2008-07-05

Charities See Rival in OneAthens...when it's more competitive for funding

I am very, very disappointed in the Banner-Herald for running this article today.

For starters, it's a bad article. It makes bad arguments with very little factual information, and a lot of people reading it are going to assume that the unquoted source is in fact Jonathan McGinty, whether or not it is.

Second, though, I'm really sick of this argument, because it places the focus in the wrong place and it unfairly casts OneAthens in a negative light based on questionable logic.

Why is the focus on a largely unquantifiable commodity, and a potential competition? The reason OneAthens exists is because we have a holistic problem and there is no existing charity that addresses our problems holistically. That's where the focus should be, and it's factually verifiable. Kudos to Delene Porter for even bothering to respond.

Second, OneAthens will hurt fundraising if people speak up? What a joke that is -- if OneAthens hurts anyone's fundraising, it will be because OneAthens is better qualified (because it's collaborative, and can marshall multiple nonprofits to address specific problems in a natural facilitation role) to receive funds. Not because OneAthens is a jackbooted thug endowed with a massive (ha) $50,000 in seed money, presumably to compensate the secret police for their coercive activities. Also, Athens has 500-700 nonprofits registered within the county* -- I find it laughable that one more is going to send the remainder into poverty.

Finally, the whole concept behind OneAthens is that we as a community come together to address poverty -- but it appears that some of the very people who address poverty are desperately opposed to doing it in collaboration with others if it has any likelihood of impacting their own funding. And if there's any negative focus, it should be on them.


*I have served on the boards of, worked for, or volunteered for about two dozen personally. The 500-700 figure comes from guidestar.org -- it shows 776, but presumably some portion of those are donors to Athens charities.

2 comments:

Jmac said...

First, it ain't me.

Second, I offered a response here.

Nicki said...

I'm glad it's not you -- but I assume people will think it is because you're the only person I've seen thus far offering a similar argument.

And I'll address your other points a bit later on. Thanks for responding.