Working for a Charity
As you can probably guess from some of my articles, I am not a young guy. I have had the pleasure of working for different industries and held different positions. I've bartended, cut meat and designed medical implants, electro-surgery equipment and computer systems. The companies I've worked for range from an international medical manufacturers, hospitality companies, electrical lighting manufacturers and multiple healthcare systems.
After contracting for manufacturers and hospitality companies, I interviewed for a contract position at an internationally known medical research facility. We could not come to to terms concerning the length of the contract. The CIO contacted me three times asking that I come on board as a Director. After about a month, I decided to accept the position. It was a cut in pay but I did have heath insurance at a group rate rather than the $800/month individual family rate.
I promised the CIO that I would stay one year. After seven years I left the organization. The CIO left the year before and it seemed to go downhill quickly. The new CEO (former CEO retired) did not see eye to eye with the CIO causing him to leave the company.
An eighteen year veteran of the organization was promoted as the new CIO. Not a bad choice, I had worked with him for 6 years and he could do the job. I did have concerns about his management style but nothing major. After 6 months in the job I received a call from the Human Resources Vice President. She asked that I go to my office immediately. After arriving in my office, she called my office phone. She asked me to remove access for the CIO and the Project Management Director. Unfortunately the CIO and Director had taken a trip to a fictitious conference so they could conduct their affair. This sent shock waves through the organization and especially through the IT department. I realize this type of thing happens at many places but I had never witnessed such acts from a management position.
After a few months and much consideration I decided to resign from the organization when I found an invoice for $400 bottles of wine for a donor dinner. It was the best job and I loved it but I did have an issue with asking people for $20/month and spending the funds in such a way.
At the time my best friend was a "city" truck driver and he worked hard to support his family. He and his wife made our organization a part of their charitable giving. I could not stay after seeing him work so hard for his money and us spend it on such things.
Maybe I'm a bit crazy for giving up so much. After 5 years I have finally recovered my income level. I believe we all have principles and are given challenges that test them.
Unfortunately I have become tainted on national and international charities after seeing the spending practices. The charity rating system is not a good indicator due to the way organizations report their financials. I am very cautious about who I support and why it is a priority.
Please do not let this article taint you also. All charities have problems. The key is how they respond to the problems and fundamentally change their guiding principles.