Even though I've been involved with a lot of start-up cause groups over the years, and thrown my share of grenades over the wall, this post will indelibly mark me as an old fart. But here goes …

One of my favorite bloggers, The Nonprofiteer, reacting to a Time mag article titled Rethinking Nonprofits, raises some serious issues with the apparent proliferation of new nonprofits. Serious readers should read her post.

Less serious readers, forge on.

Here's my Top 10 list of reasons why too many folks start all over again:

10. I've carefully studied all the current efforts to solve the [insert favorite] problem and truly believe I have an alternative strategy that would be more effective.

9. The thirteen leading organizations I e-mailed my better idea to just didn't get it.

8. I recently learned from my favorite sources (MySpace, The Daily Show, my text buddies) that people are still starving, the planet's still getting warmer, cancer hasn't been cured, Brittany can't find a decent rehab center — what the **** have all these existing nonprofits been doing all this time?!

7. There's got to be a way to make money stopping nuclear proliferation.

6. I signed an online petition once to stop world hunger … and nothing happened.

5. I've found that time after time experience gets in the way of “new and improved.”

4. I'm bored with all this money, but you can't expect me to just give it away!

3. I couldn't find an existing group with a chartreuse wrist bracelet.

2. Hey, Bono did it. My ego's just as big.

1. I've got a computer and cellphone, why not?

True. Existing organizations can exhaust their founding spirit. Become insulated against fresh ideas and new blood. Resist change. Confuse process with results. Even pursue bad ideas.

All organizations need a good jolt every now and then. Better still, they should build in change (start with yourself … read John Gardner's Self-Renewal. Remember him?). If they (you) don't, they will be replaced, deservedly.

But c'mon. Hasn't the barrier to entry gotten too low?


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