Do Not Grow Weary: Nonprofit Emaciation: Confessions of a Do-Gooder Who Starved an Organization

This could be viewed as heart breaking, a loss of a dream. However, the wisdom and vission to help seems to still be alive and well for Kjerstin. There is always a tension between the need and vision and the reality of what can be done and the sustainability. I recall reading that Mother Teresa was told she had to feed herself and workers enough, not the same as the hungry or they would not be able to sustain the work. It is a tough issue to act responsibility and to manage well. Integrity and wisdom both are needed. We have found supporters do want workers to be able to do more than survive or hang on by a thread. I have always been thankful for that and try to concuct ourselves responsibly and with wisdom and integrity.

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.  2 Thess 3:13

blessings, linda

GuideStar Blog

OHM_logo5My name is Kjerstin, and I used to run an international nonprofit organization. A pretty great one, at that: my organization, FORGE, helped more than 70,000 refugees in war-torn Africa recover from conflict and prepare for a peaceful and self-sufficient future. In refugee camps across Zambia and Botswana, we built libraries, created computer training centers, provided micro-finance and agricultural finance, started preschools, ran health education programs, and more. In short, we helped refugees determine not only what they needed but how they could build it for themselves. No one else was doing what we did, and we could squeeze more out more out of our money than a souvenir penny press.

So…why the past tense?

While there are no shortage of reasons I could give you, the simplest one is this: I starved FORGE to death. 

When I started the organization, I was young, idealistic, and naive. Not experienced…

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About chinamom3078

I am a woman who loves Jesus who loved me first. Prone to wander and distraction is common for me as I seek to reflect Him in my daily life. I am wife, mom, and grandma who has lived on 3 continents in 26+ apartments, townhouses, military housing, suburbs and now a 200 plus year old farm house. Preparing and hosting meals for the hundreds who have passsed through our home has been a joy and blessing to our family as we listened and shared over meals, coffee, light nights and Bible studies. A rich life! I have reached the age to feel qualifies to be an ”older woman” (as in Titus) even though I feel far from old and have plenty of room to grow each and everyday. And my joy is to teach Bible studies and help train other women to lead well.
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