I don’t know what it’s like in your community, but here, non-profit agencies (mine included) are almost tripping over themselves to make it known that they are not duplicating services.
Duplicating services has become a dirty term somehow...but only when we are talking about poor people, of course. No one seems insulted by the number of grocery stores, gas stations, cafes, or cell phone providers. But we’re mortified to think that there might be multiple agencies providing coats to the homeless, or that people needing a warm meal might have options. The inefficiencies! Gasp!
Questioning whether redundancy in the social sector is actually a problem is new for me in the last few months. It’s not a fully formed argument yet, but as a thought exercise, I believe it holds merit for us all so I wanted to invite you in.
Three main points that I want to look at here: Some choice is good for clients. Some redundancy is good for service providers. And a bit of competition is good for all of us.
It’s Living Wage Week! You know your girl is a big Living Wage champion, so this month’s rant will tackle a few of the most pervasive and harmful economy myths, especially those related to giving low-wage earners raises.
But first, let’s set the mood with a few words from our communications queen, Anat Shenker-Osorio:
“After everything that has happened, how is it possible that conservatives still win debates about the economy? Time and time again the right wins over voters by claiming that their solutions are only common sense, even as their tired policies of budgetary sacrifice and corporate plunder both create and prolong economic disaster.” - the front book flap of Don’t Buy It, by Anat Shenker-Osorio.
Ok. When I read that, my takeaway is that communication is key to this grand deception. Which means communication is--at least in part--our way out. Here we go.
I'm Jennifer. I am an advocacy and communications strategist working with multiple charities and nonprofits. And I want to disrupt our sector for good.