Should all nonprofits be green?

Posted on November 17, 2008. Filed under: Nonprofit | Tags: , , , , |

During a YNPN of Greater Grand Rapids event one of the presenters, Mark Hoffman, asked the question, “Do all nonprofits have to be green?”.

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation just built a new building they are hoping becomes Leed certifiedGrand Valley State University is committed to building all it’s new buildings with Leed certification.  The Grand Rapids Art Museum is the first Leed certified art museum in the country.  These are just three organizations in my small town that are tackling environmental issues, although their missions do not speak directly to their efforts.

But Hoffman wasn’t just talking about organizations that take on environmental issues when supporting other missions.  He was talking about nonprofit organizations serving any effort other than their mission, just because it’s good for the community.

During hard economic times, we see many nonprofits moving towards specifically serving only their missions and nothing else, a good practice in any sense, but more prevalent now.  But why are so many than choosing to bring recycling bins into the office, use recycled paper, and ask employees to car pool, when it may cost them extra money, taking away from their mission.

Okay, the answer is easy, nonprofit employees have long standing values of community benefit.  It makes sense for them to desire to be green, and to encourage people to vote.  It just makes sense now, during this time of great possibility for change to examine the way nonprofits do their work, whether it’s for their mission or extras.

Personally, I think more organizations should become green or encourage voting or take on any other community benefit outside their normal mission, as long as they are supporting and promoting another nonprofit.

What do you think?  Do you think nonprofits need to cut back on any extras?  Do you think promoting this type of collaboration among nonprofits is a good thing?


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