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Author Topic: Do Non-Profits exist to bridge gaps in government efficiency?  (Read 2488 times)

icekin

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I recently came across a statistic that stated that there are far more social startup ventures in developing countries than developed ones. It got me thinking if governments were perfect and did everything they were supposed to, would there still be a role for non-profits? I also know that several non-profits are government funded. Why does it make more sense for governments to allocate funds this way versus starting a government department to take care of the social issue themselves? Is it so that they can avoid the blame on themselves should something go wrong?

cmpm

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Re: Do Non-Profits exist to bridge gaps in government efficiency?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2010, 10:17:31 PM »
I do have questions regarding this subject.
And you have touched lightly on a few.

The core of non-profit is supposed to be people who honestly help people.
And not rip off those that fund it or in need of the help.
But that is usually not the case in the US that I know of.

It takes three people to form a non-profit corporation in this state.
Probably varies from state to state.
I'm not sure.

If the guidelines are met then you are free to do as you please until audited.

US Government officials are corrupt, with very few exceptions.
Out of the 545 people supposed to be running this country, few can stay honest.
Yeah, 545, they make the problems and make solutions to solve the ones they made.
And that makes more problems.

Therefore the need for intervention by non-profit,
to which the 545 are making it harder to do.

Cpilot

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Re: Do Non-Profits exist to bridge gaps in government efficiency?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2010, 11:51:59 PM »
Name one thing....just one....that any government agency has done efficiently and within budget.
That's where your answer is.

app103

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Re: Do Non-Profits exist to bridge gaps in government efficiency?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2010, 04:27:27 AM »
All non-profits exist to fulfill an agenda, whatever that agenda may be. Not everyone would be willing to automatically support all of these agendas with their tax dollars, especially if it would mean raising taxes in order for the government to do so.

There is a non-profit in my town that exists because local residents voted against paying higher property taxes to support the local school system. This forced cutbacks in the school budget, and something had to go....and it put instrumental music education in danger. So a bunch of parents got together and came up with a way to fund the purchasing of musical instruments without raising taxes and formed a non-profit in order to do so. What they do is run a flea market on the first weekend of the month and rent table space, with the proceeds going to buy musical instruments for the local schools. It was such a success that not only was instrumental education saved, it was improved and expanded...all without it costing residents a dime in the way of higher taxes.

There is another local non-profit that exists for the sole purpose of raising funds to buy cherry trees, enough to replace aging trees in the local park, with any left over to be planted in front of homes within our town. The goal is to restore the park to its former glory, plant a cherry tree in front of every home, and reclaim the honor of having more cherry trees in our town than anywhere else in the US. Would you want to pay higher taxes to support that agenda? Should the government even consider it? Something like this is best funded voluntarily by the people that want this, rather than forcing every resident to pay the full cost of it. It is partially funded by the government, since the park is owned by the county and someone has to cover the cost of planting and caring for these trees. The organization donates the trees, but the rest of the responsibility and costs falls on the hands of the government...and ultimately the tax payers.

In the US, churches are non-profits. Should the government raise taxes to support running these churches? Would you agree to pay higher taxes to support groups with certain beliefs that differ from your own, to help them spread their beliefs to more people?

Should we do away with Girl Scout cookies and let the government support that non-profit Judeo-Christian organization (and their full agenda), too?

What if this website officially became a non-profit? Mouser has considered it before. Would you want the government running it?

icekin

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Re: Do Non-Profits exist to bridge gaps in government efficiency?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2010, 07:23:49 AM »
Thank you all for contributing to the discussion so far. I suppose I should explain a bit more about the reason for my question. In developing countries, I see several social ventures that aim to bring education and clean drinking water to millions who can't get access to either. On the other hand, citizens of most developed countries would take things like basic education, clean water and reliable power for granted. It makes me somewhat sad to see non-profits do what governments should be doing for their citizens in the first place. Of course, defining where the role of government starts and ends is a difficult question in itself. The answer would vary depending on the individual. But I would be interested to know what others think on that.

As app mentioned above, I know that even in a perfect government, you would always need some non-profits to take care of local issues that are only relevant to a small number of people. I also know that governments don't fund all non-profits. But a few things still puzzle me:

I have sometimes seen 2 non-profits or social ventures that are started, sometimes in the same geographic region to essentially achieve the same end goal. Both these organizations compete for government funding and sponsorship from corporates as well as the public through advertising. To make it more confusing, both have the Tax exempt status. The best example I can think of is Peta and the RSPCA.

Why does such fragmentation occur in the non-profit sector? Is it due to different ideologies and leadership? And should there be more regulation in getting a tax exempt status to prevent unnecessary fragmentation in the non-profit sector?




app103

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Re: Do Non-Profits exist to bridge gaps in government efficiency?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2010, 07:54:45 AM »
The best example I can think of is Peta and the RSPCA.

They have 2 distinctly different agendas.

PETA's agenda is to turn us all into vegans that don't use animals for any purpose, not even as pets. They distribute literature in schools that tell children that their parents are bad people for feeding them meat and giving them milk to drink.(one of them was so horrifically gross that my daughter gave up drinking milk at the age of 9) They throw red paint on people that wear fur coats, They bully innocent people at their demonstrations. They do not deserve a dime of any funding from the government and if my tax dollars went to support that terrorist organization I would throw a fit.

RSPCA (much like the ASPCA in the US) has the agenda to ensure that animals are treated humanely. They lobby law makers to pass laws that govern the treatment of animals. They run animal shelters and preserves. They provide low cost spay/neuter services to control the pet population, they provide vaccination services for pets. They do not have the goal of banishing meat eating from the planet, they do not throw buckets of red paint on people that wear fur, they do not tell you that you are a bad person for wearing leather shoes or having a pet. They distribute literature in schools instructing children on proper pet care, not propaganda. They are a respectful organization worthy of government support, as they do their part to prevent our streets from being over-run by stray cats and dogs with rabies and they make sure that that horse that pulls the carriage in the park gets food, water, and isn't over-worked, abused, or neglected.