Note from the ED - Health is Wealth

Posted By: Danielle Dunbar
My brother, Jeff, and I check in fairly regularly, ever since my mother was diagnosed with dementia. (Many thanks to all the nonprofits addressing this disease and for providing resources—especially Collat Jewish Family ServicesFounder’s Place, and Alzheimer’s of Central Alabama for the important work they do!)

Jeff recently reminded me that, "The first wealth is health.” He was recalling what American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in 1860 in his book, The Conduct of Life. We talked about how we are limited in what we can do and how much we enjoy life based largely on our health. It’s important to recognize our communities, economies, and our beloved nonprofit organizations are limited by health, too.

Going to a general practitioner annually, helps us remember what preventative steps we can take. And going to a specialist from time to time, gets us back on track when we aren’t well—or helps us address long-term health issues. Without assistance, a cold can turn into a sinus infection or pneumonia which can significantly limit our ability to do our daily work effectively or at all.

Nonprofits, like people, can get sick if we don’t monitor our health and don’t take preventative care.

A recent study by Independent Sector determined that the following areas are most important in nonprofit health: financial resources, human capital, governance, and advocacy. The Alabama Association of Nonprofits is conducting a Nonprofit Health Index study with the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama (PARCA) that will help us determine what areas impact nonprofit health in Alabama and how Alabama’s nonprofits are faring.

We encourage you to be on the lookout for this survey from PARCA and to take time to participate. Your anonymous responses will clarify how the Alabama Association of Nonprofits can help our sector become healthier. It is also important for AAN to understand how much of a disparity exists between nonprofits. Let’s shed some light on how many nonprofits are not getting access to the “healthcare” or nonprofit management resources they may need.

Wishing you good health and all my best,