Begging for Change: The Dollars and Sense of Making Nonprofits Responsive, Efficient, and Rewarding

This book is essential reading for nonprofit managers, corporate leaders, donors and volunteers who care about the issues and want to make sure their nonprofit will make a difference.

chat Posted Feb 07, 2015 by Rezwan | Category : Coaches Strategies
Comment Below | Get it now! | More Books

Transforming the Nonprofit Organization

Begging for Change is about a man who volunteers to help serve food to the homeless one night, only to become dismayed at the ineffectiveness of the process.  It transforms his life and he transforms the industry.  He reboots the organization, questioning initial assumptions and developing new ways of defining and achieving its mission.  He founds DC Central Kitchens and turns it into a highly successful 12-week job-training program that not only feeds a lot of people but equips former homeless transients and drug addicts with culinary and life skills to gain employment in the restaurant business.

The Limitations of the Nonprofit in a For Profit World

So far, so good.  At this point, the book has shown us how the individual, together with a transformed, improved nonprofit, can work together to solve the big challenges.  Their work is done - the nonprofit, with the generous support of caring individuals, has provided a program to get a former homeless transient (FHT) out of a terrible way of life.  The FHT now has better life skills and initiative.  What is the next step?

The FHT graduate of the nonprofit heads out into the work sector to get a job - only to find it doesn’t pay a living wage. 

That’s right, all this “charity” is taking place in the context of a world in which for profit institutions put profit ahead of people on the one side, and then donate a little on the other side to look good. With regard to this, Egger says:

I’d like to urge any CEO or director of a company who wants to help a person in need to start with your own people - your employees.  Make sure they’re taken care of and then work your way out in concentric circles, your neighborhood, your community, your city and state. 

Don’t donate your time to the inner city if your own employees aren’t making a living wage.  Spend more time figuring out how to pay them better and provide more benefits, rather than constructing a golden parachute for your fellow exectives. (p. 165)

At this point, we reach the impasse. Perhaps CEOs are greedy, or perhaps CEOs, beholden to shareholders, don’t want to lose market share to their competitors. Either way, this is the bigger systemic problem to solve. 

Note also that Robert Egger is the founder of CForward,

CForward is a nonpartisan, 501c4 advocacy organization that champions the economic role of the nonprofit sector and supports candidates who include the sector in their plans to strengthen the economy.

Join CForward!

An inspiration to Footprint to Wings (That’s us!)

The book strikes a balance between meeting immediate needs and addressing the larger system in which the needs become an issue. The immediate need drives the quest (people need food today!) Egger’s process of working through various solutions and questioning assumptions reveals the systemic problems in food access.  Shifting the focus from immediate to systemic and back helps you finally see the whole. The result is a set of ideas that are practical and eye opening, and a way of seeing that applies to any philanthropic venture.

The book has had an impact on Footprint to Wings.  We are a nonprofit organization working on the “system” side of the problem and developing a holistic approach to the energy challenge.  We are working to accelerate the transition to a great quality of life for ten billion (10,000,000,000) people with zero (0) carbon footprint, in perpetuity (∞).  How to go about doing this is a major challenge.  We keep this book within reach for when we need inspiration, practical insights into organization building, and perspective on how to keep a balance between immediate needs and our systemic strategy. 


Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility

Transforming corporations to put people and planet on equal footing with profit.

B Corporations

The B-Team

“Our mission is to deliver a ‘Plan B’ that puts people and planet alongside profit. Plan A — where companies have been driven by the profit motive alone — is no longer acceptable.”


Startup Leadership
Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired To Ignore Climate Change

Comments chat

comments powered by Disqus