Giving Compass' Take:

• Derrick Feldmann explores how nonprofit leaders can move conversations forward in social change work and what questions to ask to engage with the issues. 

•  How can donors help nonprofit leaders revitalize activism for effective social change work?

• Learn more about nonprofit leaders. 

Levels of civic participation and engagement in social issues change from decade to decade and generation to generation, depending on a broad range of factors, including changes in perceptions of what is and isn't important, our understanding of the root causes of certain problems, and changes in the ways in which we choose to engage with issues (driven, in many cases, by changes in technology).

The question, then, is not so much about what we might do to recreate an earlier age of activism, but rather what we have learned from the past and how can it be applied to the present and near future.

And that means your job as a nonprofit or movement leader is not to validate a "return to" mentality, but rather to move those conversations forward based on the challenges and opportunities your organization faces today and the role it could and should play in a time of rapid change, innovation, and disruption.

What might that look like? Here are some things to consider as you plot a path forward:

  1.  Is your picture of what happened in the past — and, more importantly, what is happening today — accurate?
  2. Does your organization reflect changes that are taking place in society today?
  3. Are you and your colleagues risk-averse?
  4. Do you ask the same questions knowing you'll get the same answers?

Read the full article about social change by Derrick Feldmann at PhilanTopic.