Minnesota's nonprofits are in survival mode

  • Article by: PATRICK KENNEDY and NEAL ST. ANTHONY , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: December 18, 2011 - 6:42 AM

Cost-cutting, consolidation and redesigned missions have become the strategies of choice for the nonprofit sector.

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camb24Dec. 17, 1111:24 PM

Everyone is cutting back. It doesnt hurt to look at where the waste is and eliminate it. Then uses your resources for the truly needy.

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gwbuddyDec. 17, 1111:37 PM

I don't mean to sound "Negative" about Non-Profits. I just have a lot of questions about whether, or not, they are truly providing what is "Good" for the public. That is obviously the case with Health Care and helping the Homeless/Disadvantaged. Many of the Employment/Independent Living Non-Profits are very questionable. I have visiting a couple and was very upset to see that our tax dollars are being used to "Duplicate" what seems to be widely available at most Public Libraries and the Work Force Centers. Many Non-Profit "Startups" are asking for money, but I just don't understand what they propose to do. It seems to me that there are a bit more Non-Profits -- in almost EVERYTHING you can possibly imagine -- than we need. The nation can only afford to fund a limited number of Non-Profits. That is part of the reason the USA is 15+ TRILLION in debt. Funding organizations that produce NO revenue and questionable results.

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darkknight9Dec. 18, 11 2:51 AM

Isn't it at all odd that this article was printed after "Social services' compensation: Doing good, doing well" in the loval section? What's the price of doing good in Minnesota? The president of the YMCA of Metropolitan Minneapolis was paid $336,000 in 2010 salary and benefits. The Greater Twin Cities United Way president received $292,000. The president of the Minneapolis Community Action Agency earned $236,000 in salaries and benefits -- more than $80,000 above his St. Paul counterpart. --- --- Interesting that non profits have to tighten their belts so much. When you donate to these causes, who's getting the money/help exactly?

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whataboutmeDec. 18, 11 8:00 AM

maybe there is just too many duplicating services, maybe some consolidations are in order

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gwbuddyDec. 18, 11 8:45 AM

darkknight9:
Interesting that non profits have to tighten their belts so much. When you donate to these causes, who's getting the money/help exactly?
You said it very well! A+ grade, there.
A Non-Profit company is just like a For-Profit Company. They all are run by people and have a corporate structure. Many executives get paid better than the average American citizen. But just like in most For-Profit Companies, most of the employees at a Non-Profit don't earn anything close to what their higher-ups are earning.
I was recently comparing Health Insurance costs at many local insurers. I was told that they have to charge their Sky-High premiums in order to stay in business. Oh, Really?
That is a very weak argument when you look at the Mega-Salaries, and Bonuses, that the Top Dogs at: Blue Cross/Blue Shield of MN, United Health Group, HealthPartners, Medica, Allina, etc. are earning.
Most of these Non-Profits are reporting RECORD earnings these days. However, because they are legally prevented from making a profit, many probably just give their RECORD earnings away as bonuses to their executives. Or, some other slick give-away scheme that most of us aren't told about.
The same logic seems to hold true at: the YMCA, United Way, Red Cross, Private Colleges, etc. At least for their rich executives, they don't seem to be hurting all that much.
Just like at For-Profit Companies, when tough economic times call for cutbacks, the employees at Non-Profits are often the first to be laid off.
Where are your donations REALLY going to? Helping the people who REALLY need the help? Or, padding the pockets of some rich Non-Profit executives and very little, or nothing, for the hard-working employees?

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myfathurtsDec. 18, 11 8:58 AM

Let's keep in mind that non-profit does not mean that people that work there aren't paid well (in some cases, extremely well). It would have been good if the article would have spent more time on how companies qualify for being a non-profit and what benefits non-profits receive for having such a designation.

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pitythefoolsDec. 18, 1110:24 AM

Let me understand the comments here. So it's necessary for for-profit companies to pay their CEO's outrageous salaries, in order to get the best leaders. But non-profits should pay their leaders less because they need less capable leaders? Or is it that Profit regardless how gained is more important than, per IRS regulations, existing "for charitable, educational, religious, scientific, literary, fostering national or international sports competition, preventing cruelty to children or animals, and testing for public safety?"

As far as "many probably just give their RECORD earnings away as bonuses to their executives. Or, some other slick give-away scheme that most of us aren't told about" non-profits must be incorporated and file detailed form 990 statements which are available free online, including details of who the executives are and how much they are paid.

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darrphelJan. 1, 1211:01 AM

It is technically incorrect to say non-profit when you are really making reference to NOT for Profit. Granted it may seem like semantics, but our language continues to slide into lowest commen denominator.

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