“Embracing Stupidity in Jewish Organizational Life”- My comments on this article by Dr. Edward Rettig

Hi everyone! I haven’t posted in awhile (sorry!). In fact, looking back, my last post was right before I went to the States for a few weeks for my brother’s wedding … Mazal Tov! I was very fortunate in that the day that I left Israel, I interviewed and was hired on the spot to work as a grant writer for a company that handles resource development for multiple non-profit organizations. B”H I am really loving my job, as well as my co-workers and manager … but it has been keeping me busy, which is why I haven’t been posting recently. I actually have TONS of ideas for new posts, and I hope that this post will get me back into the habit. 
 
I was not planning on writing a blog post today, however I read an article that resonated with me so much that I felt that I HAD to take time out of my work day to write this post (I get paid by the hour/per client so don’t worry, I’m not “wasting” company time! 🙂 ). 
 
Today’s eJewish Philanthropy e-newsletter featured an article by Dr. Edward Rettig entitled “Embracing Stupidity in Jewish Organizational Life”. 
 
I identified so strongly with the ideas in this article that I felt that I needed to “get my voice out there” as well. 
 
I think this article is excellent and touches on real problems that exist in the Jewish non-profit world. I personally think this problem needs to be addressed from the top down. As Dr. Rettig wrote: “Authors Mats Alvesson and Andre Spicer give us an analytic tool to look at ourselves in a new, challenging way. With considerable courage, they call into question a fundamental assumption of our age: that organizations are getting smarter. ” I think that the beginning of the problem with this fundamental assumption is that it is assumed that the director of the organization is the smartest, and the “lower” the employee, the less smart they are. I think this is very backward thinking. Especially in this day and age, many young people (who might be in “lower” positions) may be “smarter” than higher executives in certain areas. Everyone has their own special skills and expertise. I think that the idea that “the boss is always right” is definitely “stupid”, and a manager who does not foster dialogue and brainstorming among his/her employees (and actually act on their ideas if they would in fact aid the organization) is not acting as a manager should, and is missing out on new, “out of the box” ideas from his/her employees that could really benefit the organization. 
 
I think this also ties into what Alvesson and Spicer write: “This (stupidity self-management) happens when various actors (including managers and senior executives as well as external figures such as consultants, business gurus and marketers) exercise power to block communicative action.  Externally imposed attempts to regulate the use of cognitive capacities are taken up by employees through what we call stupidity self-management. This happens when employees limit internal reflexivity by cutting short ‘internal conversations.’” As a personal anecdote, if you have been following this blog, you may remember that I left my previous position this spring after 4.5 years, before finding a new position (B”H it only took me 2 months to find the new position, where I am VERY happy and intellectually stimulated!). I had been working at a “typical” Jewish non-profit organization, and about a year ago I decided to start this blog. As I hope people who read this blog know, the goal of this blog (besides providing an outlet for me to discuss new ideas and trends in the non-profit world, as this type of discussion was not fostered at my previous place of employment), is to create a dialogue with other non-profit employees to be able to share our experiences, learn from and empower each other. As anyone who reads my blog knows, I never mention the name of the organization where I work, nor that of any co-workers or lay leaders, and if I do discuss a challenge that I am facing, it was always within the framework of “how can this situation be improved”? (i.e., this is not a blog created for “venting”). During my job search, a lay leader with whom I am close advised me that, in her opinion, having this blog might be detrimental to me “if a potential employer were to see it”. I respectfully disagreed with her, and said that actually one element of the blog is “getting my name out there” for the job search. I truly think that the blog helped me to land my new job, as I “met” my new employer first on Facebook and LinkedIn, and then finally in person at a networking event. I think that by the time we met in person he had definitely “heard of” me, thanks to my blog. 
 
The last point that I want to make is to agree with Dr. Rettig’s assessment of the fact that “Like most NGOs, Jewish organizations tend to run through a system of parallel lay and professional hierarchies of authority.”  A lot of time and energy is wasted in, as Dr. Rettig puts it, “toe(ing) the line in order to be safe – i.e. to engage in stupidity self-management.” This parallel lay leader/ professional hierarchy definitely leads to “stupid” work behavior. Projects (such as marketing materials, for example) need to get both professional and lay leader approval, and if the parties are not in agreement then a lot of time is spent (wasted? 🙂 ) coming to a compromise to appease everyone. Personally, I think that the professionals should be trusted to act on their judgement (after all, they are the “professionals”!), but of course we cannot leave out our lay leaders (who are also our donors), because we want them to feel involved and engaged. But “we” (as the collective Jewish non-profit community) need to solve this issue in order to be more productive, innovative, and not stifle creativity.
 
What do you think? As always, I look forward to your feedback!
 
Chava Ashkenazi
Jerusalem, Israel 
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The Third Sector is not “Non-Profit”

On June 2, I had the pleasure of attending an event sponsored by Nefesh b’Nefesh, Hebrew University, and the Jerusalem Municipality entitled: “Build Your Career in Jerusalem!”. (I apologize for the delay in posting this article; most off my posts recently were my series on Dan Pallotta’s “TED Talk”.) 
 
The event was very well-organized, and I give kudos to all those involved in organizing it. The first part of the event was: “Can Studying at Hebrew U get Me a Career?” This was not so relevant to me, as I hold a B.A. and am looking for a job now. 
 
The next section was “Your Job Search, do it right!”, which was a panel discussion featuring Leah Aharoni (Marketing Coach at Love Your Biz), Shara Shetrit (“Social Media Maestro”), and Orly Rosenblum (founder of LEAP Recruitment and Placement). Each woman spoke very well on her designated topic. However, I personally don’t think I heard anything new, as most of the tips and advice I have already received from my amazing career counselor 🙂 But still, it’s good to know that you are on the right track. 
 
The next section was called “Industries Unplugged”, and featured the non-profit industry, the web-marketing/SEO industry, and the Hi Tech industry. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Jonny Cline of UK Toremet was the featured speaker for the non-profit industry (and, luckily for me, he spoke first! 🙂 ) Jonny and I first “met” on LinkedIn, and we are both members of the Fundraisers Forum (which I wrote about in my last post). 
 
What Jonny had to say really got my attention. He started off by saying that the “third sector” is NOT “non-profit”. Jonny stated that the word “non-profit” is used for charities because there isn’t really an exact word to describe third sector organizations. But he feels that “non-profit” is not the correct term, because we in the “non profit/third sector” world ARE trying to make a profit- for our organizations and their causes. So, for the purpose of this article, I will use the term “third sector”, but I think the name of my blog will still stay “Non-Profit Musings” 🙂  
 
Jonny informed us that there are 30,000 third sector organizations in Israel, employing 10% of the Israeli workforce. (That’s a lot of people making low wages, according to the recent study done by Ben Gurion University, which I wrote about not long ago.) What was also interesting was that Jonny shared the statistic that in the last year Israel received $3.25 BILLION in philanthropic funding, but less than $0.7 billion was raised locally. (I think this is a topic for a separate post 🙂 )
 
Jonny expressed that he feels that the third sector field is still learning the following items:
 
– How to act professionally
– How to assess/evaluate
– How to use technology to its full advantage (database software, etc.)
– How to improve its cultivation and stewardship of employees
 
Those 4 statements say a lot. And I have to agree with him. In terms of “acting professionally”, I think that perhaps one of the issues in the third sector (specifically in Israel) is that, especially in smaller organizations, there is not a human resource manager on staff, to whom employees can turn if they are having an issue. Even if this job is “outsourced” to a board member (i.e. volunteer), I think that there is more potential for a professional human resource manager to have an unbiased opinion. I think that sometimes people can “get away with things” in the third sector, because there isn’t a staff person whose job it is to make sure that everyone is held to a certain standard of professionalism. 
 
Regarding “assessing and evaluating”, I again agree with Jonny’s opinion. If certain campaigns/events/groups/plans (whatever it may be) are not working out or are not worth the staff’s and volunteers’ time and energy, then I think that each activity should be evaluated as to whether or not it is worth investing the time again. I think sometimes third sector organizations continue doing certain annual projects because “we’ve always done it”. Perhaps it’s because the volunteers want the project/event. But in any case, I think everything should be reviewed on an annual basis to see what activities make sense to continue with, both financially and in terms of man-power (staff time). 
 
When Jonny spoke about using technology to its full advantage, at first I wasn’t sure what he was referring to. I have seen plenty of employees in the third sector with IPads, smart phones, mini laptops, etc. But then he went on to clarify that he meant using technologies such as database software. On this point, I have to agree. I think it is rare that the decision-makers in the third sector understand the importance and critical-ness of having a functioning donor database that suits the organization’s needs. I would venture to guess that perhaps this is because the “decision-makers” are not the ones using the database ….
 
Jonny’s last point was regarding the cultivation and stewardship of employees. I think this is partially proven by the study done by Ben Gurion University (which I recently posted about), which states that under 40% of employees work more than two years in their organization. I felt justified to hear Jonny say this, because from what I have seen (especially in Israel), most third sector organizations do not have a structure for promotion (I have also posted about this before). But even though I felt “justified” to hear an established professional in the third sector expressing the same opinion that I hold, the situation itself is a problem that must be resolved. 
 
Jonny moved on to mention that in his experience in the third sector in Israel, employers typically want to hire you for the same position you just held (at another company), and are less likely to “take a chance” on someone who wants to advance. B”H, I must say, that has not been my experience. I have been lucky to have been invited on many interviews for positions that would be considered a “step up” for me. This may also be because I refuse to apply for a job that is “on the same level” of what I did in the past. I’ve put in a good 5+ years in the third sector, and while I have held positions that were very challenging and demanding (“Rosh Gadol”, as we say in Israel), they always held also “Rosh Katan” aspects (more menial tasks). While I certainly recognize the importance of every task in the third sector, I personally feel that I have “paid my dues” and am ready to advance to a position that does not include administrative tasks.  
 
Jonny concluded by asking, so with all this going on, why would anyone want to work in the third sector? His answer is: job satisfaction (even though he jokingly showed us a slide of a story from January 2013 in “The Chronicle of Philanthropy”-“Half of Fundraisers in the Top Job Would Like to Quit”. I think this will be a blog post on its own 🙂 ). But I agree with Jonny. I think those of us who choose to work in the third sector are all (at least partially) idealists, and want to “help make the world a better place”. I know I could be making more money working in the for-profit sector (or “second sector”, as Jonny would say; “first sector” is government), but when I think about how I want to spend the 8+ hours a day/5 days a week at work, I know that I want to do something that I feel “makes a difference” (that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be compensated appropriately for my skills and my work! 🙂 ) 
 
There were further presentations on the web-marketing/SEO field and the Hi Tech field, but I must admit that I discreetly sneaked out in order to go to my choir practice 🙂 (although the other fields were not as relevant to my particular interests). 
 
I’d love to hear your opinion on Jonny’s presentation (and my comments as well).
 
Chava Ashkenazi
Jerusalem, Israel  
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“Resource Development” vs “Fundraising”

On May 28, I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of Israel’s Fundraisers Forum, organized by “Renaissance Man” Ron Allswang. The topic of the meeting was: “Small Versus Large Donors: What’s the Right Strategy for My Organization?” (I apologize that I am writing a few weeks after it came out; most of my posts recently were my series on Dan Pallotta’s “Ted Talk”).

It was a very interesting discussion lead by Steve Solomon, the newly appointed CEO of Shapells/Darche Noam (who previously held a position at the Jerusalem Foundation), and Joseph Gitler, Chairman and Founder of Leket Israel.

The discussion was very engaging, beginning with Steve asking everyone to write down for themselves: “What is a large donor?” “What is a small donor?” It was fascinating to see how many different answers there were. Which makes sense- the type of organization (and many other factors) determine whether a donor/donation is considered large or small.

Both of the presenters had excellent advice to give. Really both large and small donors are important to organizations; the question is what is the best course for YOUR organization, in terms of strategic planning.

I don’t want to speak much more about the actual presentation, because I don’t want to accidentally give away information that the presenters would not want to be “out there” as public knowledge on the internet (although I will of course send both of them the article for their comments and approval).

However, another very important point that I took away from the meeting (I forgot who said it and I apologize for that!) was a very strong statement that what we do is NOT “Fundraising”, but rather “Resource Development”. I agree that “resource development” is a more accurate term than “fundraising”, because as “fundraisers” (or “resource development professionals”), we are not just trying to raise funds immediately. Of course if that is possible that is wonderful, but usually what fundraisers/resource development professionals work the most on is cultivating relationships … be it with private donors, foundations, federations, government organizations, etc. … we are really “developing resources”. It’s all part of a strategic plan (or should be 🙂 ).

I think that it’s important to make this distinction, because oftentimes there is an expectation (be it from the CEO, board members, etc.) that the “fundraiser”, once hired, will immediately begin “raising funds”. Again, that is the ideal, but that is not usually how it works. It is a process of building and cultivating relationships, which eventually (בע”ה) will end up with donors giving annual gifts, foundations and federations giving grants, etc.

To sum up, I do feel that it is important to refer to the field as “Resource Development” instead of “Fundraising”. It sets a certain tone and shows that the supervisor (CEO, etc.) has an awareness of the process of “fundraising/resource development”.

Thanks to all involved in organizing the Fundraisers Forum meeting, which enabled us to have these lively conversations.

I’d be happy to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Chava Ashkenazi
Jerusalem, Israel

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Gender Gap Continues for US & Canadian Fundraisers … What About Israel?

On May 17, an article was posted by eJewish Philanthropy, which discussed the results of a report done by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The report stated that while the majority of fundraisers in the US and Canada are seeing increases in their salaries, there is still a “gender gap” when it comes to wages. Here is the full article:
http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/majority-of-u-s-canadian-fundraisers-see-salaries-on-upswing-gender-gap-continues/?utm_source=Fri+May+17&utm_campaign=Fri+May+17&utm_medium=email

(I apologize that I am writing a few weeks after it came out; most of my posts recently were my series on Dan Pallotta’s “Ted Talk”).

First of all, I’d like to say that I think it’s great that the majority of fundraisers (in the US and Canada) received raises in 2012. I think it is a sign that we are really out of the “dark era” of the 2008-2009 economic crisis, and as fundraisers, that is great news not only for salaries, but for soliciting donors as well.

But what’s the deal with the gender gap in salaries? Haven’t “we” (as a global society) moved beyond this?? Why is this (still) happening, and what can we do about it? Ironically (or maybe not! 🙂 ), there are definitely many non-profit organizations that campaign for equal pay for women.

I’m also guessing (this is just my opinion) that the salary gap is not just because “men are doing a better job”. I know that in Israel, if an organization tells you that they want to pay “base salary + commission (on the money you raise)”, or that you will work on “commission only (again, on the funds you raise)”, it is viewed as a very unprofessional organization, and no one who considers him/herself to be a professional fundraiser would agree to work under these terms. I would imagine that the same is true in the US and in Canada. So we are talking about annual salaries that are not affected by commissions. Fundraisers are not salespeople (although there is some overlap in the skill set), and should not be making commission on the donations they raise.

I also thought that it was interesting that 74% of the survey respondents were female, and 26% were male. Now, anyone involved in the non-profit field knows that it is a female-dominated field (I’ll explore this topic in more depth in an upcoming post). And yet, even so, women are still making significantly less than men. Why?

One guess that I would venture is that women are less likely than men to negotiate their salaries when they are hired, which already sets the bar for their salaries to be lower than men’s. I can relate … I consider myself to be a pretty “ballsy” person and I feel that I know what I am worth, yet I also find salary negotiation to be very intimidating. But, I have started doing it (in my active job search, which you can read about in a previous post), because I know that I have to. And really, what is there to lose? Worst case scenario, the company cannot pay you more than what they offered, so you have to decide if you are willing to take the job for the salary offered. Best case scenario, you get more money! 🙂 I think that one of the things that makes negotiating intimidating for me is that I am never sure what a fair salary is for a particular job (we need a salary.com in Israel … salary.co.il 😉 ). So, in the absence of salary.com (and perhaps this is even better), I speak with many individuals in the non-profit world to try to gauge a sense of appropriate salaries for positions. So, I guess my point is: Ladies, don’t be afraid! Or, even if you are afraid, still negotiate! 🙂 You owe it to yourself. The same goes for asking for raises at your annual review. If you’ve done a good job, you deserve (in my opinion) at least a “cost of living” increase, if not a proper raise (especially if you have taken on more responsibilities over the year).

I also think it is interesting to note that, although non-profit is a field dominated by women, usually it is the men who hold the top positions. (Again, this topic will be explored further in an upcoming post.) I can think of some reasons as to why that may be (although I might not agree with them), but still, to me it does not explain the gender gap in wages.

I am also very interested to know what the statistics are regarding the gender gap in Israel (as this is where I live). Does anyone have any information on this?
I would also love to hear your ideas as to why this gender gap exists, and what can be done about it.

Chava Ashkenazi
Jerusalem, Israel

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Non-profit social justice-minded organizations no better employers than their for-profit colleagues, BGU researchers find

On May 13th, Ben Gurion University released a study titled: “Non-profit social justice-minded organizations no better employers than their for-profit colleagues, BGU researchers find”. (Sorry for the delayed reaction to this; I was working my way through my series on Dan Pallotta’s TED talk 🙂 ) The article was picked up by ejewishphilanthropy.com, and I’m sure other sites as well. You can find the article here: 
 
 
With all love and respect to BGU, an institution that I regard very highly, I (unfortunately) didn’t really think that this was “news” :). Non-profits have lower salaries,  are dominated by women, are mostly located in Israel in central regions (Jerusalem/Tel Aviv)  … I think these are known and established facts (although I would like to discuss- in another blog post- the ratio of women to men working in non-profits versus the level of positions of men versus women at NFPs) .
 
I do think it’s interesting to note that under 40% of employees work more than two years in their organization. That’s a whole discussion on it’s own, which I think I have covered in other blog posts. Besides the low salaries, there is also the “Burn Out” factor (see my earlier post on this for more details). And again, as I have discussed, if non-profits do not have a structure for advancement, then skilled employees may look for new opportunities elsewhere.  
 
It is interesting to see the actual statistics. In 2009, the average monthly non-profit wage in Israel was 4,230 NIS. I’ve heard now that the average monthly salary in Israel is between 8,000- 9,000 NIS. So in 2009 it was most likely around 8,000 NIS. So the average non-profit employee is earning almost 50% less than a for-profit worker. 
 
They also mention the high salaries of non-profit CEOs. They found that the average salary was 17,047 NIS. I don’t doubt that their figures are accurate, but I’m not sure how that could be, because there are many CEOs making 50,000 NIS + (this is public knowledge on www.guidestar.org.il, as NFPs must have financial transparency). 
 
As most of this information does not seem to be new (except for the actual figures), I’m not sure how the non-profit world can use this information to improve itself. Maybe it is time to take a serious look at having a structure for promotion in order to keep employees, and take a VERY serious look as to why non-profit employee compensation is in general much lower than for-profit. As Dan Pallotta said, it causes one to make a choice whether to support one’s family (by working in the for-profit sector) or to help the world (by working in the non-profit sector). I think that as a community of non-profit professionals (especially those of us in Israel), it’s time to start seriously thinking about solutions to these problems. It seems that no one else is going to do it for us. 
 
Does anyone have any ideas? 
 
Chava Ashkenazi
Jerusalem, Israel 
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My Thoughts on Dan Pallotta’s “The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong”- Summary

I’ve written 5 posts on Dan Pallotta’s “TED Talk”: “The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong” (and of course giving my opinion along the way).  (You can find the video here in case you haven’t seen it:  http://www.ted.com/talkslang/he/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong.html?source=facebook#.UUgVUSeiOi1.facebook ). 
 
So, now it’s time to sum up. Dan’s main 5 points about the non-profit world are: 
 
1) You cannot use money to lure talent away from the for-profit sector
 
2) You cannot advertise on the same scale as the for-profit sector
 
3) You cannot take (economic) risks in pursuit of new donors in the way that the for-profit sector can in pursuit of new investors/clients 
 
4) You don’t have the same amount of time to find donors as the for-profit world has for finding investors/customers
 
5) You do not have a stock market to fund your organization (or the ability to pay profits to your donors, in order to receive risk capital for new ideas) 
 
Dan feels that due to all these points above, the non-profit sector is at an extreme disadvantage to the for-profit sector on every level. He brings a (rather scary) statistic that from 1970-2009, the number of non-profits that grew enough to cross the $50 million dollar annual revenue barrier, is 144. And businesses in the for-profit sector during the same time period? 46,136
 
Dan has a very interesting theory that the whole notion of not being able to make money in a non-profit organization stems back to the Puritans (at least in the US). He felt that, as both Calvinists and capitalists, the Puritans used charity as a way to ease their consciousness about the fact that, due to their capitalist endeavors, they were very successful. And from there comes the idea that one should not make money from a non-profit; non-profit and for-profit are completely separate. (See the video for Dan’s full explanation.) Dan feels that this way of thinking is incorrect, and needs to be changed if non-profit organizations want to succeed. I think it is an interesting point, but there are other main world religions that also encompass the aspect of charity, so I’m not sure that this paradigm can really be applied to the very diverse world-wide non-profit organizations. 
 
Another “dangerous” question, according to Dan, is: “What percentage of my donation goes to the cause, versus overhead?” Dan feels that this is problematic because it makes us feel that overhead is something negative, and not part of the cause. Dan states that overhead IS part of the cause, especially if it contributes to growth. I completely agree with him (as I stated clearly in Part 2 of this series). 
 
Dan asserts that the viewing of overhead as something that detracts from the cause leads to an even bigger problem, which is that charities will forego what they need to grow, in the interest of keeping overhead low. For example, many organizations feel that they should not invest too much in fundraising (i.e. overhead), so that more money will be available for “the cause”. However, Dan states (and I agree with him) that investing in fundraising has the potential to raise more funds. (It seems kind of obvious, but apparently it needs to be said 🙂 ) Dan feels (and again, I agree) that fundraising should be the #1 investment of an NGO, because it is only through fundraising that you have the potential to multiply funds for your cause. 
 
Dan states, very powerfully, that the problem is that we (society) are confusing morality with frugality. People are taught to think that a volunteer-only organization with 5% overhead is morally superior to a professionally run organization with 40% overhead. The point that we are missing is the scale of the organization. A volunteer-only organization might make hundreds of dollars with their 5% investment in overhead, but a professional organization could make millions of dollars with a 40% investment in overhead. 
 
Dan says (and again, I agree- see Part 2 of this series!) that it is an absolutely demoralizing for a non-profit organization to have the objective to “keep its overhead low”. The main goal of an NGO should not be “to keep overhead low”. Those of us who work in the non-profit sector want to change the world, and in order to do that, we need to change our way of thinking. 
 
Dan appeals to the donors, saying that if they want to truly support an organization, they should not ask them what their overhead is, but rather, what are their big-scale dreams and visions, and what resources they need to make these visions come true (regardless of the overhead). This would be a true “generosity of thought”, and would allow the non-profit world to make big, positive changes for the causes they support. 
 
Dan asks that our generation “take responsibility for the thinking that has been handed down to us, revise it, and reinvent the whole way that humanity thinks about these issues”. He feels that this would be a “real social innovation”, and a real contribution to the world. 
 
Well, now that I have written 6 posts about Dan Pallotta’s “TED Talk”, I think it is pretty apparent that I think that he is a great innovator and basically a “rock star” in the non-profit world. 
 
I’d love to hear YOUR opinion on Dan’s ideas and vision. 
 
Chava Ashkenazi
Jerusalem, Israel 
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My Thoughts on Dan Pallotta’s “The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong”- Part 5: Profit to Attract Risk Capital in Non-Profit vs For-Profit

Today I’d like to discuss the fifth point which Dan Pallotta addresses in his “TED Talk”: “The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong” (you can find the video here in case you haven’t seen it: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/he/dan_pallotta_the_way_we_think_about_charity_is_dead_wrong.html?source=facebook#.UUgVUSeiOi1.facebook ), which is that for-profit companies have the ability to pay people (i.e. investors) profit in order to attract risk capital for new ideas, whereas no such concept exists in the non-profit world (in fact, it seems to go against the very nature of philanthropy).

Dan asserts that this situation leaves the NGO world starved for growth, risk, and idea capital. I agree with his point, and I honestly do not have a brilliant solution for it. This may sound simplistic, but this is where the non-profit field has to appeal to the emotional side of the donor. They need to want to give because they want to give, not because they are going to get something financial in return (except perhaps a tax break? 😉 ).

I think an effective way to do this is to try to connect a donor with an individual person that they are helping (of course, in a way that this does not intrude on the recipient’s privacy). For example, in a children’s charity, perhaps donors could sponsor a single child, and therefore feel that the child’s successes are in fact also “their” successes. I know that the idea of “sponsoring a child” is not a new one. I guess what I am trying to say is, because NGOs cannot return profit to their donors in order to attract money for new projects, I think we should try and focus on creating a personal connection between the donor and our cause.

Or maybe it’s time to totally revamp the “non-profit” institution, and allow donors to become “investors”, and to receive a portion of profit on long-term projects?

What do you think?

Chava Ashkenazi
Jerusalem, Israel

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