is encouraged. (Each section has its own index.)
September 7, 2007:
Benefits vs. Detriments
August 1, 2007: A
Way to Collaborate
July 12, 2007: Laying a
June 4, 2007: Let the Turf Wars Begin
May 1, 2007: Building
March 27, 2006:
Opportunity Expo, May 1, 2006, Cape Cod Community College
March 14, 2006:
Ideas on Sustaining Cape Cod's Water and Open Space
23, 2005: Sustaining a
7, 2005: The Pulse of Progress at Cape Corps
2004: Volunteering to Sustain Cape Cod
2004: The World Series
2004: The Cape Cod Center for Sustainability Brokers Successful
Partnerships among the Cape's Nonprofits
2004: Building the Wealth of the Cape
2003: A Knuckleball of an Idea
The one key indicator of the health of any community is the extent to
which people are involved and actively working to improve its quality of
life. By volunteering, funding, or otherwise assisting locally focused
nonprofits, an individual undertakes a most valuable and selfless act.
Communities build themselves on these small, individual deeds.
For the past few years, we've hosted several gatherings of nonprofits,
businesses, and individuals to promote the benefits that each provides
and that each offers to become engaged and to participate. Their needs
and their areas of interest have no bounds.
In 2006, we videotaped interviews with 38 Cape Codders who actively
lead, administer, support, and otherwise encourage the efforts of these
organizations. This Day in the Life film highlighted several things. The
nonprofits’ overwhelming need for funding is so central to each
organization's well-being that each interviewee simply took it for a
given and focused their thoughts more on other aspects of nonprofit
management and development that are less obvious.
The people interviewed commented recurringly that Cape organizations
need to collaborate and connect. And the point cut across each area of
their "fields of mission" from affordable housing to water quality to
economic development and career opportunity to workforce training and
education. A nine-minute sample of these comments was assembled for us
by Amy Davies of the Cape Cod Community Media Center. You can view it by
clicking on this
The points raised in these interviews confirm the results we've gleaned
from earlier surveys of the Cape's nonprofit community. In conjunction
with the Cape and Islands United Way and Cape Cod Life magazine, we
completed a survey which revealed that the opportunities provided by
new, innovative technologies were of interest to nonprofit staff and
managers. At the same time, the resources available to them to undergo
training and to become familiar with new equipment and software packages
If hard cash is well understood to be the essential resource needed by
nonprofit organizations, the more abstract value of time is also
fundamental. The reality for mission-driven organizations is that, were
more time to be available, their sense of its highest and best use would
be to devote it to fulfilling their mission.
And so it should be, really. People who work in nonprofits are enthused
by their mission, by their direct contact with the people they help.
With these points in mind, we've been working to find ways by which we
might help find operational efficiencies. Through that process, we've
looked to connect organizations and to increase their capacity to
communicate with the people they serve by use of the Internet.
We've developed a Web site on which we list and offer detailed
information about the many organizations of the Cape's nonprofit sector.
We also provide a matching service by which people who wish to volunteer
or even contribute funds might learn of the specific opportunities and
activities that are ongoing at any one time and in specific geographic
You can explore what we've put together by visiting our Web site,
you can see other similar efforts that we have helped and encouraged to
be developed by visiting the sites of the
the sites of the nonprofit organizations themselves.
By visiting these sites and viewing the many different ways that the
information is presented, you can begin to get a clearer picture of how
we are working to supplement the efforts of the Cape's nonprofit
community as well as the efforts of some of its established businesses.
The reality is that much of the information provided on these sites is
in fact the same. Sharing the information—and thereby widening the
awareness of the community about events, activities, and
findings—enhances our community sense of priorities and common concerns.
To build on this effort, we've secured funding that we will use to
expand the capacity of other organizations to use these types of
information-sharing services. We've retained a firm to assist other
nonprofit organizations interested to upload their information into the
directory and calendar of events. We also will offer training and
assistance to nonprofit managers, volunteers, staff, and donors
interested to help develop communication resources of this type.
If you or your organization is interested to receive more detailed
information about these activities, please let us know simply by sending
an e-mail to the contact address listed on our Web site. And if
you are interested to receive a DVD of the nine-minute summary of the
comments pulled from our interviews of Cape residents, we're happy to
provide that to you at your request at no charge. After all, it's
something that we hope you will then use to engage others to follow your
lead and add to the health and value of our region.
Editor of the Larson Report and president of the
Cape Cod Center for Sustainability