Boston Columnist Captures Pathos of Nonprofit Purge

June 21, 2011; Source: Boston Globe | In a great column today in the Boston Globe, Alex Beam took on the IRS’ recent purge of 275,000 nonprofits though not with a great deal of seriousness. Titled “Nonprofits We Hardly Knew Ye,” Beam’s column is a romp through a field of defunct nonprofit names. But lest we mourn too much over the passings he reassures us that many new flowers spring up in their place . . .

“There are still over 20,000 nonprofits in the Bay State, with about 1,000 new ones springing up each year. It’s like E.O. Wilson’s famous description of microbiotic death and genesis on the rain forest floor in ‘Biophilia’: ‘Within my circle of vision, millions of unseen organisms died each second.’ Their remains in turn helped ‘to create millions of new organisms, each second.’’’

But also their spirits live on . . .

“Some losses have no recompense. Godspeed the St. Francis of Assisi Old Girls, the French Bulldog Connection Rescue, and the New England Council of Latin. With the passing of the Brockton-based Tri-County Beagle Association, does that mean that beagling — the traditional chasing of the hare — is dead in the Commonwealth? I hope not.

I feel confident that even though the Boston-based Friends of Beethoven has played its last measure, Ludwig van still has plenty of Hub fans. I am equally sure that there are still many Concerned Parents of Westfield, People Who Care of Lynn, and Lexington Friends of Children, even if their 501(c)(3)s have closed their doors.”

It is a great reminder though, that this sector continuously resurges with the passions of civically minded. Not to worry – for everything there is a season and activism abides.—Ruth McCambridge