How Much Is 1 Percent of Your Bottom Line?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

How Much Is 1 Percent of Your Bottom Line?
A message from PNY President Ronna Brown, published originally in the New York PhilanthroPost Monthly June 2016 edition.

Last month, 22 national nonprofit organizations that work with philanthropists came together with a single statement and a joint commitment to work together more collaboratively:

“An economy needs roads, bridges, and train stations to thrive,” states the letter distributed by the Center for Effective Philanthropy. “A community needs schools, parks, and houses of worship to ensure the flowering of human potential. And civil society needs infrastructure to ensure that nonprofits and foundations can act with integrity and impact.”

The letter makes the case to funders that providing their “infrastructure” with adequate resources will benefit the work of the philanthropic sector. The specific ask was that foundations consider directing at least 1 percent of their grantmaking budgets to support the infrastructure upon which the nonprofit sector is built.

How much is 1 percent of your bottom line?

And why should you direct this valuable percentage to these groups rather than channeling it directly into a nonprofit that directly addresses your mission?

Because every successful sector in society has built an infrastructure to magnify its impact:

“Wall Street has invested trillions to build its infrastructure institutions, whether Bloomberg, Morningstar, or the Harvard Business Review,” the letter states. “Medicine, law, academia, and other sectors similarly rely on shared infrastructure to align their work.”

As important as the “ask” is, the letter is just as significant because 22 organizations, from coast to coast, signed it AND committed to collaborating. Collaboration is never easy – but those signing the letter have made the commitment. Aligning the spectrum of their viewpoints on how to do the sector’s work better –more efficiently, effectively, and collaboratively, will be a big challenge.  It is one, however, I believe we are ready to embrace.

This letter is the first step in the right direction. Let’s keep it moving by continuing to invest in our infrastructure. If you agree – or disagree – please tell us.  We want to hear from you.

Best regards,


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