As the business community and policymakers talk about the road to economic recovery coming up to the election and beyond, our sector must remember that we too are key players and contributors to building a stronger Michigan. So often our work and its significance flies under the radar.
If you have not read the MNA-commissioned, Economic Benefits of Michigan’s Nonprofit Sector Report , produced by Public Sector Consultants and released this year, I urge you to do so. It is a tremendous tool to help us all understand the value that our sector provides to the economy.
The report bears out that nonprofits have held their own under some very tough economic circumstances, and employment in our sector has actually increased. The nonprofit sector now employs about the same number of people as durable goods manufacturing, which includes the auto industry. More than 438,000 individuals, or 11 percent of the state’s workforce, were employed by nonprofits in 2013.As nonprofits come to the table with government, business and communities, it is important that we understand our impact. We have had to be nimble and proactive so that we can contribute in innovative ways. While filling in gaps and providing services to address the needs of residents remains a primary focus for nonprofits, our sector has the resources to effect change on a much broader scale. It is time for Michigan nonprofits to really see our influence and embrace our ability to be change-agents and great partners in this state.
Together, we need to continue to educate ourselves on our collective contributions to the economic wellbeing of the state, and we need to continually reinforce those messages to other sectors. The Michigan nonprofit sector provides innovation and stability to the most vulnerable in uncertain times. We are major employers in the state, as well as major service providers. We see trends, often before other sectors. And we often feel the impacts of times of crisis before others.
Armed with the data, we all have the opportunity to reframe the discussion on the value of Michigan nonprofits. So often we are about doing the work, securing the funding, and looking at our individual organization’s bottom lines, and we forget the successes and strengths that collectively we offer.
Take some time to review the report. In addition, I am excited to announce that MNA is hosting regional trainings on how to use the data.
Jeff Williams, CEO of Public Sector Consultants will present two regional workshops this year. These workshops will highlight interesting data and trends as well as demonstrate the powerful web-based tool that allows users to drill down into this data set. These interactive, interesting and educational workshops will give you the tools you need to communicate the influence of the sector to your stakeholders.
Events are free but registration is required.
President & CEO
Michigan Nonprofit Association