Welcome to 2023. I’ve been thinking about what we as a sector need this year, and I have concluded that this is the year for nonprofits to speak up and demand change.
I’m riled up about the state of the nonprofit sector. You work so hard on behalf of our communities and the environment. You’ve been essential workers during the pandemic and are crucial to our state’s recovery. Many of you are being squeezed in ways that threaten your existence – increased labor costs and turnover, declining community giving and volunteering, years of flat funding from government and foundations. You deserve respect, particularly in the form of less restrictive funding that increases with inflation and allows you to pay your talented staff a fair and sustainable wage and benefits that in turn allow them to stay in our sector doing the work they feel called to do and do well.
How do we get there? I believe we need to form a united front and tell policymakers and funders what we need. That’s why we are launching a Nonprofit Government Contracting Coalition and making contracting reform our top policy priority. It’s why we are working collaboratively with the Seattle Human Services Coalition, the BIPOC ED Coalition, and others toward wage equity for nonprofit workers.
We need to refuse inadequate contracts and remind government of how much we do to help them achieve their public goals of increasing affordable housing, childcare, healthcare access, building community, and more. Join us in 2023 – as members and as activists. We need to be done with accepting a system that undervalues the amazing care and community building work we do. I look forward to working hard to shift this. It will be a long road, but I believe in us. Let’s do this!
Yours in solidarity,