Originally Posted by valanhb
In doing a lot of research for Stray Pet Advocacy (and we are in process of getting official non-profit status so we can do more to help animals), and in my personal dealings and conversations with a wide variety of people in many aspects of companion animal welfare, the biggest problem in coordinating small non-profits is ego. Pure and simple, ego. It seems so futile for various rescues, shelters, and caretakers to be at such odds, since the goal in 99% of the orgs is the same - but yet it is either ego (XYZ wants credit to put on their resume to help them raise money, but so do ABC and LMN...), or semantics (No-Kill vs. Kill shelters in particular). If they could put it aside and think to help as many animals as they could through education and low cost vet care & S/N programs they could all reach the primary goal so much faster!
I know you asked about grassroots in general and not animal welfare in particular, but I wanted to share my experience.
I do agree with Amy - the national groups didn't start out national. They had modest beginnings in the grassroots community and gained strength and recognition from there. And I also agree that non-profit CEOs and Directors should never get 6-figure salaries! Gosh - just think of all of the people or animals or whatever that could be helped with just making those salaries into a regular salary instead of an extravagant one!
I guess it's like human nature, we can all go to the dark side. I'm sure it happens everywhere but American culture is a ripe ground for that kind of drift too, we are oppulant and ego centered.
I Remember another case in point there was this very dedicated nice couple who started a string of child day care centers in the bay area. They started out really earnest and well meaning. Well to make a long story short, within x amount of years they were just these weird, nose in the air, jerks who under paid their staff, and wouldn't get equipment so the staff would buy it themsleves (even though they were poor), and then they would just walk through their centers like the people there didn't exist. What was weird was the staff hated them and yet WOULDN"T QUIT. It was weird, like some self esteem issue. I worked there too briefly and did quit, I found a MUCH better job through the actual school district etc.
So there is a lot of sick mentality all over I guess.