Whether your interested in giving abroad because you’ve traveled to distant parts of the world and were inspired by the inventiveness of the communities you visited, read about an issue in a news article, or maybe just feel a special kinship with a given place, the desire to help can quickly move to the top of your priority list.
Increasingly, US NGOs seek to operate overseas. When a US nonprofit expands its activities across borders, whether by making grants or running programs, the compliance obligations of multiple countries can quickly become overwhelming.
Each year, the IRS publishes a report detailing what its focus will be regarding nonprofit organizations and compliance during the year to come. The following are some of the highlights from the 2012 Exempt Organizations Work Plan.
In Ripples from Zambezi, the author, Ernesto Sirolli, turns the top down model of grand economic development on its head. Instead, his focus is on nurturing the passion and creativity of individuals.
The title comes from Sirolli’s early experiments in economic development in rural Africa, where he worked as a foreign aid worker for the Italian government. The beginning of the book details his experiences in Africa and the ideas that those failed experiments planted in his mind.
From that experience, he learned firsthand the damage traditional top down development models could do and made it his life’s work to find a better way to build local economies. He later discovered that the ideas that germinated in Africa applied to Western economies, too.
Sirolli’s approach builds on the theories of E.F. Schumacher, A.H. Maslow, Carl Rogers and others. The fundamental concepts underpinning Sirolli’s work include:
– A belief in the intrinsic goodness of human nature.
– If people don’t ask for help, leave them alone.
– There is no good or bad technology to carry out a task – only an appropriate or inappropriate one. Something big, modern, and expensive is not necessarily best; it all depends on the circumstances.