Catching up on some article I missed, I read the story over the stalled merger of Niagara County's three United Ways. Seems that Lockport and Niagara are ready to go but Tonawanda is holding out.
How, in this economy, can that possibly be? For too long, not-for-profits have avoided making the kind of tough decisions that have to be made by private companies. Let's be honest, while many of these organizations provide very worthwhile services, there is definitely duplication which means precious donated funds are being wasted.
After all, does every not-for-profit need someone to watch the books? Why not combine those services? What about marketing, p.r., etc? The opportunity for sharing costs are plentiful.
Yet, you hear the same old arguments time and again, like in this article from the guy running the N.T. United Way. We don't want to lose our community focus, we've been here a long time, people count on us, blah blah blah.
The fact is you can better deliver on your mission when you have a cost effective and efficient organization. It's this attitude that also permeates government and stops worthwhile consolidations and shared services -- moves that could reduce taxes on all of us.
I know when it comes to giving my dollars to good organizations from now on, I am going to start taking a closer look at their operational efficiency. I donate for the good of the community, not to feed organizational bureaucracies.
Kudos to Lockport and Niagara United Ways for knowing they need to change.