“Nonprofit, a concrete life project and a political choice” – an article by Marco Crescenzi

The following article by Social Change School’s President Marco Crescenzi was also published on the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano. Marco Crescenzi is also a writer for the HuffPost.

If you keep dreaming of a different future for you and others, then be courageous!

“Do you remember when parents used to tell their kids they should “go work for a bank” or, to the most ambitious ones, to become a manager of an enterprise, with little or no social consideration? I remember very well the affectionate perplexities or condescending giggles of those who had made a “safe choice” instead of exploring my own and other people’s “craziness”. Historical paradoxes, those times are over now, and the situation has been reversed: now from an employment point of view, working in the non-profit is surely safer.

“Bankers” are increasingly reduced, while there are more and more “for profit” managers in their 50ies throughout the West, “exuberant’” both in their physical and occupational style.

The alternatives are rather subdued in Europe: going to work as waiters in an unliveable and arrogant London or in the cold Berlin surely isn’t a great future for youths from Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal. About “start-ups” – I know many… Allow me to be somewhat wary. Gig economy is the future, but for now its occupational quality is very questionable. The average stay of an employee in Google is of 1,1 year, and of 1 year in Amazon (source – Payscale): before presenting themselves as role models, they should maybe question themselves and care more about their brand reputation.

The end of “secure” job and the new emerging and unsatisfying forms with no identity, could be met as a tragedy or with regret. However, this could also be an opportunity. But for whom?

For those lucky people who have an international profile, who are confident in themselves and their future and have the “courage to have a dream”. And for those people aged over 40 who still have their childhood dreams alive.

For all of them, this deep crisis and suicide of the left in the world is an opportunity to start a life full of meaning, without compromises and without “discounts to the system”, to go ahead with their heads held high in spite of everything and to “do politics” on different and more truthful bases.

“Working in an NGO” (in the non-profit, or “third sector” or “social field”) is not just the dream of a person who wants to change the world merely by talking. It is a concrete life project, demanding, often precarious and full of contradictions, but always full of meaning and affirming one’s identity.

In relation to the condition of Italy, the Census – published on the 2nd December 2016 – mentions the great growth of some NGOs as an example: since 2007, Save The Children grew over 428%, Emergency 123% and MSF 45,9%. These data remind us how, in general, the non-profit sector has been one of the main employment generators in the world in the last 20 years. Over one million paid employees in Italy and an employment percentage that in some European countries (like the Netherlands and Belgium) reaches 13% out of the total, and an EU and USA average of about 6-7%.

In one of our recent researches, we also gave “in progress” references on the need of professionals in the NGOs’  and nonprofit market. There are obviously important prerequisites to enter and succeed, a choice that surely cannot be improvised. A choice that today more than ever is also political.

If you want to know more about working in the NGOs, you can find more posts on our Blog4Change

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