A vigorous expansion of the no-profit sector will form the third wave of societal development. The first wave was that of the reliance on the government, the second wave was of stakeholder model of Japan and Germany, where business assumed much of the welfare burden. Today the stakeholder society is feeling the burden in the capitalist and free-world economy. The economy boom for the individuals has eroded the lines between labor and capital.
As we enter the 21st century, the organizations which work with a no- profit motive promise to be the country's first line of attack on its social problems. We have so far seen a reliance on the government sector to address the societal and communal needs, a model that seems to have failed miserably. Countries in the designated third-world have generally demonstrated a disregard for the well-being and development of lower strata of society, thus creating a bigger divide between the haves and have-nots.
Why Support Not-for-Profits ?
The organizations which work with a no-profit motive do their jobs far better than their government counterparts and count on a spirit of volunteerism that has no competition. This is not because of the fact that volunteers are free but because they are committed, they have a sense of doing, they have a sense of achieving results for reality versus votes for next elections, and most important of all there is no bureaucracy. In today's climate, this is less a function of religious fervor than common sense : Who is more likely to provide relief to the Earthquake or Drought victim, the State Government official or the local non-partisan, non-self serving outfit ? Who is more likely to provide education to the primary school children in a remote village and give them a foundation for life, the Education Department or the local Community Educational Trust ? Who is more likely to provide a job opportunity to a handicapped person, the State or the nonprofit dedicated to them ? Ordinary citizens understand this.
The private foundations or public nonprofits will never solve our problems. However comparing the records of government with nonprofits does tell us that the transfer of social functions from the public to the nonprofit sector is something that ought to be encouraged, not merely tolerated. The explosion of charitable giving and volunteerism should forever put to rest the canard that the booming economy is a sign of materialistic community. The reality is that the people, not government, primarily define the community.
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