No More Nonprofits! No More NGO’s!

Yes, you heard right – we are declaring war on NonProfits and NonGovernmental Organizations!

Well actually, we are declaring war on the words, not the entities. In place of those words, we have been using the term Community Benefit Organization wherever possible.

Isn’t that really what our work is all about – community benefit? Whether we are providing live theater or saving a forest, feeding a hungry child or providing homes for man or beast – it’s all about making our communities better places to live.

We may see the community we want to impact as a neighborhood, a region – or the whole world. Regardless of how large or small our scope, if there is one thing all our work is about, it is making those communities better places to live.

With so much potential and so much good work being done every day, why would we ever want to call ourselves by what we are NOT?

Words matter.  Just ask any ethnic group that has been called disparaging names by the dominant culture.  Just ask a child who has been tagged as “loser” or “freak.”  When we call ourselves a name of scarcity – nonprofit – what assumptions are we reinforcing about our value, our worth?  And what could be more worthy than the immense benefit we provide to our communities?!

So “Nonprofits and NGO’s” – throw off your chains! Arise and claim your place as the powerful force you are! You are creating a better future for our world – tell that to the world in the words you use to describe your very being.

We are Community Benefit Organizations, and we are PROUD!

(Stay tuned, as we work through our own internal dilemma of changing Help 4 NonProfits, the name we have branded so well for our organization and our website!)

13 Responses to No More Nonprofits! No More NGO’s!

  1. Absolutely believeable in all senses. Legitmate above board non-profits are exactly what you say they are “Community Benefit Organizations”, rather it be a local, national or international organization, they will provide services to a community and that community willl benefit.

  2. Thanks for your comments, Barton – and absolutely! And when organizations think of themselves that way, they can accomplish more. Sometimes the answer to “What’s in a name?” is plenty!

  3. I really like the concept of Community Benefit Organizations for the reasons you stated. But also because it creates a large umbrella we can all join together under.
    For instance, I work for a county government mental health agency working to employ job seekers with intellectual disabilities. So legally we are not a non-profit organization, but our mission and values work to benefit our community. So the idea that we all are working together to create a new and better future is a powerful uniting vision – we are all creating the future together to benefit community. And that’s a good thing!


  4. Ron – So glad you wrote that! We really have created so many arbitrary barriers, separating all of us who want to create a better future for our communities. Great point – thanks for bringing it up. It makes me wonder – how might that change how your department (and other government departments) do their work?

  5. Hildy,


    For over a decade, I’ve been on my soapbox about moving toward a term for who we ARE, AS the sector, IN the sector, FOR the community and WITH our colleagues and partners with whom we actively participate.

    Everywhere I go I have posed the challenge to everyone I meet, to think about a “new” umbrella term – something that is life-giving – not just something “more”, “better” or “different” than who we’ve been.

    I believe that you have hit the nail on the head, and I applaud your “freely releasing” permission (with enthusiasm and gusto I might add!) to use the term to all who find themselves in alignment with your views and hear the call…

    Your work has, and now with your Blogs will continue to have, a ripple effect on the community, and I look forward to participating in it with you AND watching it happen!

    With Gratitude,
    Tracey Sisson
    Licensed Belief Re-patterningTM Practitioner
    Calgary, AB Canada

  6. Thank YOU, Tracey! And yes, use the term Community Benefit Organization or any other proactive, positive term you can think of. Spread the gospel! 🙂

  7. I have toyed with the idea of becoming a non profit but I don’t want other people telling me what to write or I don’t want to start a non profit organization and be thrown out of it on my ear .For someone else with a different view point then mine to run . I have one purpose and one purpose only to tell people loving other people is the most important thing they will do while they are a live .

  8. Sounds like a wonderful mission! Given the conditions you note, though, you may want to consider something other than forming a tax exempt Community Benefit organization, as you will indeed have a board as well as standards to adhere to. To help you decide, this article is a great place to test your thinking about whether or not you want to start an organization:
    Best of luck, whatever you choose!

  9. The synchronicity of today’s e-mail and finding your blog is wonderful. Community Benefit Organization — you will now find that on our website, our newsletter, our guidebook, all of our materials — we will spread the word.

    Thank you for creating a new moniker for our field.

  10. I also love this phrasing and reframing. For years now I have used the phrase “For the Profit of All” to convey the same concepts, but your phrase works better. It’s cleaner. Although I do think we are still somewhat creating distinctions between what we consider “business” and what is “not business”. Your phrase begins to blur that a bit more by helping us see that when we create or innovate or help bring about change in our world, locally, or globally, we are in some kind of business or community benefit. When corporations were first given state charters, their mission was about bringing benefit to the society. NGOs and NPOs moved in when corporations stopped living up to their corporate charters. You are helping revive this through your work in many ways. It’s wonderful! Thank you. I look forward to seeing how we can implement the Pollyanna Principles once they are available!

  11. Wow, Sheri – thank you!
    We have had many people who work in government departments tell us similar things – that the term makes them feel included. So thank you for extending that to businesses who aim at benefiting their communities. (I happen to run one of those myself!)