The Shift in Social Good That’s Affecting All of Us

June 17, 2016 Rachel Hutchisson

This article was originally published on npENGAGE.


There’s a shift happening in the way we participate in philanthropy. Or, better yet, there’s a shift happening in the way we think about having an impact overall (in philanthropy and in life).

It’s no longer just about writing a “check”—though still hugely important—it’s more diverse than that. New generations of givers, new technology, new expectations of corporations, new ways of approaching innovation…the list goes on.  All of these things are contributing to how we, as a social good sector, think about impact and recruiting support for the causes we love. We’ve added to our arsenal and bridged the divides—no longer are we restricted to work as a nonprofit professional in order to be involved in work that has meaning. 

I like to say that I graduated from college during the Gordon Gekko “greed is good” era, where if you wanted to make money, you went into business. If you wanted to “do good,” you worked for a nonprofit or perhaps got an MPA.

Today, we have options.  My 18-year-old son is headed to college knowing that doing good can be a part of whatever path he charts.  And that makes me exceptionally happy.

Being a Gen Xer myself, I often joke that I’m from the generation that nobody talks about.  The Boomers get attention because of the wealth and power they hold. And the Millennials, they’re changing the game. But, seriously, the Millennial generation’s entry into the workforce has been a huge driver of the shift toward meaning and purpose in our careers (a shift Boomers and Xers also embrace, BTW, but there is power in numbers).

I see this shift toward purpose – both in how we give and how we live – every day from my vantage point as a corporate social responsibility professional at a technology company that creates software and services for the global philanthropic community.  My colleagues see, first hand, that the giving community is more than just the nonprofit organizations and institutions that are doing good (vital, though they are).  It’s also the individual change makers that are giving and creating grassroots campaigns for causes they care about; it’s the socially conscious companies that want to ensure that every transaction helps someone in need as well as the bottom line; it’s the advocacy groups and campaigns that are influencing policy so that we can move toward a more peaceful and opportunistic world for everyone.  It’s everyone, or at least is open to everyone.

MCON is a convening of people who want to do something meaningful.

We’re in the business of powering that kind of meaning. And that’s why we’re participating, helping to make the event happen and sharing in the insights that will result. We value being part of the community—the rich, diverse, broadly defined community that reaches across geographical, generational, organizational boundaries and focus on what matters.

MCON is a conference for people trying to change the world for the better, and we’re proud to be joining DeRay Mckesson, Jean Case, and other movers and shakers in Washington DC next week. If you can’t make it there yourself, all the speakers will be live streamed here: http://www.mcon.events/live/

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