Monday, October 31, 2005

Begging for Change

This book is by Robert Egger, who apparently is awesome! I thought this book was just your typical fluffy "change" book when I found it online, but it really has an edge to it, a good, useful edge. So Egger is the founder and CEO of the D.C. Central Kitchen, which, if you live around here is just one of those names you've heard of but don't know why. [BTW, their volunteer scheduling calendar is an awesome idea].

His point in writing appears to be something that I've thought about quite a bit, especially since my current organization is a culprit: the nonprofit sector is fat, happy and ineffective. Execs get too much money for not enough results, and everybody's too busy navel-gazing to actually make a difference. He's militant in a way that appeals to me, and I figured out why as I read: one of the things he's got figured out is the way that Gen-X is being wasted on the nonprofit sector. It's a thing he's noticed and doesn't approved of, so naturally, my trust factor vis-a-vis the author went up.

The title of the book comes from a line in the prologue, when he qualifies the condition of beleaguered nonprofits: "they're begging for money when they need to be begging for change." Sing it, brotha.

One of the concepts he talks about is the "tangible link" which is where you get people in your helped demographic to meet your helper demographic. It makes lots of sense, so I would refer back to the book to get additional examples.

Another resource he mentions are the Better Business Bureau nonprofit standards and says they are the best there are, although he allows that they are far from perfect.

For me this book was useful, although I am filing it away under "inspirational" rather than technical because it's very idealistic and into the "vision thing."

By Robert Egger
ISBN # 0060541717