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Meeting Mission or Meeting Budget?

by Brenda Peluso

I love reading Ruth McCambridge’s musings and this week, I thought she stated so well something we all struggle with – Are we holding organizational survival ahead of insuring our mission is being met? 

This is a short read from the Nonprofit Quarterly: http://www.nonprofitquarterly.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1477:its-the-ethical-thing-to-do&catid=148:ruth-mccambridge&Itemid=118

One thought on “Meeting Mission or Meeting Budget?

Ruth’s offering immediately brought to mind the “Service Center” concept we’ve talked about here in Maine for the past few years.

As a quick reminder, this is the idea of consolidating nonprofits’ admin functions… IT, HR, billing, … into a single “back office operations” entity in order to reap economies of scale while simultaneously achieving much greater skills and expertise. Lower costs, higher quality. Seems like a no-brainer.

But despite having been proven successful elsewhere, the concept has not gotten much support in Maine. I wonder if this is due, in part, to concerns about how our own job security might be affected? This raises the same ethical questions as those discussed in the McCambridge article, i.e. are we ignoring the benefits to those we serve in order to protect ourselves?

I’m hopeful that at least a small number of Maine nonprofits will pave the way and do the right thing for our clients.

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