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Friday, March 12, 2010

A Few Words About Charity

    Boys and Girls Clubs have made safe places for at-risk kids of all kinds in places big and small. Elite athletes and others have lent their names and faces to the organization that kept them out of trouble as youngsters and played a part in forging their futures. And clubs are closing due to lack of funding . The national organization that distributes the monies allocated by governmental grants and large philanthropist donations posted a loss of almost $14 million in 2008, not surprising during a recessed economy. What IS shocking is that the company spent massive amounts of cash on conventions, travel, lobbyists, and perks for the chosen few at the top of the organization. A not-for-profit organization. 
  But what is sending most people off the deep end is that the CEO banked almost a million dollars in compensation BEFORE executive perks. Including "performance bonuses" .
It seems to me that if you cannot come close to balancing the budget of a tax-exempt charity your performance does not deserve reward. In fact, if anyone should be paying, it should be you. People who defend the high-paid CEOs of charities point out that running such an operation is stressful and whatnot, which I do buy. But how much is too much to pay people who are compensated by public coffers? And what happened to the spirit of giving, of doing the right thing because that is what is in you?I presently serve on the advisory boards of 2 non-profits and there is no way we would approve such irresponsible spending on staff, let alone ones who are clearly incapable of doing their jobs correctly. 

  If you want to make big bank, go work for a profitable corporation. There are plenty of decent humans who would gladly accept the positions for a fraction of the compensation because they are good people who want to do for others.The concept of charity is lost on those who seek to run non-profits like Fortune 500 companies and get paid like entitled CEOs.

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