource Room Intern has taught me about the various work nonprofits in the area do day in and day out to continue carrying the torch of social responsibility: making a just world. The clients who visit the center are passionate about what they do and it shows.
Wishing all of them the very best in their endeavors!
To read the full headlines, please visit the following link:
Boston Business Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/print-edition/2014/06/27/bostons-new-wealth-on-a-mission.html