I have spent 15 years in the nonprofit sector. It is a beautiful sector, run by empathetic badasses that make this world more beautiful, safe, loving, and connected. I am and have always been so proud and honored to be apart of it.
And now, my nonprofit friends are scared. They are afraid because they do not feel that the work of nonprofits is as valued as for-profit businesses are when it comes to government support in a crisis. They’re scared because they don’t feel like people are talking about the 12.3 million people employed by nonprofits (the third largest workforce – tied with manufacturing). They’re frustrated because they’re being asked why they don’t have six months of reserves, when ‘the best’ businesses are saying they need urgent relief to not file for bankruptcy. And more than anything, I think they’re sad. Sad because they love their jobs, sad because they love the world and because they are heart-centered people that feel all the pain this world is in, and they want nothing more than to help it heal.
I know it is a scary time. I am scared too. I feel myself wanting to go into self-preservation mode. We’re hiding in our homes hoarding toilet paper, so why not hoard our money too? We might lose it - we’ve already lost a lot. BUT just like hoarding toilet paper means that someone else cannot get ANY toilet paper, the SAME is true about our money.
So, I did something bolder today. Something more vulnerable, harder, and scarier. I looked up every organization I gave to last year, and I just gave them double.
1. Because I have not lost any cash income (yet) and have the incredible privilege of working from home with my salary intact. I know how many people are not in this situation, and I consider it my duty to step the f**k up.
2. Because whenever something crashes, burns, and dies, something NEW is born. It is the circle of life, after all. And what I’ve decided is that if this is the end of the world as we know it, I want to DECIDE what new world will emerge from the ashes. I’ve decided that there is NO BETTER time than now to put my money where my mouth is.
I know what I’m suggesting involves giving up your privilege and security and resources. I know how scary that is, I feel the tightness in my chest and belly too. But what I’m also suggesting is that if you DON’T - and don’t do it now, quickly, before organizations close their doors, it could mean giving up art, after school programs, support systems for the aging, mental health support, health education, and on and on and on. Not to mention, the overall impact on the equity divide.
What will the world be left with when COVID is over? We decide. You have more power than you think. It has never been more important to put your money where your HEART is. And let me tell you, it felt SO GOOD. To take action from a place of inspiration, hope, and possibility - never have I needed it more than I did today.
I am so grateful to each of those organizations for allowing me to be involved in their work - to believe, deeply, that better days lie ahead.
Let’s #savethesector together, shall we?