Nonprofit Quarterly Magazine, Summer 2020 Digital Issue

Summer 2020 – Digital Issue

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Designing for a New World

Summer 2020: Volume 27, Issue 2


  • Ideas Arrangements Effects: Systems Design and Social Justice
    Currently, arrangements of power and authority, and media, and daily life, are conglomerating at unprecedented rates, necessitating that we find new arrangements for confronting such power—creating opportunities to explore, experience, and design the future/s we want. This article, adapted from a book published this year, makes the case that uninspected daily arrangements are a rich and undertapped terrain for social change.
    by Design Studio for Social Intervention (Lori Lobenstine, Kenneth Bailey, and Ayako Maruyama)

  • The Nonprofit Sector as White Space
    The concept of white space has crossed over from Black space into the public conversation about race in the U.S. But many are using a white space approach to racial justice, including nonprofit leaders.
    by Cyndi Suarez

  • Changing Our Narrative about Narrative: The Infrastructure Required for Building Narrative Power
    In this essay, originally written for the Othering & Belonging Institute’s Blueprint for Belonging project, Rashad Robinson, president of Color Of Change, asks, “Are we happy? Are we happy with how we’re doing narrative right now and the results we’re getting, and are we willing to keep on doing the same?” The question is, of course, rhetorical. “Narrative builds power for people,” he reminds us, “or it is not useful at all.”
    by Rashad Robinson

  • When Someone Steals Your Soul: Repatriating Narratives in the Nonprofit Sector
    Much of the philanthropic and nonprofit sector brandishes a narrative about “the disadvantaged,” “the dependent,” “the at risk.” As this article stresses, “The rupturing of the dominant narrative must be a multidimensional effort and repeated wherever the old metanarrative is being trotted out for a reinforcing run around the block.”
    by the editors

  • On Mutuality and Reciprocity as Systemic Medicine for What Ails Us
    “What if … we took as a central assumption that addressing the needs and concerns of everyone was in everyone’s own self-interest and was ultimately a more richly sustainable and liberatory way of life?,” asks Ruth McCambridge in this meditation on enlightened self-interest.
    by Ruth McCambridge

  • How Liberatory Philanthropy and Restorative Investing Can Remake the Economy
    As Common Future’s Rodney Foxworth writes, “The field of philanthropy must wrestle with its complacency in the systemic accumulation and concentration of wealth.” This article discusses actionable steps philanthropy can take to redress its systemic failures and establish equity.
    by Rodney Foxworth

  • Reframing Governance III
    The most substantive decisions regarding your organization’s governance are likely happening far from the boardroom. How should your governance systems respond? This is the third edition of “Reframing Governance,” which was first published in 2006, and then updated in 2012.
    by David O. Renz

  • Windows of Collaborative Opportunity: Considerations of Governance
    How do nonprofit–public partnerships form, and how are they governed? This article analyzes the life cycle of such collaborations, which can be challenged by complex power dynamics.
    by Chris Cornforth, John Paul Hayes, and Siv Vangen

  • A Cult of Democracy—Toward a Pluralistic Politics
    This article delves into the question, “How should we view and respond to the devolution of democracy and resurgence of racism and xenophobia that are currently manifesting in the U.S. and globally?,” and offers five points toward constructing a pluralistic democracy.
    by Cyndi Suarez