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Unpublished Paper
Nonprofits at the Crossroad: Embrace Change, Learn to Compete
Graduate Program; Georgetown University Public Policy Institute (2005)
  • Art Stewart

The tide of continuous change brought on by the impact of a global marketplace is impacting the fundamental way we conduct our relationships, commerce, and civic engagement as well as the formation and implementation of our public policy, and the manner in which we define and exercise our belief systems. Competition is now essential to acquiring what we need on both a personal and communal basis. We compete in the way we relate to each other - vying for attention and engagement, loyalty and trust, and physical needs. We compete in our civic engagement - striving for numbers of supporters, empathy for our point of view, the dollars to advance our special interest, and the influence to wield power. Competition is part of the equation that holds a growing interconnected global community in check and balance; the most advanced nations push the envelope of discovery and application that the more primitive cultures later assimilate in their evolution to a higher standard. Competition was once perceived by many in the nonprofit realm as an evil necessity of the corporate world. It is now the norm for serving the needy and protecting the interests of society’s vulnerable populations. Nonprofits no longer can bask in their status, privilege, and deference. Nonprofits as we have known them, and as they have understood themselves, are dying. However, it is not competition that is the culprit of their failed ambitions, but the nonprofits' unwillingness to properly and adequately compete.

Publication Date
Spring 2005
Citation Information
Art Stewart. "Nonprofits at the Crossroad: Embrace Change, Learn to Compete" Graduate Program; Georgetown University Public Policy Institute (2005)
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