Community enterprises are interesting creatures. Driven by the collective efforts of individuals who rely on one another, sometimes without even knowing one another, community enterprises often are in a state of flux, and rarely take the time to plan and develop a coherent vision for the future. Not-for-profit organizations add to this confusion by employing staff who take upon themselves the responsibility for representing their communities – but often forget to go back to the community on a regular basis to renew the mandate they were given.
PresenTense has tried to keep our mandate fresh by publishing quarterly reports on our operations, and last year we began what we hope to be an annual tradition of the Year in Preview – a transparency initiative whose goal is to reconnect, on a regular basis, with the 718 volunteers (and growing) who devote a minimum of one hour a week to furthering our mission, and the 147 social entrepreneurs who we’ve supported as fellows and are now our partners in changing the world.
Thanks to comments on last year’s Year in Preview we made a whole lot of changes to the format, style and display of our report. This year’s report comes as a series of documents which includes an introduction, with a one page executive summary; a budget, which gives a good idea as to how we’re spending our money – and where the 67% of our revenue that isn’t from grants or donations comes from; and summarized drafts of our departmental workplans for our major program divisions (seven of these).
Our hope is that some if not all of the 718 volunteers who are trusting us with their time and networks will review our programs and strategy and join us in the conversation on our current operations and future direction. PresenTense started as an all-volunteer grassroots effort, and it will continue to embody the values that fueled its growth: community, creativity and pioneering. We hope this open-source approach to our efforts will enable the brilliant minds in our network to offer suggestions, fixes and new direction – and that together, we will realize the collective potential of our People through collective action and social innovation.
Here is the link to the collection, on Scribd. Enjoy. And next week, check in to our first quarterly reports of 5771.
Ariel Beery is co-founder and director of the PresenTense Group.