The most listened-to radio show in America got it wrong again last week. Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh said about nonprofit staff: “Bunch of lazy idiots. Many of them don’t want to really work. Nonprofits siphon contributions . . . these people are rapists, in terms of finance and economy.”
We like what Robert Egger had to say on the subject [click here for his video response], but maybe Rush is right for once. We nonprofit staff are so lazy we would rather follow environmental regulations than create huge amounts of work for ourselves trying to cap mismanaged oil wells. We’re so lazy we’d rather advocate for preventive care than suffer from chronic illness and expensive treatments. Many nonprofit staff are so lazy they don’t even bother to collect paychecks: they’re volunteers.
And talk about idiotic: we’re such idiots we thought we could get the vote for women, Medicare for the elderly, and regulations against unsafe toys. We thought it was okay for kids in wheelchairs to go to regular schools. We thought we could overturn apartheid in South Africa.
If we’re accomplishing this much being “lazy idiots,” maybe by working a little harder we could get rid of hateful, inaccurate radio hosts?
* Less than a week after we ran the story on the demise of the Vanguard Foundation, a principal character — “Mouli” Cohen — was arrested in Los Angeles and indicted on 19 counts of wire fraud and 13 counts of money laundering. Cohen (no relation to Blue Avocado writer Rick Cohen) had convinced donors and investors connected with the Vanguard Public Foundation to invest nearly $30 million of the foundation’s funds and their own monies in a get-very-rich-quick stock scheme.
In the October 5, 2010, issue of Blue Avocado, we will return to the story, but shift the focus away from Mouli and the apparent con and — with the help of many former Vanguard staff, donors and board members — explore how it was possible for Vanguard to collapse, especially with so many red flags over such a long period of time.
* In this issue foundation executive Pam David has some startling things to say about fleas and elephants and philanthropy. Plus we have a practical guide to Advisory Boards, Ask Rita on domestic violence in the workplace, and a First Person Nonprofit story about the Rotary Club.
Oh, and have a lazy, idiotic end-of-summer. — Jan Masaoka