We would like to pass along “Everyone Deserves a Fair Slice” by New York’s Human Services Council, which ponders, “What if pizza shops were funded like nonprofits?”
More than a decade ago, Clara Miller published a series of articles with NPQ that masterfully explained some of the funhouse aspects of nonprofit finance. One classic is entitled “The Looking Glass World of Nonprofit Money,” and it breaks down some of the mind-bending differences between for-profit and nonprofit financial management. She even provides a little test to exemplify those differences. In one particularly effective part of the article, she imagines a hotel run under the constraints nonprofits are forced to work with every day.
Let’s imagine a hotel…where the guests arrive needing a room for the night, but most lack the money to pay for it. Before you check them in (you’re the desk clerk as well as the owner; it’s a low-overhead hotel) you need to make sure there’s someone else who is willing to pay for their rooms. For someone in the hospitality business, this is a challenge. Luckily, a variety of people and organizations are willing to pay for these guests. However, each has a different idea about what the guests really want, how much the room should cost, even whether some guests should be able to stay or not. You get on the phone for several hours, making deals and ensuring that there’s someone to pay for the guest’s room, that all the guests will be served, and, to the guests themselves, that the rooms will be OK.
In December 2018, the Human Services Council took the concept one step further with this brilliant, hilarious video portrayal of a pizzeria run as many nonprofits are required to run. In celebration of New York’s decision on indirect costs, we’re bringing it back. Enjoy!