Can I be a curmudgeon for a minute?
There was a story in the 11/11 New York times about some Wall Street hotshots who have a new idea for supporting charities: a stock market for non profits. I don’t know what that means. I couldn’t get past the first paragraph in the article:
What if? That’s the way Lindsay Beck, a two-time cancer survivor and the founder of a successful charity, started thinking about how the world of finance and Wall Street could revolutionize the staid nonprofit industry.
The word “staid” stuck in my craw. I wondered if the writer of the article has any idea how vital and varied the world is that the innovators propose to revolutionize.
I have seen a magnificent variety of organizations serving humankind. Some non profits struggle to meet their budgets every year, and some make it look easy to grow existing programs and sprout new ones. The successful organizations have found some way to become conduits for the generosity of people who are inspired to accomplish good things. They know how to craft the organization’s story in a way that a donor can see his or her own story merged into the next chapter. It is not a new idea.
A stock market for non profits – let’s wait and see. In the meantime, non profiteers, keep doing what you do so well. And if your problem is staidness, let’s shake things up before your organization gets bought out (hostile takeover!) by a Wall Street tycoon.