Is it time for nonprofit leaders to extol the virtue of government service?

9 years ago

Flickr Photo by Dogs New Cloths

Allison Fine, who authored "Social Citizens", a paper recently released by The Case Foundation on the intersection of Millennials, social change and social media, wonders whether it time for nonprofit leaders to extol the virtue of government service?

In a piece that Allison Fine has just posted on the Social Citizens blog she points out a hidden cost to the explosion in the number of and interest in causes the past decade that can be summed up by one statistic: A study by the International City Manager’s Association in 2006 found that only 13% of professional local government managers today are under 40. In the early 1970s nearly 71% were 40 or younger.

We have been witness to an explosion in interest in volunteerism and nonprofit careers, while interest in government careers has waned. Elected officials and other community leaders regularly laud the importance of the nonprofit sector … but is it time for nonprofit leaders to extol
the virtue of government service?

The Social Citizens paper
is focused on Millennials (ages 15-29) a super-sized generation in
terms of their total number, their passion for causes and their use of social media. Their size and passion are mirrored by the increase in size and relevance of the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. As I say in the paper, young people are marinating in causes as volunteers, nonprofit careerists, and social entrepreneurs.

I told a friend of mine about this statistic the other day and she said, “Of course, who wants to work for government, it sucks!”

What Allison asks is this really a problem or just a reflection of a changing notion of "service" in our society? Go read the piece and respond at the Social Citizens Blog.

Beth Kanter, BlogHer CE for Nonprofits and Social Change, writes Beth's Blog

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