LuAnn has worked as the leader of a local non-profit organization since 2005. You've read me or heard me mention Turning Point in the past. Turning Point really is a turning point or stepping stone in getting people's lives back together whether they've been released from jail or went in front of a judge or is on public assistance. I've seen them do great work in the last eight years due to her employment there.
Our area recently had a big debacle involving a prominent non-profit group for the advancement of local historic preservation. She wrote a letter to the editor which brings to light the need for non-profit's in this country and the problems they can get into if not properly organized and managed.
"Volunteers, board members, trustees, donors and staff members work tirelessly to provide services and amenities that might not otherwise be available due to budget constraints and funding priorities. Nonprofits can access certain grant funds that are not available to government entities. They can enhance existing public services through collaboration and partnerships. They can leverage and maximize human and fiscal resources.
The economic and human impact of nonprofits on our community is immeasurable.
Nonprofits organizations need community members to volunteer and guide their efforts. However, administering and governing a nonprofit implies that the people in charge will act with integrity and manage the organization in a manner that reflects the trust that the public has placed in them.
Meetings must be open; the board must resolve differences in a respectful mature way that demonstrates their commitment to the best interest of the organization; personalities must be set aside to advance the mission of the organization; and, at no time, can those in control promote their own self-interest or personal gain.
If you have a passion for an issue or cause and you are willing to work in the manner described above, we need you!"
I became Advisor to a local non-profit in 1971. I had little idea what I was doing but I quickly learned. As soon as I was hired as "leader", the debtor's crawled out of the woodwork to see if I could get them paid! Our organization spent the first year paying the previous Advisor's debt but we became profitable again and that organization still stands as a viable group in our community.
Many years we made more profit for our programs than I was paid as a teacher and advisor to that group. We helped many children and others advance their education. Most of the farmers in that area were in that program or became a viable support group to it. We had programs for elementary students through Adult Farmers. When I was school board president, I learned that agriculture had been taught at that school since 1925, before the Future Farmers of America was even started.
That group is now the National FFA Organization and will hold their annual Convention at Louisville, Kentucky again next week. That is the best organization I've ever been associated with and I have been exposed to many. "I got my start in 4-H," but I advanced my career and those of many students through the FFA.
Are non-profits important to your community? How can you help advance them?