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Letter to the Editor | Would you rather make an impact or make it big?

As we reach the end of the semester, many anxious seniors have questions and uncertainty nagging at the back of their brains. What now? Do I dive head first into that impressive company? Do I take the offer from the firm I interned with? Do I go to more school? Do I take a year or two to work for Ameri-Corps, the Peace-Corps or a another charitable non-profit? Do I spend the rest of my life working for an organization like that?

How often do you hear someone truly consider that last option? More importantly, how often does someone who lays such a grand plan, make it much more than three years before trading in for a bigger name company or at least a more traditional field of work? Every year college graduates who may have been intending to work for a charitable Non-Profit face a dilemma. If they choose this path they may take their student loans and empty bank account to work or intern for a company who, if they pay, might not even pay them at the poverty line. It is difficult to justify this type of low or non-salaried work unless it's a last resort. So this year seniors who dreamed of working for these organizations will make a choice. Do I take the job I can live off or do I take the job I am passionate about?

This is what I would call a broken system. It is undeniably difficult to make a comfortable salary working for a non-profit. What is more glaring of a problem is that no one expects you to. We expect people to make this immense sometimes-unjustifiable sacrifice to work for companies with charitable output. Charitable organizations are slandered and bashed when onlookers and supporters find that much less than 90 percent of the revenue isn't going straight to the cause or if CEO of the business is making much more than 40,000 a year. Yet we also become distressed when these organizations don't yield an impressive output. You hear of people who pull donations from medical research institutions because they have not made progress yet.

We don't get up in arms when successful for-profit companies pay their workers more than they spend on product or service output. We continue to buy shares in companies that have million dollar marketing budgets. We do this because we know it works. This model of business has been successful for hundreds of years in the states. Stop and consider that maybe we should let a non-profit business be just that: businesses. If Habitat for Humanity or the UNICEF was allowed to run itself like Nike how much more impact could they have? And who knows if we let charities run like businesses, maybe businesses will run a little more like charities.

Maureen Duncan

duncanm3@miamioh.edu

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