The Non-Goffman Nonprofit

When contemplating proposal development (that necessarily leads to organizational development if done well), I was reminded of a book by the sociologist, Erving Goffman many years ago, The Presentation of Self In Everyday Life. In short, he theorized about the various guises we humans assume when interacting with others - playacting, if you will. To borrow and stretch away from Goffman's notion, it also makes sense that a nonprofit organization should present itself in everyday life. Which is to say that such a nonprofit has reason to reach out and around within its community and among its publics, not because it is making up a story, but because it has a story to tell. So, the effective nonprofit is the one whose people are always able to display it from a perspective of strength, and more than anything else want to do so because the organization is successfully improving  the lives of the people for whom it exists.