Saturday, September 09, 2006

YWCA closes, newspapers temporize, community loses

The following is offered from the perspective of my service as a Pro-Bono (worked without salary) United Way Loaned Executive in 1999.

YWCA’s failure is our own


Thank you to Ed Beem for having the courage to identify the real meaning of the closure of the YWCA. I have yet to find local newspaper coverage that addresses the matter in anything other than what one might find in a business section: armchair quarterbacking the organization's decision making. The YWCA board included one of the highest officers of our most prominent local financial institutions, as well as several others well-placed among the Greater Portland leadership set. The YWCA was a United Way member organization, but each year the Greater Portland United Way struggles to equal a campaign fundraising goal that is no higher than what it raised eight years ago. No one can dispute that costs for United Way member organizations have risen substantially over the course of those same years. Health insurance rate increases by themselves are enough to put the typical non-profit under. As Mr. Beem concluded, “Shame on us.”


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