An Oakland participant spoke eloquently about the need to better “harness the energy” from the sector and beyond to solve the big problems. This includes reaching out to millennials and enlisting them in our causes.
On June 10, approximately 75 leaders from the charitable and philanthropic community gathered for Threads Oakland. The need to address our society’s structural problems, and the importance of taking a long-term view of our work, were among the themes that surfaced during the conversation. Specifically, participants suggested that nonprofit organizations, and those who support our work, often lose sight of the structural factors that contribute to such pervasive problems as poverty or racial inequality. The tendency of nonprofits to focus so heavily on short-term concerns was attributed to a number of factors, including the lack of time and resources required to consider anything beyond today’s challenges. The insistence of funders on finding immediate solutions was also cited as contributing to the problem. In addition, the need for greater diversity and inclusion was highlighted as a key challenge facing the sector, both in the composition of our organizations as well as our approach to the communities we serve. Participants noted that real diversity requires more than just inviting different people into the room – they must also be given voice and authority.
If you weren’t able to follow the Oakland conversation on social media, be sure to check out our Storify to see what people were sharing online using #ThreadsOAK.