Thanks to Michelle Davis of Nonprofit Connect, I was able to attend the keynote address at the Philanthropy Midwest Conference on November 19, 2009. She invited me because Robert Egger, author of Begging for Change and force behind the V3 Campaign, was the speaker. Michelle and I have been talking over the past few months about how we can work together to infuse more energy around advocacy and social change within the region’s nonprofit sector, and she knew that Robert would have inspirational and insightful things to say about our endeavors.
His goal is to make it impossible for anyone to get elected in the U.S. without having a plan for the nonprofit sector, and without seeing our work and our contributions. He knows that, to make this possible, nonprofit leaders have to “uncross our fingers and get to work”, and part of his strategy to make that happen is to light a fire under influential sectors leaders. He was very energetic (and, when I say someone’s energetic, that’s saying A LOT) and, while I didn’t agree with everything he said, I loved every minute of the morning.
Some highlights, with my very favorite thing I’ve heard in a long time, last:
All of our work, essentially, that falls short of fundamental social change includes these moral questions. And the ideal response is not that we abandon such work for its moral ambiguity but, rather, that we challenge ourselves to surpass it and that, in so doing, we build a movement with the vision and power to provide a far different answer.