Sunday, July 6, 2008

"Thus conscience does make cowards of us all."

"And thus the native hue of resolution, is sicklied o're with the pale cast of thought."

Oh, I like that..."the pale cast of thought."

I've been hesitant to say much critical of non-profit enterprises, who after all, are trying to do good. There is nothing in it for me, except to make me look like a piker, and besides...there is that pesky thought that I could be wrong. Better to say nothing at all...except in the broadest of terms.

Some of the thrift store closings didn't make a whole lot of sense, based on the figures provided by the paper.

Some of the shelters seem to have their priorities a little backward.

Some of the arts events look to be permanent white elephants.

I think it's also fair to ask; if the enterprise would have no chance of making a profit if it was a 'real' business, then what sort of revenues is it likely to raise?

And finally, non-profit doesn't seem to me to be a blanket excuse to lose money.

I have a saying, if you set out to 'break-even', you're almost guaranteed to lose money. After all, I'm trying my damnedest to make money and often I don't. There is nothing particular wrong with the profit margin, and being a non-profit doesn't grant you a halo. What are your motives? Are you just perpetuating the enterprise? Are you a church? Where is the money going?

Those questions are as far as I'm willing to push.


Leitmotiv said...

This blog made me think of my recent experience at Drake Park recently. The waterfront portion of the park (and probably the most valuable part of the park) is full of geese crap. Everywhere. I don't even enjoy walking along the waterfront anymore with my son. Whose city is this? The geese's? or the peoples? Who made that park and for whom? I think we should start shipping off the geese to far distant locales, or start offering a new entree at some of our restaurants featuring Drake Park geese... I also thought about the dredging they wanted to do, and I think it would be a good idea to not dredge it, create an island full of delicious treats for the geese, so that they may call it home. It probably wouldn't work, because the geese would come back for the grass... so I think we either do one of two things: get real with ourselves and concede defeat and learn to love the poo, or take back our park and have a little bit of balls about it.

Duncan McGeary said...

My blog reminds you of goose poo?

They've tried guys with dogs; they've tried trapping them; they wanted to shot them; they've fed them birth control.

The geese win.

The gooses always win.

shopping monkey said...

It seems to me, too, that non-profits should aim for more profitability, so that they have more to give. On a non-profit retail enterprise, even if staff is not taking a salary, you still have rent, overhead, cost of goods, misc. horrific expenses (credit card processing fees -- grrr -- don't get me started), etc. Probably none of of the above will be kindly donated by anyone. You still have to get people in the door, you have to gamble on the things they might want to buy, and you have to be there all the time. Oh! That reminds me of a regular retail enterprise. (But not goose poop.)