There are a number of fine ideas in the Aspen Institute’s list of things to do to strengthen the nonprofit sector. The Nonprofiteer’s favorite–and not just because she made the selfsame suggestion to the Clinton transition team in 1992–is to start a Small Business Administration equivalent for nonprofits.
The SBA provides at least two important resources to small businesses: advice, and capital. Both are in equally short supply among nonprofits. The Nonprofiteer, at least, would happily conclude her career helping small nonprofits reinvent the wheel (“Your Board has to raise money!” “Don’t forget to pay your withholding taxes!”) as soon as she was sure someone from a new NPBA (“NonProfit Biz.Admin.”) would be there to step into the breach.
And what might that someone say? Oh, right: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you . . .”!