Well, dear readers, you know me. I’m a girl who loves a little controversy every now and then. So, let’s go there, shall we? This post was sparked in two parts. Here are the summaries.
Part one: a couple of weeks ago, I had a dear friend who lost a parent. In lieu of flowers, they asked for donations to one of two charities. While determining if I should donate, I looked their Form 990s up on Guidestar. The news was not good.
I decided not to give. Why? Welp, simply because their heads or CEOs/EDs were making sick money. Ridiculous money. Hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars money. Does anyone else find this egregious?
Sorry, I can’t get behind that. No donations were given from this checkbook.
Part two: I need $7K to publish the next children’s book on STEM. That’s money to the illustrator and to the publisher so I can buy 1000 copies of the book. That’s not me making any money at all on the project. But, I’m happy to do it, because we need more girls and boys to engage in STEM.
Had a convo with a lovely gentlemen today who wanted to donate to the cause, but he wanted a tax write off. I can’t give it to him. Why? Because technically, even though I don’t want to make a penny off of this project personally, I run a for-profit business, not a non-profit. I’m frustrated, and even though the kind man was willing to donate, he will be donating less because he can’t get a write off on it. I don’t blame him, either.
Here goes with the “controversial” part of this post: is it time for non profits to go the way of the dodo?
Personally, I think so. It should be incumbent upon ALL businesses to be self-sustaining. That doesn’t mean running out and grabbing grants left and right, either. That means making stuff that actually sells and makes money. That means creating stuff that has value and meaning – not just making a land grab for the latest grant offering.
If we get rid of non profits, we all have a more level playing field. Social entrepreneurs can legitimately compete, and the market will bear which services and products win – not whomever has the best grant writer. We can all then get a little more investigative and proactive about who we are funding, and for what projects, rather than blindly handing over checks to organizations that spend it on padding their CEO or ED’s retirement fund.
I get that EDs/CEOs have tough jobs to do. However, when they are making millions of dollars when the people they are allegedly serving aren’t doing well at all, I have a serious problem with that.
My controversial rant is now over. What do you think? I can’t wait to read the haters’ mail on this one…but sorry. I’m just keeping it real, as you’ve come to know me and love me for – right? If nothing else, I’d like to challenge you to look up and see what the head of that charity you’ve been asked to write a check at is making next time BEFORE you donate. Ask the tough questions. Investigate. And, vote and support with your checkbook intelligently. That’s all I ask, even if you don’t get behind my controversial statement.