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Before I begin the real subject of this potential conversation, I'm wondering how many of you work for, have worked for, or have used the services of a non-profit organization.

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I work at a college that isn't for-profit.

So, when are we going to get around to the real subject of this potential conversation?

Ok,now don't get all angry with me about it but I think most non-profits are crap. I have worked with three of the most successful and it's all about the paperwork to make the grants continue.  If you spend 5 minutes looking at a client sheet, your write down that it was a 30 or 45 minute review. If you take a phone call you call it a 45 minute  consultation, even if all you did was make an appointment.  If you have no idea what the client is talking about and you send it to someone else's office, you write it up as  consultation and referal. 

Is everyone angry with me yet?

I believe that the vast majority of non-profit organizations exist by referring potential clients from one to the other without ever accomplishing a damn thing.

Ok, who is mad at me now? I know, the american cancer society, and doctors without borders, and moms with gay sons, might be the exception but before you scream at me, check the books.

So please, dont yell, prove me wrong.

The thing about that last post is that I was in the middle of my own emotional turmoil. Yesterday, I sent my letter of resignation to organization I was working with. I've never done that before. I have never formally quit a task before completing it and instead of it being a freeing event it has caused stress. Hence the small rant about non-profits in general. I try to keep my posts more upbeat as a rule.

Sorry, but it takes a little more than the above to get my blood too stired up. I think it once again comes down to personal responsibility. Before you throw a bunch of money to a Non-Profit, you need to do some research. Such as what is it's mission. What is it's track record?  Is it still following it's stated guidelines? etc. Most long lasting Non Profits seem to follow the trajectory of most long lasting human endevors. A gain in popularity; a sharp decline due to misbehavior or mistake; a rise in popularity; a sharp decline due to misbehavior or mistake; etc.

You can add the American Cancer Society to the list of frauds too.

I know that some NPO's are the way you describe and there are some gray areas there too.  I don't think that the CEO of such a group should be taking home hundreds of thousands of dollars annually myself, but I've heard others argue that it is justifyed.  Our church doesn't have all of the paperwork that you suggest, but we are small and less effective in this area.

Michael, I'm with Robbie and Faye on this.

All NPO's are not created equal.  Some just pass the buck for bucks and don't do any actual good for anyone but the few executives at the top raking in the bucks.  Their salaries make sure there are no profits.   If you can't even connect with the mission through the work that you are doing, then you should leave.

I left my job with a pediatric cancer clinical trial once after 8 years because I had lost heart with it. It was not because I questioned the mission, though. There were difficult people who had their own agendas and I felt too stressed.  I wrote a letter to my boss telling him exactly why I needed to leave.  At the time, everybody else in my office felt the same way, but I was the only one who left.  My boss said he was sorry to see me go and was there anything he could say or do to change my mind.  I was too far gone by then and chose to leave.  

Changes were made and there was improvement.  Three years later I returned and I am still here.  Our study is well-respected but did not get a fundable score this time because of the economic climate and so we will be closing down after having been in operation since 1969.  There has been a layoff of everyone but some of us will be staying on part time under emergency funding until we can properly hand off our records to someone who can make them available to future researchers. There continues to be a need for our information and we want to make sure it is not lost.  On the other hand, we are not the Vatican Library.  Or so I keep telling myself.

Shutting down after so many successful years takes a massive change of perspective. After so many years of data collection, conservation, analysis and publication now we have to only save the actual scientific records.  I feel anxiety pangs every time I consign a stack of paper to the confidential recycling.  I have so many files of work and pre-analysis explanations and correspondence.  I can't save it all.

It is too bad that you feel that you have not actually helped anyone to the extent that you intended. I hope you find something else that feeds your soul.

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