In May 2003, writing in the Harvard Business Review (the report is available for a fee, but an abstract can be found on McKinsey & Co.’s site), former NBA star, U.S. Senator, and sometime presidential candidate Bill Bradley, along with McKinsey’s Paul Jansen and Les Silverman collaborated on an article titled “The Non-Profit Sector’s $100 Billion Opportunity.” In this, they write:
…nonprofits could save roughly $25 billion a year by changing the way they raise funds. By distributing funds more quickly, they could contribute an extra $30 billion to social causes. Organizations could generate more than $60 billion a year by streamlining and restructuring the way in which they provide services and by reducing administrative costs. And they could free up even more money an amount impossible to estimate by better allocating funds among service providers.
The paper, understandably, rankled those who toil in the non-profit sector.
Now, “Phil Anthrop,” writing in The Nonprofit quarterly fires back with a searing parody of this “helpful” paper, suggesting that all nonprofits be merged and transmogrified into “five theme-based meta organizations for each state and the District of Columbia,” including Arts-Mart, Health-Mart, Human-Mart, Work-Mart, and Misc-Mart, which would be a “regional repository for the rich variety of all other environmental, religious, education, international, community improvement or hopeless-cause nonprofit.”
Nonprofits 1, Know-it-All Consultants 0
McKinsey may have the sure hands and quick on-court footwork of Bill Bradley, but the nonprofits apparently have Jonathan Swift.