Non-profit organizations play a critical role in the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Without these organizations, critical services such as job placement, domestic abuse prevention, addressing food insecurity, cultural activities, and education would not be available. While non-profit organizations can and do accomplish much independently, working in tandem with government agencies can yield better, more sustainable social returns. Cooperation and transparency across multiple sectors are required to fully realize a community’s potential. Specific to the social sector, the outcomes a community can accomplish hinges on the degree to which its government agencies and non-profit organizations work together to tackle widespread social challenges.
Like all cooperative relationships, those among nonprofits and government agencies need to be nurtured. But if properly forged and fostered, these partnerships can be mutually beneficial and advance the common good of the community as a whole. Government agencies bring their intrinsic democratic authority to prioritize community issues and to devote resources needed to address those challenges. Whether this materializes in the form of a contractual, vendor-type relationship with the nonprofit to deliver a specific service, or a stronger partnership in terms of the development of the solution, it is important to clearly define roles and expectations for the purposes of accountability. Regardless of the nature of the relationship, maintaining an open dialogue with regard to discovering new, innovative approaches that might involve overcoming procedural barriers or developing new forms of support is key.
The Role of the Government Agency
Government entities must safeguard publicly funded initiatives. From providing oversight of nonprofits’ effectiveness to ensuring that nonprofits are legitimately using funding to achieve their stated missions, government agencies must carry out their role as a steward of the public’s interests in such a way that does not impede the performance of the nonprofits.
Government also supports the non-profit sector by raising awareness by sharing information with residents, promoting charitable giving and encouraging volunteerism. This is achieved through various public policy strategies designed to increase human capital support and provide additional resources for nonprofits to carry out their critical mission work. In addition to tax benefits for charitable donations, government entities can also put additional policies in place that elicit residents’ support to meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations, while remaining agnostic in terms of the specific organizations residents should support.
The Responsibility of the Social Sector Organization
The emphasis has thankfully shifted from the “low-overhead” organization to one that is focused on social impact and outcomes as the primary hallmarks of high-performance organizations. However, social sector organizations will forever be held accountable for effectively delivering their programs and services, and their ability to be responsible stewards of community resources. To accomplish this, data-driven continuous improvement measures, routine program evaluations, and the adherence to best practices must be embedded within the organizational culture.
Building Public Trust Through Cooperation and Transparency
When social sector organizations and government sectors continue to evolve their partnerships based on these principles, public trust of both comes as an invaluable biproduct. And the fastest path to achieving this level of community trust is by being transparent in the sharing of data and information. By establishing and strengthening this trust between the two sectors and with residents and stakeholders, communities will see an increase in charitable giving and garner the public support needed to devote adequate resources to realize lasting social change.
If you and your organization would like to learn more about how SureImpact can facilitate new levels of cooperation and transparency through its cloud-based platform, please contact us today.