On May 6, 2013, the RGK Center welcomed leading expert on nonprofit management and governance David La Piana as the featured speaker for the Frances Moody Newman Distinguished Lecture Series. La Piana spoke to an audience of over 100 about a broad range of trends transforming the social sector. These include generational shifts, economic and political uncertainty, technology and networking, increased diversity, changing nonprofit boundaries, and virtual work. Researchers have been investigating these developments individually, but, La Piana says, the confluence of these trends is likely to dramatically reshape the nonprofit landscape.
Demographic-related changes include a shift to a minority-majority society as well as new paradigms for work, activism, leadership, and technology use associated with younger generations of nonprofit professionals and volunteers. Technology access, both domestically and in developing countries internationally, has already had a profound impact on how non-governmental organizations and nonprofits do business, from communications and fundraising to operations and service provision. In addition, new structures for organizing and networking (think the Occupy movement) enable people and organizations to participate in new ways. La Piana then touched on a revived interest in civic engagement and volunteerism with examples of new ways people can get involved in service to their communities. Finally, the blurring of sector boundaries, cross-sector collaborations, alternative funding sources, and changing regulation are all pushing change and innovation. In the face of these changes, La Piana says, sector prorities should focus on leadership development, strategic thinking, and risk tolerance.
David La Piana is founder of La Piana Consulting and author of several books, including: The Nonprofit Business Plan: The Leader’s Guide to Creating a Successful Business Model (2012), The Nonprofit Strategy Revolution: Real-Time Strategic Planning in a Rapid-Response World (2008), and Play to Win: The Nonprofit Guide to Competitive Strategy (2005).
The Frances Moody Newman Distinguished Lecture Series promotes philanthropy, community service, and volunteerism by inviting nonprofit leaders to The University of Texas at Austin for public lectures. The Moody Foundation of Galveston was created for the perpetual benefit of present and future generations of Texans by William Lewis Moody, Jr. and his wife, Libby Shearn Moody.