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ICYMI: Memo to the social sector: We’re doing it wrong

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ICYMI: Memo to the social sector: We’re doing it wrong

Stand Together Foundation Executive Director Evan Feinberg's latest column in Forbes.

December 3, 2021

This article was originally published by Stand Together Foundation.

This week, our Executive Director Evan Feinberg published a column for Forbes explaining the ways our current social sector is failing to effectively address the root causes of our biggest challenges, from homelessness, to poverty, to racial injustice. 

"At nonprofits and government agencies alike, I've observed that the guiding mentality is that people in poverty are somehow deficient and therefore need outside and usually expert help to give them what they lack," Evan writes. "You see it in programs that hand out short-term checks but don't provide long-term hope, clinics that try to beat one addiction with another and shelters that provide a place to stay but not a path to rise." 

The problem is that the status quo values control instead of empowerment. Control says that people need outside expertise to give them what they need. Control treats individuals as problems to be solved instead of, well, individuals. 

So what does empowerment look like? Evan points to three key strategies that are shared by the nation's most effective nonprofits:

  1. Believe in people without exception.
  2. Look for solutions from people who are closest to the problem.
  3. Invest in collaboration, not division.

Read the full article on Forbes.

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