Generally, I like watching new televisions shows because when a show is done right it can really be a lot of fun for the viewer. To that end, I’ve been watching this new show called Kings on NBC. Well, I guess I haven’t been watching the show in terms of sitting down in front of the television each week, but I am DVR’ing the show and watching the DVR copy at some point during the week. While I think that this is a very promising show, there are a few things about it that tick me off. [Read more…]
Long Branch has a few weekly newspapers, one of which is the Atlanticville. Generally, the Atlanticville doesn’t have many interesting guest opinion editorials (unless, of course, I’m writing one). This week, though, they printed one written by James Abruzzo of DHR International’s Newark office. Some snooping over at DHR International’s website shows that Mr. Abruzzo heads up the firm’s nonprofit searches. Sounds like an interesting job.
Anyway, in his op-ed, Mr. Abruzzo makes a statement that I think bears repeating on this blog:
Contrary to its name and to what many believe, the nonprofit sector is not non businesslike; in fact, compared to government and the commercial sector, nonprofits are better managed and more efficient. Yet, by providing services that would otherwise be unaffordable in the marketplace, the sector relies on contributions and grants and it is this that makes the sector vulnerable during the financial crisis.
Bravo, Mr. Abruzzo! This is the truth, people. Nonprofts are created to fill a gap. That gap can range from a social services gap to a gap in opportunity to access certain resources or even a personal gap left in one’s family after a person passes away from a specific cause. The point is that nonprofits fill a gap that otherwise would not be filled by the government or private sector. As Mr. Abruzzo suggests, many of the services provided by nonprofits are unaffordable in the marketplace and thus the sector must rely on generosity to succeed.
Which brings me to my first point of this entry – please try to continue to send your weekly, monthly, or annual donations to your favorite charities! I’m not asking you to go out and find a new charity and start making donations to it (though if you’re in the business of donating money to new charities, let me know and I can hook you up with some good ones in Morris, Monmouth, and Mercer Counties). What I am saying, though, is that if you can afford to continue your existing donations to your favorite nonprofit organizations, please do so.
My second point in writing this entry is to reiterate a point that Mr. Abruzzo makes in his op-ed, namely that the nonprofit sector is not non businesslike. In other words, nonprofit does not mean “no profit!” In fact, nonprofit organizations have begun using the term not-for-profit instead of nonprofit to describe their business activities. The basic difference between a for-profit organization and a not-for-profit organization is that for-profit generate profits which can be distributed back to its shareholders, not-for-profits are not allowed to do this as per IRS regulations. That’s the difference in a nutshell.
Do not expect a not-for-profit company to expect not to make money on its activities. In fact, you should expect the opposite. The best not-for-profit organizations are financially healthy despite the current economy since they are built on a fiscally responsible framework made for success. I’m glad that Mr. Abruzzo kept that point in his op-ed. The world needs to know that a good not-for-profit organization should generate profits and even bank some of those profits. A good not-for-profit organization will not, however, break the law and redistribute those profits to their shareholders.
Remember this if you ever deal with a not-for-profit company!
MSNBC.com posted an article today that I found surprising and interesting. Apparently some of America’s highest-regarded institutes of higher learning are suggesting that graduating seniors take a year off before they start college. Fascinating! From the article:
It’s called a “gap year.” And while it’s been a common and popular rite of passage in Australia and the U.K. for decades, the concept is now starting to gain significant steam here in America.
A gap year, huh? Lump me into that portion of the American public who went to nursery school, then immediately to preschool, then immediately to grade school, then immediately to high school, then immediately to college, then immediately to graduate school, and then immediately into the full-time workforce. I started my education at 2 years old and I finished it (for the time being) at age 25. No “gap” year for me…or most of the people that I know, quite frankly. More from the article:
A growing number of high school seniors are balking at riding the academic conveyer belt from preschool all the way to university. They’re burnt out. Or not quite ready. Or they want to explore a few interests before deciding what to study in college. So instead of packing their bags in anticipation of freshman year, they’re volunteering in New Orleans or teaching in Thailand. They’re starting the great American novel, or interning to help figure out what they want to do with their lives.
I love it!
What a brilliant idea, if you can afford it. Using hindsight as 20/20, I would have loved to travel for a little bit before going to college or before going to graduate school. Of course, I couldn’t do that before graduate school because if you don’t go back to school, then you have to start paying back your loans. However, taking a year off before college to do something else would have been a good idea – especially this idea of trying to get an internship or two in the off year. Good thinking.
I would have loved that internship idea because honestly, at 27 years old, I’m not entirely sure that my current field is one that I want to stay in for the long-term. Anyway, this is an interesting idea and I wish that there was some data to show that taking a year off after high school provided a net benefit for the student. I’m also lured by the idea of a “gap” year where you have no “real world” responsibilities! I was just telling one of my roommates that once I pay off my student loans and all other major outstanding debts AND I put aside enough money to live a scant life off of the interest, it has always been my plan to either take a sabbatical from my job or leave the workforce for about a year. Again, I’ve never really had a “break” from school or athletics or work and I’m not willing to wait until I’m 67 for my first long-term vacation!
But I have to get there first… Wish me luck! 🙂