Category: What are we doing?

The current IRS scandal: through a nonprofit lens

It’s not all about politics. Fox news, and conservatives in general, are complaining ad nauseum about an IRS, ‘targeting’ for special attention, Tea Party applications for 501(c)(4) status. Having been a communications employee and consultant in the nonprofit sector for many years I’m not convinced this was a purposeful politically driven decision. Apparently I’m not alone. Time Swampland writer Alex Altman, in his article The Real IRS Scandal, investigates and editorializes. Continue reading

You may be prescribed drugs that are worrisome

You may be prescribed Pramipexole, which is essentially a dopamine agonist drug, should you be diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) or restless leg syndrome (RLS). As with far too many pharmaceuticals the drug isn’t topical in that it bathes the brain in order to affect specific receptors. It also has side-effects. Neurobiologist David Anderson calls this the ‘bag of chemicals’ approach to treatment.

What science hopes to do in the future (apparently the only place where great things happen) is target receptors. How is he and his team figuring out how to do this? With fruit flies.

Ted Anderson at TED Talks

An Alternative Form of Small Nonprofit Governance

Requiring nonprofits to be accountable to their board works on paper, and often in reality, but sometimes it’s perceived as a flawed system. When a board fails to work with the organization they govern it’s more than flawed. It can become a nightmare for everyone, and reports of that nightmare surface at every gathering of nonprofits I’ve ever attended.

There are historical reasons for implementing a legal framework of oversight. Boards are the hedge against fraud and abuse. In theory, boards bring experience and community awareness to the work. They help with fundraising and hold staff members accountable to the mission. Where it works, boards are an incredible asset. Given that, why all the whining among nonprofit ED’s? Clearly there’s a miscommunication somewhere. Continue reading