International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2

By Jay M. Shafritz | Go to book overview

Six Program Goals
The goals, objectives, and activities central to the pursuit of the mission of the Independent Sector are concentrated in the following six program areas:
1. Public Information and Education: to achieve increased public awareness of this sector and of giving and volunteering, while promoting active citizenship and community service.
2. Government Relations: to develop and maintain effective relationships with government, based on mutual respect and support for each other's roles, coupled with a commitment to realistic independence from one another. This relationship includes protection of the freedoms that allow new causes to be created and a reversal in the trend toward greater government restrictions on nonprofit initiatives.
3. Research: to develop an identifiable and growing research effort that produces the body of knowledge necessary to define, chart, and understand this sector and the ways it can be of greatest service to society.
4. Give Five: to increase support for the pubic services of voluntary organizations by helping Americans understand and move toward the national standard of giving-5 percent of income and 5 hours per week to the causes of their choice.
5. Leadership and Management, Including Values and Ethics: to enhance the capacity of the not-for-profit sector; to achieve excellence in leadership and management of philanthropic and voluntary organizations.
6. The Meeting Ground: to create and maintain a significant sense of community among the organizations of the nonprofit sector; to provide a "meeting ground" for cooperation and learning.

The Independent Sector has available special publications, research surveys, public statements, information on government relations, and periodicals that are a source of information about philanthropic and voluntary activity. Its dues structure seeks to achieve a balance between encouraging participation of the maximum number of qualifying groups and providing the essential core support for the organization.

Since its founding in 1980, the Independent Sector has established itself as a significant vehicle for strengthening voluntary initiatives. It has taken special measures to strengthen university educational programs in nonprofit management by assisting educators to integrate both nonprofit management issues and the philanthropic experience into the curriculum. It has sponsored major research conferences to gather and disseminate major findings about the sector. The Independent Sector coalition has addressed major legislative and regulatory challenges to its mission and has placed substantial emphasis on accountability and performance standards for nonprofit organizations. It has worked with Congress and the media, educating both about the sector and its important role in society. It has placed special emphasis on and has created programs and materials directed at recruiting, developing, and retaining talented staff and trustees in the nonprofit world. Through its mission and members, the Independent Sector intends to preserve independence for voluntarism and philanthropy so that people can have greater influence on their own destinies and communities.

RICHARD D. HEIMOVICS


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Independent Sector, 1994. Annual Report of the Independent Sector. Washington, DC: Independent Sector.

INDEXING. The process whereby governmental programs and revenues are adjusted for changes in a selected social or economic indicator-quite often a consumer price index (CPI).

As with so many social science concepts, indexing possesses numerous connotations that can be quite broad or rather specific. Indexing and indexation, in their broadest sense, refer to the process or the end product by which index numbers and composite indexes are created to describe a phenomenon and the possible changes in that phenomenon across time and space. Many of the leading economic indications found in financial newspapers are primary examples of indexes constructed to measure certain types of economic activity and to gauge the changes in the economic activity from one designated point in time to another. Standard and Poor's 500, the Dow Jones Composite, and Lehman brothers Long-Term Treasury Bond Index are three of many.

An index may be as simple as the use of a murder rate to signify the degree of serious crime or as complex as a composite index of various indicators to describe the level of urban decay (poverty rate, age of housing and infrastructure, etc.). Indexes are quantitative; however, many are rather subjective, based on different opinions as to what constitutes serious crime or urban decay, for example.

The primary purpose of indexing is descriptive. In terms of indexes' purported objectivity, however, they serve to inform private and public choices when it comes to investment decisions, collective bargaining, federal urban assistance, and so on. For government, indexing serves as a basis for calculating what benefit increases individual citizens may receive in a given year. The most famous type of governmental indexation is found in the efforts of governments to index their programs for inflation. This specific connotation of indexing has received the most attention of political scientists and policy analysts. It serves as the basis of R. Kent Weaver ( 1988) definitive study of the politics of indexation and the as

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