Each 15 years, the United Nations sets sustainable development goals, priorities for development, to improve our world and human quality of life worldwide.
Until last year, no one looked at the actual effectiveness of the work being done. A ROI analysis (that’s Return on Investment for those new to the idea) hadn’t been conducted. Cost/Benefit analysis hadn’t been done, or if they had, it hadn’t been publicized or used to make smarter goals.
Nonprofits often suffer from their very idealism. Working toward a good cause makes us feel warm and fuzzy. Often, the causes we support are close to our hearts because of personal experiences.
I once heard nonprofits, and those who work in nonprofits, and those who support them, are terminally optimistic. We think we can do a lot more than we actually can, make a bigger impact than we can, change more systems than we can. And these are good causes we’re talking about; regardless of your personal cause, you can agree that having clean air and water, having healthy food, reducing rates of violence…these are good things, things we want.
The trouble is, without those cost/benefit analyses, we aren’t going to be able to do much.
To save the world, we need to prioritize.