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Quick poll: “social sector,” “nonprofit sector,” “civil society,” or something else?

By Suzanne Coffman
September 12, 2019

Images by (clockwise from top left) Foundation, Inc.; The Water Project, Inc.; The SPCA of Monterey County; Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio

Last week at Candid, an interesting question arose during an organization-wide discussion held to inform our 10-year strategic planning process:

What the heck should we call the collective audience we serve?

OK, that’s not the exact wording, but it captures the meaning and spirit of the question.

We know Candid is an infrastructure organization. We know we serve nonprofits of all types—grantmakers, charities, and non-charitable organizations; the people, paid and volunteer, who lead and staff them; the people who rely on them; and the people who oversee them. But what do you call these audiences when you put them all together?

As you’d expect from a group of 231 people who are passionate about a nonprofit mission, the ideas flew. But we didn’t really arrive at a consensus. So I thought I’d share the main suggestions with you, Candid Blog readers, and get your input. Because we need to call our collective audience something; there are times when “everyone who, every institution that, and every movement that works to make the world a better place” just doesn’t fit into what we’re trying to say. It’s also helpful to know what resonates with you, our stakeholders.

A quick poll

What do *you,* personally, call the collection of nonprofits and people involved with them?

  • Add your answer

Thanks for your input! I look forward to passing your responses on to my colleagues to inform our planning.

Tags: Social sector