At a packed annual meeting this week members and supporters of The Nonprofit Roundtable (an early ally of our Region Forward Vision) gave strong support to the idea that their work must be more effectively financed and promoted to help their organizations make a bigger difference for the region.
After almost a year at the helm of the Roundtable president and chief executive Diana Leon-Taylor unveiled a new logo and strategic plan. She said the organization will be aggressive in providing its members’ value by compiling data that demonstrates their achievements and working more actively with corporate partners and the media.
“Capturing our members’ data and our advocacy role are major parts of our strategic plan” Leon-Taylor said. She added that the Roundtable will form new cross-sector partnerships to find solutions to social service issues such as health education workforce development and affordable housing. The Roundtable’s role was summarized in a new brand that says the group provides “leadership vision voice and results.”
The Roundtable honored Julie Rogers president of the local philanthropy The Meyer Foundation and Chuck Bean executive director of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments as visionary leaders who were extremely important to the success of the nonprofit sector and the Roundtable itself.
Two thirds of the several hundred people attending the meeting stood to applaud and thank Rogers when asked who had benefited from Rogers’ leadership and wisdom. “The sector needs the Roundtable because it connects us and gives us voice” she said.
Bean the Roundtable’s founding president was praised for building the organization and providing a foundation of vision and leadership. Known for saying nonprofits can achieve much more collectively than individually Bean recounted his recent meeting with a group of Indonesian politicians who explained that the word “we” in their language can suggest connections between large groups or organizations. “That is really what we all want to achieve here” he said.
In a keynote address Dan Pallotta the founder of high-profile charity fund-raising events including the first AIDS Bike Rides and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer said the nation hobbles charitable groups by frowning on the use of tactics including advertising and higher staff salaries. Although his company’s approach eventually sparked controversy his critics also acknowledged the point that nonprofits should pursue their goals more aggressively.
During the meeting the Roundtable’s members and supporters engaged in a spirited discussion of ways to more effectively increase support for their sector including the use of investment bonds and more direct support from the private sector.