Tip 38: Unpredictable Political Landscapes

16 Feb 2017 11:25 AM | Heather Kaye (Administrator)

We are all keenly aware of the current and very real unpredictability in our current political climate. Peter Fishinger covers six important areas of concern in his article "Advice for Nonprofit Leaders: How to Navigate an Unpredictable Political Landscape."

  • Watch the economy first and tax policy second. Looking ahead, many analysis groups predict economic growth for 2017 and 2018, albeit at a lower rate than in previous years. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center posits that if fully implemented, these (Trumps's) proposals could decrease giving by 4.5 to 9 percent.
  • Let politics inform your work, but not define it.  Find a way to harness this mindset by analyzing how new political leadership and trending activist movements motivate people. Organizations in some sectors are already showing success in responding to political changes. These include women's health, environmental, international, and social justice nonprofits.
  • Position your organization to adapt to sector-sweeping changes, especially in healthcare. Backup plans for disruptions in government funding, the tax structure, or a recession can prepare organizations to weather challenges and take advantage of new opportunities. Nonprofits need to think critically about resources and partnerships that are most critical to sustaining and advancing their missions.
  • If there is another recession, leverage close donor relationships. People tend to reduce the number of organizations they support before they reduce the amount they give to their top organizations. If donors believe in an organization’s mission, they will be more willing to stay connected and support it through thick and thin.
  • Speak up for the value of the nonprofit sector at all levels of government. Though the charitable deduction has previously earned bipartisan support, maintaining that support will take the efforts of the entire sector, and all nonprofits should communicate why this deduction matters.
  • Stay committed. Nonprofits can thrive under any administration. History suggests that the organizations that are effective and committed can survive and thrive under any administration.

Times of unpredictability can increase stress levels. The Leadership Sanctuary's mission has been to support nonprofit leaders to be more resilient, develop focusing practices and build supportive community. We urge you to stay informed, continue rigorous self-care and stay connected. Let us know what is helping you through these unpredictable times.

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