First Night situation could have been seen coming months ago | Street Jazz

Saturday, January 1, 2011

First Night situation could have been seen coming months ago

Posted By on Sat, Jan 1, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Due to the limited capacity of the 2010-2011 Board of Directors, the event will not be held this year. - announcement on Facebook (November 12, 2010)

In a way, this is pretty insulting. Not to the people of Fayetteville, but to the Board of Directors of First Night. To anyone who has worked in the non-profit field, that simple declaration is all too familiar.

In the majority of cases, when an organization fails to meet its goals a lot (if not most) of the blame can be laid squarely at the feet of the board, those charged with keeping said organization alive and vital.

How many organizations have faltered and fallen because the board has been inattentive or put too much on the staff, and not stepped up to the plate (as any good board should do), rolled up their sleeves and made sure the organization met its goals?

The non-profit graveyard is littered with the graves of such groups, and the only etching on their tombstones is a collective, “Could have, would have, should have.”

And when calamity strikes, people in the community are struck-dumb by the news. In a lot of cases, folks would have been there, rolling up their own sleeves, helping an organization stay afloat.

And honestly, it doesn’t take much for the press to cover the world of non-profits, provided the reporters know what they are looking at.

They don’t have to attend meetings, but for crying out loud, but would it hurt to get one’s hands on the board minutes for the various non-profits? You just need to know:

What is being done that shouldn’t be?

What isn't being done that should be?

How active are the board members? Are they the sort who just sort of phone-in their dedication to the organization, by merely showing up at board meetings?

Fayetteville's Community Access Television (yeah, I know - I’ve written about this till everyone is sick of hearing it) is the recipient of a lot of sanctimonious finger pointing every year or so, while editorial writers shake their heads at the “in-fighting” that takes place. Of course, thew only reason any one knows anything about the C.A.T. board is that the damn meetings are on television.

It might be a real education for some of the holier-than-thou among us if they started paying some attention to other non-profits - before they collapse, or yearly events fail to take place.

It’s really easy if you try.


Yeah, I forgot to mention a few places

An eagle-eyed reader read my blog about community diversity last week and emailed me to remind me that the Farmer’s Market is also one of the bastions of togetherness in Fayetteville, as well as the pizza establishment on the square, which caters to folks from all walks of life.

You are absolutely right, sir.

I still wish the press around here would cover real issues of poverty - other than homelessness. Covering some working class issues might be kind of nice now and then, as well.


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Middleness is the very enemy of the bold. - Charles Krauthammer

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