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The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex Paperback – February 3, 2017
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After that, however, the essays steadily improve, with the degree of insight varying inversely to the author's connection to academia and maybe half to two-third should be required reading for people who work in nonprofits.
The biggest criticism I have of even the best essays is that they don't offer much on alternatives. Detailed descriptions of the daily life of US grassroots organizing before the rise of nonprofits would have been especially helpful. Several quite interesting essays use grassroots organizing in the Americas south of the US border as a model of engaging people with nonprofit organizations, but even they don't give a sense of what that would mean in this country. A group in New York City that became a 501(c)(3) and then returned to being all volunteer receives a lot of attention for seemingly successfully doing just that. The different perspectives on that group do not, however, give a clear sense of what people do for money. There's just an acknowledgment that it's tougher to participate if you have a family and a comment to the effect that they `lost some people along the way.' All of this just begs for answers to the questions of what happened to the paid staff and how participants now balance (or don't) their engagement with childcare and other family responsibilities. Odd for an explicitly feminist work.
Another criticism that could be made is that the essays have surprisingly little to say about the structure of 501(c)(3) status--the role of boards, the limits on lobbying, etc. These characteristics are alluded to but never faced squarely, which seems to be quite an oversight given the purpose and themes of this book.
Buy this book for yourself, buy it for any friends you have.