Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Non-prophet Corporation


"The Charities, like Dust"

!! DONATE !! an organ NOW !!

Micro stick-ups and Macro interest rates

26 % !! -- Are U-surious ?

If you visit the web sites of the thousands of non-profit corporations or "charities" in the U.S., you'll note immediately the most prominent feature is a brightly colored button flashing the words: DONATE NOW! DONATE NOW! DONATE NOW! DONATE NOW! DONATE NOW! DONATE NOW! DONATE NOW! DONATE NOW! DONATE NOW! -- But how annoying! How annoying! How annoying! How annoying! How annoying!

Secondary come-on's include guilt-inducing pictures of children with cleft palates or empty rice bowls. Or both.

But I challenge America's charities to replace their "Donate Now" buttons with a higher-value-added one flashing: INNOVATE NOW! INNOVATE NOW! INNOVATE NOW! INNOVATE NOW! INNOVATE NOW!

Or IDEATE NOW ! -- Meaning: "Give us a Good Idea! -- instead of cash, for nothing is more valuable than a Good Idea!"

But non-prophets (sic), lamentably, are mostly non-flexible and non-innovative by definition. They do not seek new ideas nor new paradigms. They do not see The Future, sadly. They are often populated by infinite legions of zero-sum thinkers who cannot fathom markets-based solutions nor execute on new Ways of Thinking.

Their lists of staff with job titles including the word "Development" are longer than a Quaker's beard. At first I thought this meant "Economic Development", such as growing the economies of poor African countries...? But no. They mean Develop or increase their membership to increase their own treasury. They mean Develop a higher revenue stream to fund their own organization and salaries & benefits.

And where are sooooo many of these non-prophets and charities located? In New York City -- the American city with the highest cost of doing business. So your donation is funding either their lifestyle or their 50 % tax-bill. Or both. Or they are located in London -- so ditto. Charities should rusticate (move to the countryside) and reduce their cost of doing business. Try Omaha, Nebraska. There are more millionaires there per capita anyway than anywhere else in the U.S. -- sounds like Heaven for a fund-raiser.

And Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs)? What does this term mean ? In many cases -->> Macro Stick-ups with a Micro label -- small loans with interest rates sooooo high that they would be termed usurious or usury (illegally high) in the U.S. If the repayment rate on micro finance loans is sooooo high, why are the interest rates also soooo high ? Either due to defaults or non-repayment of principal, or due to high transaction/processing costs for each small loan. Or both. In short, another paradigm that needs INNOVATION and new IDEATION.

But where is Innovation in the microcosm of micro finance? I search diligently with my lantern. In sum, many micro finance institutions should, as their name implies, indeed be duly institutionalized.

And what does the near-term Future hold for both non-profits/charities and for-profit MFIs (Micro Finance Institutions) ?

Hard Times. The world economy will struggle for the next 3 - 5 years, private donations and government grants will decline sharply, default rates on MFI loans will increase greatly, staffs will be right-sized, and the repo man cometh for the lease cars, laptops and lattes.

And this is the upside. Once Israel bombs Iran, which is already carved in stone -- "Never again" -- leading to The Third Gulf War, once oil resumes its march to US$ 200+ per barrel, once the U.S. Dollar collapses, once U.S. Government treasury bonds are downgraded to junk status, once Russia invades ________ (fill in the blank with the name of any 10 countries), once....once...once -- liquidity for the niceties of donations and micro finance loans will swirl around the bottom of the toilet bowl.

And the world dys-economy will flush twice.

And so, will New Ideas and Markets-based, Self-funding Solutions such as the cell-phone-based Carbon Micro Credit (CMC) described in this blog be the Deus ex Machina (god from out of the machine) that saves the Poor? And, tangentially, saves the charities, non-profits and MFIs that embrace it?

And what other Good Ideas are also before our eyes now but also ignored? Light your lantern and look first under your feet. Then, ask a child for New Ideas. Then inquire earnestly among naïve strangers. Then, like Dilbert, ask your garbage man for advice. The rough and uncouth unencumbered by knowledge and experience often see most clearly.

Warnest personnel retards,

David A. Palella
Chief Carbon Visionary Missionary

San Diego, CA
tel: 858-793-0741

P.S.: You can soak up the wisdom of Dilbert and his garbage man here: