The Nonprofit Version of a Powerball Win

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November 28, 2012; Source: USA TODAY

The news abounds with warnings about the devastating effects of a really big Powerball win. Witness this statement from one former child services social worker who became a winner: “I had to endure the greed and the need that people have, trying to get you to release your money to them. That caused a lot of emotional pain. These are people who you’ve loved deep down, and they’re turning into vampires trying to suck the life out of me.”


So what does this have to do with nonprofits? Well, that really big grant you dream about may have some of the same effects, according to “Gift Horse or Trojan Horse: A Thorough Physical Is Critical.” This timeless article by the esteemed Clara Miller, formerly of the Nonprofit Finance Fund and now at the F.B. Heron Foundation, warns us of the sometimes-devastating mission- and sustainability-sucking effects of a really large grant.

That said, we think we could handle it so if you have a chunk of change, so send it along! –Ruth McCambridge

  • jme

    agreed, we’re fully competent 🙂 motley zoo is waiting for a big check hehe.

  • Virginia Lang

    Plan, plan, plan! Then work the plan! A big check without a big plan can be HUGELY disruptive.