With community benefit organizations, is it about changing a name or changing direction?

With community benefit organizations, is it about changing a name or changing direction?

Posted on June 27, 2013 by Pam Truitt

Sandy Hughes said it.

In listing macro factors facing the nonprofit community, the term “nonprofit” topped the list. Hughes, an independent governance consultant for boards and senior nonprofit leaders, then explained that the name has a negative connotation. Hughes has erased “nonprofit” from her lexicon and challenged us to do the same.

Then she said CBO. Community Benefit Organization. CBO…..CBO….trying to wrap my mind around it. It makes sense. After all, a 501c3 is formed around a mission and a purpose to benefit the greater good.

Would a nomenclature change lead to other changes? I don’t know.

What I do know is what Sandy Hughes shared during a presentation to foundations that support ‘community benefit organizations.' In addition to the name, this is her list of macro factors.

• Sequestration—Current Economic Conditions

• Federal Budget and Tax Reform

• Era of Accountability, Transparency & Data

• Demanding Donors & Charity Watch Dog Groups

• Demographic Issues

• PILOT (payments in lieu of taxes)

• Growth in the Sector and Demand for Services

• New Ways to Communicate

• L3C Legislation

• Need for New Finance/Business Models

• CEO Transition – Leadership Deficit

• Governance Challenges

If your path has crossed with Sandy Hughes, you know the credibility she brings to any discussion. Very impressive journey in the philanthropic world and a good soul too.

Readers—what would you add to Sandy’s list? Do you think a name change to—Community Benefit Organization—would lead to any other changes? Love to hear your thoughts!

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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