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Could Non-profit Organizations lead to a real social/economic system transformation?

What if Non-profit organizations working on quality of life / social improvements would be the motor for the system transformation, they would be measured in terms of money revenues but in terms of more human social achievements... What if the governments would administer and fund NPOs to make social improvements for their people instead of depending on charity?

  • Mar 18 2013: Non-profits could possibly lead us to a major transformation, but only if they demonstrate success.

    As Dan Pallotta says in his talk, one of the big problems is the perceived ineffectiveness of non-profits. The population of the USA is very generous, pouring many millions into non-profit organizations every year. So why hasn't some organization managed to house all the homeless in just one major city?

    IMO, the non-profits could better connect with the giving public by emphasizing achievable, measurable goals, and demonstrating successful results.

    When a non-profit can say EVERY citizen of the city of St. Louis (for example) is sleeping in her/his own home tonight, and tomorrow we start working on St. Paul; that non-profit will receive plenty of contributions.

    By the way, the government already funds many of the same objectives that non-profit organizations pursue, and with precious little success.
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    Gail .

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    Mar 17 2013: Do you not see how NPOs serve the interests of the same institutions that created the NPOs' perceived need in the first place? Do you not see how corrupt governments are? Who will decided what "social improvements" are really improvements? Why will the chooser(s) choose the particular causes selected. And if you find a "social improvement" the opposite of improvement, how will you feel when you are forced to fund abhorrent projects against your will?

    Yes, the way we think about charity is dead wrong, but not in the way that Dan Pallotta suggests
  • Apr 1 2013: Non profits can be the engines of innovation. There is so much that they are doing in our towns today. My church fed over 100 people (our membership is 300) the other night, and we are hardly alone in this. I am not sure where the 2% figure came from, as the total would be hard to figure. But I can accept 2% as a place to start.

    Non profits also provide a means of testing what works and changing quickly (hopefully) when something is not working. The problem with government funding is that it is nearly impossible to change course when inefficiency is discovered. Centralized planning is hard to do well (if not impossible). THat does not mean people are then unaccountable. In fact, most NGO's are certainly more accountable than government. This talk illustrates how a NGO was made accountable and they shut down the organization when the model "looked" out of step with conventional wisdom. A poor decision, but at least there was an example of accountability. When was the last time a government organization was shut down because it was not working??? We still make ethanol even though it is a complete ruse that harms peoples vehicles and small engines, and uses more fuel to make than you get from it.
  • Mar 22 2013: Wow...having spent my entire career at the c level of business I can appreciate what has been presented in this TED presentation. I would agree int total with this new way to look at Charities. This idea, to quote TED, is worth spreading to all. If there is anyway I can help...let me know.

    Daryl L. Lev
    Cost Benefit Corporation
  • Mar 21 2013: Certainly. But it will require a different approach to what we're currently doing as a society.

    I actually have been working to solve this very problem, with a new form of worldview-based NPO think/do-tank. I and my partner describe it in video (2:45) and writing in our submission for the Knight Foundations News Challenge grants program.

    I'd be *very* interested in hearing your thoughts on it:

    If you like the idea, please take a minute to "Applaud" it.

    We think we've hit on something pretty innovative.

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    Mar 19 2013: What exactly does "Non Profit" mean, spend all the money we take in so that there is none left over?
    The worst offender was yet again for the 11th year in a row is, UNICEF - CEO, receives $1,200,000 per year, (plus use of a Rolls Royce for his exclusive use where ever he goes, and an expense account that is rumoured to be well over $150,000). Only pennies from the actual donations go to the UNICEF cause (less than $0.14 per dollar of income).

    The second worst offender this year is Marsha J. Evans, President and CEO of the American Red Cross... for her salary for the year ending in 2009 was $651,957 plus expenses. Enjoys 6 weeks - fully paid holidays including all related expenses during the holiday trip for her and her husband and kids including 100% fully paid health & dental plan for her and her family, for life. This means out of every dollar they bring in, about $0.39 goes to related charity causes.

    The third worst offender was again for the 7th time was, Brian Gallagher, President of the United Way receives a $375,000 base salary (U.S. funds), plus so many numerous expense benefits it's hard to keep track as to what it is all worth, including a fully paid lifetime membership for 2 golf courses (1 in Canada, and 1 in the USA), 2 luxury vehicles, a yacht club membership, 3 major company gold credit cards for his personal expenses... and so on. This equates to about $0.51 per dollar of income goes to charity causes.
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    Mar 19 2013: Fourth worst offender who was also again in the fourth spot, for every year since this information has been made available from the start 1998 is amazingly yet again, World Vision President (Canada) receives $300,000 base salary, (plus supplied - a home valued in the $700,000 - $800,000 dollar value range, completely furnished, completely paid all housing expenses, including taxes, water/sewer, telephone/fax, HD/high speed cable, weekly maid service and pool/yard maintenance, fully paid private schooling for his children, upscale automobile and an $55,000 personal expense account for clothing/food, with a $125,000 business expense account). Get this, because it is a "religious based" charity, it pays, little to no taxes, can receive government assistance and does not have to declare where the money goes. Only about $0.52 of earned income per dollar is available for charity causes and much of that is wasted in religious dogma/recruiting abroad.

    These figures came from a blog. Are they accurate?

    Seven Figure Salaries
    Of the 3,005 charities included in the study, 14 paid their top executive more than $1 million. Those charities range in total expenses from $13.5 million to $3.5 billion. This list is comprised of 8 Education charities, 5 Arts, Culture, Humanities charities and 1 Health charity.
    Half A Million In Pay
    The study also revealed that 106 charities paid their CEOs between $500,000 and $1 million. Total expenses among these organizations ranges from $3.8 million to $3.6 billion. This group consists of 47 Education charities, 24 Arts, Culture, Humanities charities, 13 Public Benefit charities, 8 Health charities, 7 Human Services charities, 3 International charities, 3 Animal charities and 1 Religion charity.
  • Mar 17 2013: Yes.....if that is their will. We have to go behind the scenes to see who is pulling the strings. Some people have vested interests in maintaining the status quo, so they pour money into the hands of lobbyists who distribute it to maintain their advantaged positions. All the the people must take action, speak out, cause the change we desire that is based on fairness, decency, justice, truth.....all that positive stuff. It is possible for everyone on earth to live happily ever after. Let's extract the negativity from all the systems- switch them from fear-based systems to joy-based systems. We must let go of the controls from the dead ancestors that sought to manipulate human behavior by provoking fear, e.g., religions, monarchs.
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    Mar 17 2013: Not without government.
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    Mar 17 2013: I don't know why people don't recognize the social good that for-profit businesses do. For-profit businesses provide our food, clothing, housing, transportation. These are all huge goods.