Nonprofit Dilema

Today a nonprofit organization must continuously apply and compete for limited funds (grants).  The very fact nonprofit organizations compete for limited funds just seems wrong.  Many of the most effective nonprofit organizations are the smaller ones who are like small mom/pop stores.  They are very relational and have various tasks that they perform better than most of the larger nonprofit organizations.  They don’t have a large budget and usually never get considered in the final cut for who will receive grant funding. 

Instead of encouraging those who serve the community to work in community, the system encourages competition.  Imagine if one of the eligibility requirements for a nonprofit organization to receive funds was that it must first partner with another nonprofit in the same neighborhood.  Together they would complement each other, develop community strategy,  and apply their “best practices” as they served the community.  Imagine how at-risk kids, the homeless, battered spouses etc.  would be affected.  There are so many nonprofit organizations attempting to fix the same problems I’m just not so sure they are really being effective. 

Here are some other funding issues:   Why do those who have money insist that those who need money match their giving – if they had the money they wouldn’t be asking for help – duh.  At least couldn’t those giving money insist that matching funds be provided at the end of funding period – somewhat like an advance or loan?  Why do nonprofits even have to ask for money?  Why don’t they develop economic engines that will keep them operational regardless what the economy is like.  The attitude is if money is obtained from a free source than all services provided must be free – that’s so wrong.  It’s not against the law for a nonprofit organization to have income stream – it’s against the law for a nonprofit organization to have a profit.

OK – my opinion – until we address how nonprofit organizations obtain funds the nonprofits who serve our community will continue to be less effective than they might otherwise be.  Maybe  its time to either change some laws or begin to work with nonprofits to help them develop in a new way.


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