Emily Boyer (Bend, OR): The Sustainable Potential of “Non-Profit” Organizations
Non-profit organizations are named for what they are not, but what are they and what good do they do, really? Of course, there is the assumed “good cause” that a non-profit or NGO is on a mission to solve – hunger, abuse, poverty, lack of education – but do these do-gooder organizations accomplish what they set out to? And after an organization’s direct interference in people’s’ lives, how are their futures’ affected? These were some of the questions I was facing before, during, and after I spent 11 weeks interning with a U.S.-based non-profit organization in southwest Nicaragua. I have grounded this thesis in research I conducted involving several Casa Verde participants and staff while in-country. This is a look at how holistically sustainable this particular organization acted, as a case study, as well as how specific knowledge can be applied in order to improve practices of individual U.S.-based non-profit organizations.