Friday, May 22, 2009

For the Common Good

It’s a sign of growing old….older. Lamenting what youth is coming to and being very sure that the world, once they take over will fall apart. As if we’ve done such a good job.

In business, even the nonprofit business (or perhaps especially in the nonprofit world) issues of succession loom large. Once us boomers retire, who is going to take over? I mean, everyone (being us) knows that younger people (that’s they) just aren’t as noble, as involved, as committed. All they care about is texting and twittering. They don’t care about causes and helping others.

Wrong. Very wrong.

There’s a lot going on out there and social networking is actually doing a lot for good. Danny Moldovan, Director at Jobs for Change recently sent me an email, and I’m sure he won’t mind my quoting from it:

"Jobs for Change is a career service and marketplace for social change jobs that we’ve created in partnership with dozens of nonprofits, including Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, AmeriCorps Alums, Echoing Green, Network for Good, and Encore Careers. You can check it out at

"Our goal is to spark a nationwide movement toward careers in the common good – including nonprofit, government, and social enterprise jobs. We’re currently building a huge database of social change jobs with our partners and have just hired a team of career advisors who will be blogging every day to provide guidance on finding and developing a career in social change.

"We’re currently reaching out to likeminded bloggers and nonprofit leaders to help build momentum for the campaign and spread its vision. Would you be willing to sign a statement about the importance of mission-driven careers? You can see the “vision statement” at It would also be awesome if you might mention this on your blog."

I’ve always wanted to be awesome, so I’m mentioning it. But I’m also jazzed and, yes, awed. These guys are my kids age. Younger, actually. And they are doing amazing and wonderful things.

Amazing and wonderful because they are helping a whole group of people see what awesome really is: doing what needs to be done to make our world better.

No matter what your age, visit the site. If you are already in the nonprofit sector, tell a friend who isn’t. If the crisis we are all facing now has taught us one thing, it is that we had best recruit the best and the brightest to lead the nonprofit, government and social enterprise sectors.

Or, as the Jobs for Change vision states:

"This is a moment of incredible potential. If together we harness the renewed interest in public service by recruiting and developing the next generation of leaders in the social sector, we can overcome the challenges we face and build a better future for us all."

Janet Levine is a consultant who works with nonprofits and educational organizations. She can be reached at Her online grantwriting class is available at

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