Disruptive forces: Driving a human services revolution

In collaboration with the Alliance for Children and Families, Baker Tilly’s not-for-profit consultants authored this forward-looking report. Baker Tilly consultants presented the compelling results at the 2011 Alliance for Children and Families and United Neighborhood Centers National Conference in Washington, D.C. The report and presentation position nonprofit organizations to thrive in the future.

Based on the vision of the Alliance’s former President, Peter Goldberg, this study sought input from the best minds in the nonprofit sector and focused on identifying disruptive forces anticipated to create opportunities and the need for transformative change during the next three to five years.

Incorporating the results of focus groups and surveys of nonprofit executive directors, key program staff, philanthropists, academics, and foundation members, this engaging report identifies six disruptive forces that are likely to require significant change within the nonprofit sector.

A “disruptive force" is:

  • A monumental, unexpected change that does not fit previous patterns
  • A circumstance that creates such dramatic change that it transforms existing industries or creates new ones
  • A revolutionary force, not an evolutionary progression

In addition to identifying the six disruptive forces, the report discusses:

  • A portrait of the future landscape – where will the human sector be in five years? And what are the uncertainties in the next three to five years?
  • Why should nonprofit leaders pay attention to disruptive forces?
  • How can the sector increase its chance for long-term success by reacting collectively on the macro level to the disruptive forces?
  • How can individual organizations effectively position their organizations for the future?