The next time someone says to you for the umpteenth time, "Nonprofits should be run more like a business," say back to them: "Like which business?"
This month, with huge financial firms tanking and passing the pain to thousands of employees, shareholders, customers and taxpayers, it's a good time to remember that if Lehman Brothers or AIG had been run more like nonprofits, they might not be in the trouble they are in today. If these firms had been run like nonprofits, they would have placed community well-being above executive pay, profits, and competitiveness.
The spectacle of seeing these big firms floundering and failing should also remind us there is a right way and a wrong way to close down. This issue's Board Cafe column discusses how nonprofits, when they have to, can Close Down Gracefully without hurting their constituents.
Another reason to close down the right way, if the nonprofit has established a retirement program, is to protect employees' retirement plans. But even if your nonprofit is going strong, whether you have a lot, a little or no retirement savings at all, you may be in a minor state of panic in the face of all this financial upheaval. Even more reason toA breathe and take a hard look at your retirement options.
Our Three-Part Series on Nonprofit Retirement wraps up in this edition by looking at a tough question: what if you don't have time to save? And there's our signature "Take A 3-Minute Vacation Right Now." Thanks, everyone, for forwarding Blue Avocado to so many folks! -- Jan Masaoka