Ken Goldstein, MPPA

Ken Goldstein has been working in nonprofits and local government agencies from Santa Cruz, to Sacramento, and back to Silicon Valley, since 1989. He's been staff, volunteer, board member, executive director, and, since 2003, a consultant to local nonprofit organizations. For more on Ken's background, click here. If you are interested in retaining Ken's services, you may contact him at ken at

Friday, July 28, 2006

Nonprofit Fights Poverty With Poverty

"In 2005, Helping Hearts distributed over $4,700 in various food and clothing donations, found temporary and part-time work for more than 110 adults, and was instrumental in the passage of increased homeless and transitional housing funding in the city. It also had an operating budget of $18,280, putting it below the federally mandated poverty threshold for a family of four."

Does this sound like your nonprofit organization? Luckily, this is just a bit of comic relief, courtesy of the folks at The Onion. Unfortunately, it does hit a bit close to home in its description of fighting poverty with "a 1995-model photocopier, a fully functional fax machine," and a "windowless, un-air-conditioned office."
"We've raised almost enough money to provide blankets and socks for the most needy in the office, which gets very cold in the winter months... When you see that look of appreciation on the executive vice president's face, it's all worthwhile."
Read the whole article - You'll laugh till you cry with recognition. Then, go home, and have a good weekend.

Then, when you return to work on Monday, maybe we can discuss why we feel required to work in sub-standard offices with out-dated equipment. Why do nonprofit leaders feel guilty when they sit in a new chair? You know, the kind where all four legs reach the floor at the same time?

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1 comment:

  1. I once worked in a church in a weatlhy community. I was charged with the duty of ordering office chairs. My recommendation of a comfortable, ergonomic chair wasn't self-serving -- I was a part-timer and a short-timer. My concern was for the long-term, dedicated volunteers: congregants who were in their 80s and 90s and put in many hours a week at the reception desk! The administrator said it would "send the wrong message" to order an "expensive" chair, or even an inexpensive one that "looked expensive." Strange thinking.