The Importance of “I-We-It”


Have you ever heard the saying, “good things come in threes”? Primary colors, The Three Stooges, BLT’s. Beth Kanter, philanthropic blogger, agrees that good things come in threes. She recently shared a blog post in which she talks about the framework of everyday philanthropy.

Beth expressed the idea of I-We-It, founded by the American Leadership Forum in Silicon Valley. This framework is essential for nonprofit leaders to be successful. She said that “without one of these legs, you’ll fall over as a leader”.


stands for the power of the individual leader. Many people may not think it as so, but being a leader is a transactional job. In simpler terms — you give what you get and you get what you give. To be a successful leader, it is important that one is engaged within the organization, while also being transformative. A leader must be like a chameleon in that he or she can adapt to changes happening in our wold every day.


The second piece of the tripod is WeWe refers to teams or networks within a nonprofit organization. The group dynamic of an organization says a lot about how it performs. In Beth’s article, she explains that it is important to shift from an “ego” to an “eco” system. This means that employees should not just focus on their part in the organization — it is important that they cooperate with co-workers in order to create a friendly and efficient environment.


It refers to the system that an organization is trying to change. This may be the mission of a nonprofit or it can also refer to something within the organization that is being changed. For example, maybe an organization is looking to change up the management within the workplace. Or, the philanthropy could be shifting their crowdfunding endeavors to a new medium. Whatever the change may be, it is important because a nonprofit organization wouldn’t exist without having to make changes.

About the author: Nicole Bradley is Journalism & Mass Communication student at the University of Iowa, and is in the process of receiving a certificate in Entrepreneurial Management. Outside of school, Nicole enjoys catching up on the news and is passionate about movies and the film industry.


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