Foundering

“So what’s your boss like?” I asked a friend, who had recently taken a position at a nonprofit.

“Well, you know. He’s a founder.”

My friend then listed the adjectives describing his boss: “Creative. Dynamic. Charismatic. Visionary. Brilliant. Funny. Inspiring.” Also, “Meddling. Obstinate. Egotistical. Defensive. Controlling. Annoying. Demanding. Distracted.”

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Identity Laundering

Some charitable gifts are made with open hearts and great altruism. Other charitable gifts are made largely to curry favor or gain attention. And then there are gifts that use charity purely to further the donors’ political and financial interests. Here’s a story about how a pair of famous billionaire brothers have manipulated charitable giving laws for personal and political ends – all while taking advantage of technicalities to cover their tracks and protect their pet charities.

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Searching for Mr. or Ms. Right

I have a friend who works as the second-in-command at a very small nonprofit. Her longtime and very effective executive director is retiring, and the board is searching for a replacement. I asked my friend if she was nervous about the transition, and she expressed not the slightest worry. She has faith in the board and feels confident that things will work out well.

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Miami Vice

My father-in-law, Joe, alerted me to a peculiar ad in the business section of the Sunday New York Times. Under the listing “Business Franchise Opportunities” were the words, “Charity Director Millionaire,” followed by a South Florida phone number. “This sounds pretty fishy,” Joe said. I agreed. And so I decided to pick up the phone and go fishing.

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