The Nonprofit Symposium held Jan. 15 by the newly created Florida Nonprofit Alliance was time very well spent and I was sorry so few of the local nonprofits attended. FNA is the newly created statewide nonprofit advocacy organization. There are 36 other states that already have a statewide organization recognized by the National Council of Nonprofits and Florida is finally getting our own. It’s ridiculous we haven’t been one of the national leaders. This statewide alliance is going to have a huge impact on all nonprofits in Florida and I strongly urge you to check them out at www.flnonprofits.org and follow what they are doing. Better yet, get involved and make it all happen.
Robert Eggers, author, entrepreneur and nonprofit leader, was the opening speaker and talked about the importance of FNA. He reminded us we have a vested interest in coming together to talk about what the sector contributes. Eggers said individual lives are always important, but what the FNA is trying to do, in partnership with the 36 other state associations, is about big audacious change.
He said those of us working in nonprofits are really in the courage business. I loved that. He continued by saying he sees three groups of nonprofit folks. Those doing what we do for our organizations and populations, those who come together sometimes to share and then go back to regular work, and those that see the future and march out to meet it.
Finally, Eggers talked about how there is no profit (for businesses) without nonprofits. Business leaders depend on us to take care of their people, to create culture and arts and help the community be strong and viable. When our communityis strong, people spend money and businesses make money. The nonprofit sector should never be bashful about wanting to be represented in every important discussion affecting our quality of life. It doesn’t exist at the pleasure of the other sectors; it exists because the other two sectors need it.