Monday, November 25, 2013

Non-profit Industrial complex

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jJ_BBMQ5GE
http://zeeninginlaos.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/foundations.jpg

This video blows the whistle on big nonprofit foundations, funding,
etc. A lot of people who want to make a positive change in the world
are ending up becoming agents for these guys and then doing
whitewashing instead of actually addressing the core issues. There are
far better ways to do good things in this world; plundering Rs.1000
from the people and then making a big show of returning Rs.1 isn't
really the best option.

This does NOT mean all of the funders or NGOs out there are bad; it
only means we have to exercise responsibility and find out where the
money's coming from; and what are the strings attached. Instead of
looking for corporate-style reports and efficiency and hi-fi facades,
you have to switch over to looking for autonomy of the people you want
to assist or work with; you have to look for the personal connections.

This should also answer a question a friend of mine had asked me in
exasperation, "If there are so many NGOs and social workers
everywhere, why are there still bad things happening?" There is a
lapse in the way we connect these things.

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Here's a comment I posted on the video page:
Thanks for putting this out so clearly. An educational NGO I worked
with, and publicly walked out of in a year, fits exactly this
description of non-profit industrialists. They exploited my will to do
something good for society and channeled it into something that would
only strengthen the status quo. So many wonderful people I know are
trapped inside such situations. NGOs in India are becoming careers
now, with huge salaries being given to the management and the internal
structure mirroring those of corporates. At the same time there are
wonderful grassroots, seemingly "unprofessional" orgs doing really
good work. Look for autonomy from funders in the organization you want
to assist or join; and always keep the larger picture in mind.

----
Further Reading:
This book explained some intricate parts about professional workforces
and how the structure of it precipitates some pretty nasty things:
Disciplined Minds by Jeff Schmitt
http://www.unwelcomeguests.net/Disciplined_Minds
http://banyantreebookstore.weebly.com/disciplined-minds.html

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