Your view of Non-Profits

I see requests to volunteer at Non-Profits.

Do you view non-Profits different today than 2 years ago?

What are you driving at?

I think we see requests from non-profit organizations in much the same light as we see most all requests from people and organizations asking for our attention, time and/or money… and that is through our set of filters that reflect our individual biases.

In the distant past those filters have given us a leg up on the competition and allowed us to become the most successful inhabitants of this planet to date. Loosely organized tribes morphed into organized social and economic groups which led to the world social order we have today.

But those same filters, so important to our survival and successes, can be tinkered with and adjusted so that they work against us. One way to do that is by feeding that system a steady stream of false and/or inaccurate misleading information.

That leads to bad decisions, sometimes self-destructive decisions, which in turn will destroy the protection our social structures and institutions have provided us so far.

I view non-Profits the say way. I have volunteered for a couple of non-profits during retirement. Mostly, I did not do for them but I did it for me. I was doing something for the non-Profits that I loved,

There was one thing I did that was very rewarding. I set up some donated computers for a homeless center that was attempting to teach computer skills. I was told that one of the ways the homeless keep in contact with friends and family is with email at the public library. The homeless center was on the other side of the town from the library. I also had a chance to have a couple of meals and some social contact with the homeless clients. I learned a lot and got a good feeling,

Okay, this may be a bit off the subject but, speaking of non-profits: I’ve been unfortuantely spending a lot of time lately at hospitals and note the sea of volunteers at each one. Lots and lots of good people monitoring doors, at information counters, at reception, at the gift shops, etc. It’s also hard not to notice that each hospital I’ve been to (three different ones) are gleaming towers that - at leat at lobby level - could be confused for a smaller Vegas hotel. And all around each of them - all of them - they are building more gleaming towers! It’s hard not to notice just how much money these hospitals have. So, why are people volunteering there? What is it accomplishing other than allowing the hospitals to add more to bottom line to build more gleaming towers?

Couldn’t there be a better use of those volunteers’ efforts?


@tham3… The volunteers are there to help the patients, not the hospitals.

and non profits are used to manipulate elections.

Sure, I suppose. But seems like such a scam to me. Every booming business should get volunteers to do the work they could seemingly easily pay for.

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I used to occasionally donate to the local children’s hospital. Then my kid had occasion to use it, and I ended up paying a pretty penny (though insurance paid some) for the privilege. Charity, ha ha ha! It’s clearly fee-for-service.

If they replaced the volunteers with paid employees the patients would have to pay more. The difference between a booming hospital and most other booming enterprises is that most of the patients at the hospital are not there by choice, they are there because they have to be there…

How about the parent’s who cannot afford to pay?

The hospital is presumably subsidizing their care using funds from people like me who have insurance and can pay. Being asked for donations after I’ve paid thousands out of pocket to that same hospital just rubs me the wrong way. I don’t recall the main hospital we’ve gone to ever asking for donations, even though they’re both owned by the same group. I guess sick adults aren’t sympathetic subjects for fund raising.

Hospitals come in all flavors and there’s a lot of variability by region. A lot of private hospitals make lots of money and a lot of public and charity hospitals struggle daily to serve people who can’t pay.

It’s a mess but probably (maybe?) better than many other ways of delivering medical care o the mazzses.

When you go to WalMart, Kohls, Target, do you expect to pay for their Customers who cannot pay? Or do you expect to pay a fair price for what you receive. Isn’t this what Public Assistance is designed for… to spread the assistance among the taxpayers in general.

So should it work any different with Hospitals than with stores.

Yes… I think it should.

The reason is because critical health care is not a product that people can take or leave. They don’t have a choice, in many cases it’s a choice of life or death for a decision maker or their loved ones.

There are few items sold by WalMart, Kohls or Target that fall in the category of being a life or death decision.

It’s also why I think medical doctors make too much money. As a professional class they charge whatever the traffic will bear. That’s unfair to someone who has no choice but to pay it.

While on a trip in Cambodia a few years back, I asked our Cambodian guide “what happens when you need a life-saving operation and can’t afford it?” His answer was short and simple, he said “you die.”

That is not the point. The point is whose responsibility is it to pay. Should walmart have higher prices in poorer areas because they have to provide free stuff? In a way that is what Hospitals do.

Should Hospital customers without insurance pay much more than the Insurance Companies do?

Why are Insurance plans like Kaiser etc, setting up Urgent care centers for their members? Note, they call them Urgent Care, not Emergency Rooms. This protects them from having to serve all comers.

On the contrary … the fact that a local hospital represents a monopoly on life-saving services means, in terms of it’s community service obligations, that it is not comparable to your local Walmart. Walmart customers have a choice, the guy being wheeled into your local hospital’s ER does not.

The Walmarts can do what they want. They are a choice-driven option for the customer who chooses to patronize them. A commercial enterprise can choose to either accommodate or ignore the charitable needs of the people they serve.

The products and services offered and rendered by hospitals and those by discretionary retailers are not comparable, have very different business models and serve very different needs.

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