We are the 99%. And we who work and volunteer in the nonprofit sector know more deeply than most the suffering that so many people are experiencing, and the frustration that young people in particular are feeling.
The authenticity of this movement is as moving to me as its successes. The Occupy Wall Street movement doesn't have the characteristic lacklusterness of campaigns produced by the political parties or the usual players in the anti-poverty movement. Take a moment to look at the wearethe99percent website to see the real stories of the mostly young 99%ers.
And the outburst has succeeded in changing the narrative. This narrative is particularly refreshing given a high-profile narrative that's all too present in the nonprofit sector: that the wealthiest (the 1%) and philanthropy will be the ones to change the world.
Despite the absence of high-profile individuals, it's clear that there is smart, experienced leadership in the movement. Only when there have been advance, sophisticated talks with the police can large demonstrations and arrests occur without violence and mayhem. A Southern California organizer tells us that many of the New York organizers have backgrounds in unions and in nonprofits.
If you make less than $593,000 per year, you are part of the 99%. (And did you know that the wealthiest 1% of the population owns more than the bottom 90%?) The nonprofit sector has always been about the 99%. Let's embrace this narrative and movement, talk about it, build upon it, join it. I'll see you there.
* This issue we have a high-value set of articles: one on nonprofit staff voting patterns, one on Contract Wizardry, one on executive director evaluations, and an Accounting Procedures Manual Template (now you don't have an excuse for not having one). Enjoy.
* If you'd like to attend a book party for my new Nolo Press book -- The Nonprofit's Guide to Human Resources -- and you'll be in San Francisco on November 15, please email Blue Avocado's project manager Susan Sanow at susan at blueavocado dot org and she'll send you an invitation.
* Changes for me and Blue Avocado: I am pleased to announce that I have accepted the job of CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits, starting in January 2012. I'm very happy that I'll be able to continue to publish Blue Avocado, although we'll have fewer issues per year. I see my new job as an extension of working with the wonderful community of people that read and use Blue Avocado . . . we are the 99% of the nonprofit sector doing the heavy lifting on the ground in our communities. --Jan Masaoka