Nonprofit Emaciation: Confessions of a Do-Gooder Who Starved an Organization

GuideStar Blog

OHM_logo5My name is Kjerstin, and I used to run an international nonprofit organization. A pretty great one, at that: my organization, FORGE, helped more than 70,000 refugees in war-torn Africa recover from conflict and prepare for a peaceful and self-sufficient future. In refugee camps across Zambia and Botswana, we built libraries, created computer training centers, provided micro-finance and agricultural finance, started preschools, ran health education programs, and more. In short, we helped refugees determine not only what they needed but how they could build it for themselves. No one else was doing what we did, and we could squeeze more out more out of our money than a souvenir penny press.

So…why the past tense?

While there are no shortage of reasons I could give you, the simplest one is this: I starved FORGE to death. 

When I started the organization, I was young, idealistic, and naive. Not experienced…

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