Like many Americans, I’ve struggled with the outcome of the recent election. I’ve felt anger, frustration, despair. It’s affected familial relationships, even to the extent that I’ve stayed home from family gatherings.
As a writer in the nonprofit sector, part of me says that I should be non-partisan in the content I create. That’s a rational approach.
Today, though, calls for something not-so-rational.
Many (perhaps most?) in the nonprofit sector, share my values as a progressive…as a liberal.
Except that word has been tarnished over the past few decades. Many would have us believe that “liberal” is bad.
What does it mean to be a liberal?
Community Fundraising and Liberal Values
In an op-ed in the December 2016 issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Benjamin Soskis, a historian of philanthropy at the Center for Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy, and Policy at George Mason University, sums it up pretty nicely.
“What we can say with near certainty is that the fundamental liberal values, those of tolerance and respect of others, of decency, charity, and moderation, have been enfeebled in our public life. The transition from President Obama, who embodied these values so confidently…to Donald Trump is almost too painful to contemplate.”
Too painful to contemplate, indeed.
On this day, eight years ago, I gleefully watched President Obama’s inauguration, one of the most-observed events every by a global audience.
Today, I will steadfastly avoid television, radio, and the media. It’s just too painful to bear.
Instead, I will reflect upon my work as a writer and strategist to nonprofits, and find strength for the long road ahead — of fighting against people and policies that would diminish others, as well as the eventual rebuilding after the damage is done.
In the same op-ed, Soskis writes, “These liberal values have long sustained the nation’s system and culture of volunteerism. Philanthropy must be a place in which they are preserved, defended, and championed, a sort of glass-walled sanctuary for the best of American ideals…Nonprofits and foundations will have to manufacture the civic resources that our contemporary political culture seems incapable of sustaining at the moment.
Today is a day of sadness, of despair. It’s also the day that history will reveal was the day the nonprofit community kicked into high gear.
Glenn is a fundraising strategist who loves working with small- to mid-size organizations that want to innovate and grow.
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