Good stuff for the nonprofit world – 2/15

I use the “good stuff” description on my other blogs for groups of articles I find of interest that might be of interest to my readers. Typically the articles don’t have much in common with each other. Think I’ll start doing the “good stuff” update here as well.

Here’s a few articles I’ve enjoyed over the last few weeks on nonprofit issues: burnout in helping others, good news for dissidents in denominational doctrine disputes, unintended consequences of free malaria nets. Three very different articles, but a common thread seems to be that life is complicated.

2/1 – The Guardian – The cost of caring – why I had to leave the charity sectorThe compassion and concern provided clients is often not provided to staff. Combined with the austerity/starvation cycle present in many charities, the lack of support can lead to burning out the primary asset of many NPOs, namely their staff.

2/5 – Christianity Today – Breakaway Anglicans Can Keep Churches Worth $500 Million, Rules South Carolina Judge – I have no idea what the documents look like in the Anglican tradition, either at the local church or regional diocese level. I would have thought rules in this denomination would create strong restrictions. Apparently not. State judge ruled the entire diocese can leave.

Unintended consequences

1/25- New York Times – Meant to Keep Malaria Out, Mosquito Nets Are Used to Haul Fish InAnother sad unintended consequence. Insecticide treated malaria nets are a fantastic way to reduce the devastation of malaria in so many places around the world. Turns out the nets are wonderful for fishing. They are cheaper than purchased nets (free versus $50), more effective, and abundant. So what do you suppose some people do who don’t know if they will have any food to feed their children tonight?

Right. They use the mosquito nets to fish. Sewing several of them together makes a superb fishing net.

There’s a few downsides. The insecticide can seep into the water, poisoning fish. Drying in sun may kill most of the insecticide, but perhaps not all. The nets are so fine that they catch immature fish so the population of fish is less likely to sustain itself.

Finally, when used for fishing, they don’t do anything to stop malaria. But then if your children are crying from hunger today and there is no prospect of food tomorrow, of what concern is the risk of getting malaria next week or next month?

What to do? I don’t have any idea.

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