In my consulting life, I’ve helped a bunch of startup nonprofits get started. But that’s also one of the jobs I turn down…a lot. I have a hard time working for folks I don’t believe in, and I see far, far too many individuals who want to start their very own nonprofit instead of taking an entry-level job and working their way up in established organizations.
A rather good article by Amy Schiller at The Baffler made me think a little bit more deeply about what’s happening in those situations.
She writes about the rise (and foibles) of “philanthro-capitalists” – paralleling my ambitious future founders in naiveté and hubris. The thing I am intensely interested in is the strong desire to get individual recognition – for being a founder, for being a savior, for being a hero who is smarter that everyone who has come before and lo, has fixed our problems.
It strikes me as a cultural psychology problem. Read more