Dream Non-Profit Thread

Originally uploaded by Tracy O

I had another post in mind, but figured I should take a picture of the subject. So until I do, let’s play a game. I call it, “Make Up A Non-Profit”.
Pretend you’ve been given 3 million dollars to set up a non-profit that needs to last at least 5 years. The 3 mil is for operational (staffing, office rent, supplies) and other expenses (grants). And the mission can be a little off the wall or unusual. And major rule, it cannot already exist. No homeless shelters unless it’s a homeless shelter for people and their pets.

Lots of you work for non-profits, and I onced worked for a non-profit, so you know, 3 million doesn’t go very far. So what would you create?

Me? The Tom Bard Scholarship for tall guys named Tom and the “Oh Crap I Lost My Scholarship” Scholarship Fund. For people, who like me, lost their scholarship because they did something stupid like take ‘challenging’ classes their first year.

3 thoughts on “Dream Non-Profit Thread”

  1. I actually keep a list of nonprofits I'd like to see! Here are my ideas (not sure how unique some of them are, but here goes):

    a) So you know how American Jewish leaders founded Birthright Israel, which sends young Jews to Israel for 2 week trips? It's a nice way for people to make friends (and I think the hope is, one day, babies) with other Jews, form a good impression of Israel, and prop up the Israeli economy with tourism dollars. There should be a program like that but for young people from countries the US doesn't have great relationships with to come to the US. Led by immigrants/faith leaders from their own communities.

    b) A program for low-income high school students to get paid to do community service in their own communities. Gives labor to local nonprofits and gives kids something to do that teaches them something, gives them spending money (require them to open bank account and direct deposit and teach financial literacy), looks good on college applications (require classes on finishing high school and options for what comes next–military, vocational training, job search, college applications and financial aid, etc.), and fills their time. So basically like the DC summer job program, except all year, small scale, and actually functional.

    c) Social work/legal clinics for the homeless, based in public libraries (where a lot of homeless folks spend their days anyway)

  2. I think Bread for the City does (c) but not in libraries. As one trained as a librarian I'm not too keen on placing that burden on library staff as the homeless have other concerns that staff is not able to deal with outside of their information providing mission.
    B4tC has a legal aid clinic and helps people with Social Security benefits and other legal issues. However, they are for the larger community of poor, not just the homeless.

  3. I agree that BFC does some of that work, but I think (c) still has merit, because some folks don't find their way to Bread or have issues that Bread doesn't handle (immigration, employment disputes, conviction expungements, etc.). And I agree that librarians bear too much of the burden for working with the homeless community and many go far beyond their training or job description because public libraries have become de facto day centers. But I see having staffed social work/legal/medical and clinics in libraries as a way of shifting some of that burden off librarians, not adding to it.

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