Bearing Witness

by Billy Shore

How has your nonprofit prepared for the new economic environment?

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


The headlines of the past few days underscore why 2012 will be a year in which communities across the country need Community Wealth Ventures more than ever.

The lead story in the January 1 NY Times describes the Obama Administration’s decision to basically give up on getting anything significant done in Congress in 2012 except the extension of the payroll tax cut. See: : “President Obama heading into his re-election campaign with plans to step up his offensive against an unpopular Congress, concluding that he cannot pass any major legislation in 2012 because of Republican hostility toward his agenda.”

The lead story of today’s NYT is about Defense Secretary Panetta’s proposal to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the defense budget driven by the Obama Administration’s vision of fiscal reality. If these kinds of cuts in defense spending, which are a foregone conclusion, just imagine the constraints we are going to see on domestic and human and social service budgets at all levels of government.

With government both gridlocked and broke, there will be greater and greater pressure in the year ahead for nonprofits and public-private partnerships to advance innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to community needs. As government spending shrinks, more nonprofits will be expected to help fill the gap, notwithstanding the impracticality, if not impossibility, of accomplishing more with less.

Given CWV’s track record of helping high performing nonprofits embrace ingredients of growth and transformation, achieve sustainability and scale, and create community wealth; we may be filling a need, and intersecting with the national conversation, in ways greater than once imagined.