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*Editor’s Note: Don’t Tell The Donor is one of the hottest blogs in the sector. It’s written anonymously because the author is well known in the sector and he/she/its bosses wouldn’t be pleased. Be assured, The NonProfit Times knows the author’s identity, at least enough to write the check. You’re going to have to trust us.When I was growing up, my mom used to say to me:
“Little fundraiser. I told you to clean your room. Go in there and do it right now or else, I will take this garbage bag and go clean it myself – and you won’t like what I’m going to throw away!”
It was the scariest threat my mom ever made. Yet, I never found out if she was bluffing or not because nothing motivated me more than the fear of my mom rampaging through my room throwing my beloved toys in the trash.
I’ve been thinking of this personal experience during the past few years as I’ve listened to Congress’s threats that if the nonprofit sector failed to regulate itself then government will stage its own intervention. We all know there are some bad apples within the nonprofit sector. But, there should be a way for the industry to clean its own room first before a bunch of bureaucrats get involved.
In October of 2004, at the urging of Congress, the Independent Sector conveyed the “Panel on the Nonprofit Sector” in an attempt to build consensus around a list of principles that could serve as a guide for self-regulation. The idea was that if nonprofits could find a clean our own house of misbehavior, we could avoid the intrusion of scary government intervention.
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