By Candice Wagener | Photography by Shalicia Johnson
Alnisa Allgood is determined to change the ideology around nonprofits. She’s widening the perspective of those outside the nonprofit sector by telling the stories of those involved in the sector, and helping Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and women founders appreciate their own worth.
Allgood is behind several socially-responsible programs in Madison, including Social Good Accelerator, an initiative working to propel social entrepreneurs in underrepresented groups, and Madison Nonprofit Day, a conference aimed toward growing the connections and skills of activists and advocates. Both fall under the umbrella of Collaboration for Good, a nonprofit that Allgood founded with the intent of helping other nonprofits improve and enhance their infrastructures so they can thrive well into the future.
“Our [country’s] economic system and the way it’s set up is the reason why we don’t make as much headway on these other issues,” says Allgood. “Because as much as I think most people want racism, sexism and all of these things to go away or to be reduced, ultimately, they don’t want their lives to change.”
This focus on economic equity and ensuring BIPOC and women have access to the resources they need to succeed and taking control of their own financial wellbeing through social entrepreneurship have been Allgood’s driving force. So often, she says, BIPOC and women undervalue themselves, living dangerously close to the poverty line where one mistake, lost contract or change in a client policy can be a tipping point.
Preston Austin, who co-founded the Social Good Accelerator with Allgood and partnered with her on Forward Fest (a technology and entrepreneurship festival), says she is laser-focused on understanding and being understood, making her a colleague who improves the lives of the people around her.
“As a Black woman making new spaces in a field over-full with white and male power and money, this matters greatly, and her intentionality, clarity and long-term focus creates the kind of equity among people that lasts and compounds… She’s amazing in her ability to create leverage, moving small projects and large enterprises alike in subtle ways that make Madison better,” says Austin.
Allgood’s future plans include increasing representation on area nonprofit boards, city committees and public positions through Madison Nonprofit Draft Day and expanding their reach with Social Good Accelerator to include immigrants and people with disabilities. And, she’s planning out a community development fund (which are funds used for improving the overall community, such as housing programs), fueled by the devastation and disparity she saw COVID-19 wreak on Black and brown businesses.
The pandemic also generated her partnership with Cook It Forward Madison, a collaboration between local restaurants and nonprofits to create an end-to-end distribution network to tackle food insecurity in Madison.
“I’m not one of those people that’s looking for some very dramatic change that spreads across the world. I’m very good at the types of changes that need to happen one person at a time or one group, one community at a time,” says Allgood.