Wednesday, December 19, 2001

The other shoe dropped today. As I mentioned last week, I was afraid that a meeting today with our company controller would end with us having to lay off the junior member of my staff, and it did. Luckily, we were able to ease the blow slightly by giving her notice that the position will be "defunded" in mid-January and that she'll receive one week's severance pay beyond that.

I don't know if it's better to have three weeks notice that you're losing your job, or to just get it over with in one day, but at least she's got another month of income and some time to get her job search organized.

Not the most fun I've had in my two-and-a-half months with CompassPoint, but hopefully that is all the damage we'll have to sustain before the economy picks back up again.

Why are we in financial trouble? Because we provide training and consulting services to nonprofit organizations. These "armies of compassion," as Gee Dubya has been referring to charities, have never been as well-funded as our armies fighting other wars (drugs, terrorism, Clinton), and have been hit particularly hard by September 11.

What's being revealed is a fatal flaw in the 1996 Welfare Deform (not a typo) law. The premise of those "reforms" was that the growing economy would fund a vital voluntary sector that would take care of any social problems as the government got out of the caring business. Now, as program beneficiaries begin to hit their five-year life-time limits, just as the economy hits the toilet, and whatever charitable giving that's going on is all being directed towards New York... Well, you can begin to see the problem. And don't say I didn't warn you back in 1996.

Here, read more about it.

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