A Non-Understanding Of Non-Profits

, , , | Learning | September 6, 2017

(I work for a non-profit arts organization. Among other things, we organize arts-oriented trips to New York City for local schools. It is a delicate balance to create a trip that includes most attractions that teachers want, is affordable for students, and covers costs for the staff who lead the trip. A teacher has just made a new request that would require a lot of juggling to maintain this balance.)

Supervisor: “Okay, ma’am. We can include [Attraction #1] in the itinerary, but then we would need to cut [Attractions #2 and #3]. Are you sure you want to make this change?”

Teacher: “I don’t want to cut things! I just want you to add [Attraction #1]!”

Supervisor: “We can’t do that without raising the cost for students or taking out of our profit.”

Teacher: “But you are a NON-profit! You shouldn’t be worried about making a profit!”

Supervisor: “We still need to make enough money to compensate our staff for their travel expenses and the time they’ve spent planning the trip.”

Teacher: “Why do YOU get to make money off this trip? I’M not making any money!”

Supervisor: “You are a public school teacher. That’s how you make your money.”

 

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