For a long time now, the nonprofit, or ‘Third’ Sector has been society’s stepchild. Charity is what you give to after you pay your bills, schedule your vacation, purchase the latest gadgets, and sock away retirement money. Charity is seen as something we do with our ‘extra’ money to ‘give back’ or in worst cases, as a way to reduce income tax.

For a long time now, the nonprofit, or ‘Third’ Sector has been society’s stepchild.

Charity is what you give to after you pay your bills, schedule your vacation, purchase the latest gadgets, and sock away retirement money. Charity is seen as something we do with our ‘extra’ money to ‘give back’ or in worst cases, as a way to reduce income tax.

Why don’t people want to own charity like they own an iphone? Why don’t people want to identify with an organization like they do with the Yankees? Why can’t nonprofits build connections with people like brands do?

They can.

Nonprofits should be utilizing the human desire to connect and be a part of something. They need to give people what they are looking for – a relationship, an identity. Working together, nonprofits and their supporters can accomplish amazing feats! Imagine the energy if people rallied around a cause like they rally around the superbowl. Look at what the young people did in Egypt. They destroyed a 30 year old regime in 18 days – without a penny.

I am not suggesting we riot in the name of causes. I am suggesting that we rally around change, that we focus energy and we make it personal.

Across the United States, conferences such as the Future of Jewish Nonprofit Summit [FOJNP], NextGen: Charity and NTen are providing opportunities for nonprofits to come together and learn branding from top marketers, engagement from social media professionals and opportunities in technology from technologists.

They are part of the increasing trend of the melding of the technological, nonprofit, media, marketing and corporate worlds. The idea of giving is changing from ‘charity’ to doing good. At these conferences, people come from all sectors looking to share their expertise in order to ‘do more good’.

We in third sector need to learn from them, to incorporate these skills to build our individual brands and that of the entire third sector- now is the time.

Join us at the Future of Jewish Nonprofit Summit Israel on Feb 28th 2011 in Jaffa. If you work with a nonprofit or are interested to see how technology, media, collaboration, engagement, branding, social media and online tools can make or break an organization, or you want to meet the best and brightest people making the world a better place or you just want to have great food and hear from awesome people to great things – you must be at this conference.

Check it out here: www.fonsi.co.

With topics such as “How technology will save your organization”, “Get your org some press”, “Engaging your Audience”, “Corporate Social Responsibility”, “Is Social Media Overrated?”, “Collaboration in Nonprofit” and more, we will be showcasing concrete examples and best practice to give you skills to take with you.

By embracing a culture of personalization and collaboration, the Third Sector can properly engage its supporters and take its place along its brother and sister sectors -corporate and government- as leaders of change in Israel. Really hope to see you there!

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Guest Post By Shoshanna K Jaskoll and David Weinberg

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