Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stimulus: Like a Vitamin or A Red Bull for Nonprofits

This week I read the 756-page stimulus bill. Front to back. I would say not the easiest read, but a client needed me to do it. When I was finished reading it, one of the questions I asked myself is one that I believe is being asked by political pundits from both sides, is whether this is a long-term or a short term fix for the economy. I immediately, with my non-profit goggles on, asked whether this would have a vitamin (long-term) or a Red Bull (short-term) effect on non-profit organizations. My thoughts are that I think it will be more vitamin that Red Bull.

Aside from the trickle down of Obama signing, to states receiving, issuing RFPs, reviewing and awarding and organizations receiving funds (mostly for education and labor) and organizations receiving and then spending will take quite sometime. But aside from that, may of the provisions are talking about creating long-term solutions. For instance, the Innovation Fund, which is aimed at awarding high-impact government-nonprofit collaborations around education. While the immediate impact will be funding to these organizations, the real impact is how this scale up model will have an impact on less-successful models. Some financial impacts may look like Red Bull, but really its a Vitamin approach.

Now the question that everyone is also asking is do we need a vitamin or a Red Bull. I am not a trained-economist, so not so sure but think I can agree that there is nothing wrong with taking your vitamins, might be something wrong with having another Red Bull.

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