“Courage.”

I spend too much time in this blog blasting non-profits and their leaders for being unwilling to take a stand for the things they believe in. Today, I want to single out three exceptions. These are people and charities that I may not necessarily agree with, but I respect for being willing to stand up and be courageous in their actions and words.

Rosetta Thurman, a blogger and non-profit leader, says the non-profit world is nowhere near as diverse as it likes to pretend it is. She says it’s a “cop-out” for the sector to include gender, sexual orientation, disability and religious affiliation in its definition of diversity. Not sure whether I agree or not, but I’m impressed by Thurman’s willingness to call out the sector for not including enough people of color in its leadership ranks.
As the Nonprofiteer points out, The March of Dimes, an organization I wouldn’t exactly call “courageous” over the past few years, was exactly that this week, as they chose the people they serve over the President of the United States. Jennifer Howse, president of the charity, delivered Sunday’s weekly Democratic radio address to outline her organization’s support of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program bill. Was it a smart move politically? Maybe, maybe not. Did it take guts? Yes.
The Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan is tired of bogus charities getting in the way of their legitimate fundraising efforts. Specifically, they’re annoyed that the National Children’s Leukemia Foundation, a group good in name only, keeps poaching their donors, only to waste the donor money on more telemarketing, not combating children’s leukemia. Why is this courageous? In the real world, it’s not. The NCLF is embarrassing, and any reasonable person should avoid it and its habit of spending 10% of its revenues on programs. But in the non-profit world, a code of silence often exists and the reputable groups are slow to criticize their illegitimate brethren out of professional courtesy. Good for the Children’s Leukemia Foundation for being willing to out the other group. That’s the only way we’ll ever rid the sector of the scoundrels.

Labels: Children’s Leukemia Foundation, March of Dimes, NCLF, Nonprofiteer, Rosetta Thurman, S-CHIP

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