What We're Reading: Collective impact and what progressives can learn from conservatives

"Like you, I’ve been thinking about the police brutally murdering Tyre Nichols in Memphis, the latest in the countless murders of Black people by the police," said Vu Le for Nonprofit AF. "I’m thinking of Tyre Nichols, who loved skateboarding and photography and who had a son a little younger than my six-year-old, and I’m thinking of his family, whom he was just trying to get home to. I cannot imagine their pain."

"This murder came while so many of us are still grieving the mass shooting deaths of people in Monterey Park, Half Moon Bay, and other places too numerous for many of us to keep track of anymore (about 40 over the past four weeks). This is where we are at for this new year. Endless death and injustice, not just sanctioned but sponsored by our government. And those of us in nonprofit and philanthropy, for all the good we do, often feel powerless."

"But our sector’s job is to address inequity and injustice, so we need to focus. The statements we’ll be making condemning police violence and anti-Blackness have been a start, but they are not enough, and in fact, they can often lull us into a sense of complacency, kind of like a long-form of “thoughts and prayers.” We need to, as an entire united sector, work together to end white supremacy and its many manifestations, and we need to do it differently and more effectively."

"To be successful in pushing back against injustice like the above, the progressive-leaning wing of our sector must stop wasting time with meaningless and distracting priorities and start working together to implement equally wide-reaching and creative strategies. We can call it collective impact or whatever, but we need to do more of it, and at scales that would match the conservative movement’s investment in furthering its values. Here are a few things to consider:"

  • We need a common agenda uniting every issue we’re trying to address
  • Progressive-leaning foundations need to fund completely differently
  • Nonprofits need to stop being so nice and get a lot angrier

"I want us to get angrier. Not just at the various forms of relentless injustice we have been tasked with doing something about, but also at the fact that we are expected to do it with 10% of the resources we need, resources that come with endless conditions and restrictions. We’ve been conditioned to be calm and level-headed and grateful, and over time, our imagination has been dimmed, our common vision narrower and narrower. It’s been affecting our ability to work together collectively to advance a just and equitable world. We need to restore both our righteous anger and our imagination."

Read the full article here.