Rethinking Goals of Non-Profit Work


Recently I stumbled across author, public speaker, and activist Tyler Wigg-Stevenson. Instantly I was challenged both in my personal walk with Christ and my idealism. Now I still have ambitions of being change in the world and an agent of peace but something Stevenson speaks on is so important for the Non-Profit sector. Many of us in the Non-Profit sector want to make the world a better place. We have passions flowing out of us. Personally I see a wounded heart and my whole being grieves. However, there is a pill I must swallow, that is that nothing I do will wipe the wounds away. I may be able to bring a smile to a tear stained face, but that doesn’t remove the tears. As we work with a wounded world we must accept that there is a limit to what we can accomplish. Not only is there a limit but there is a point at which what we are trying to do is impossible. Stevenson says, “Pure future oriented optimism dishonors the past irreparability.”

So as we look towards establishing goals for Non-Profit’s we must not believe we will ever get rid of the past wounds. We must work in conjunction with the reality of our limitations. If we neglect to be real with ourselves and our volunteers about the actual work we can accomplish it will create burnout and cause fatigue, but if we can accept our limitations and in Stevenson words “still show up” then we can do real work.


For more on Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, check out his Q ideas talk here:


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