Ive been exposed recently to a species of professional Ive never seen before. Its a council grant eater.
Charming lady, enthusiastic, earnest, and happily receiving and distributing other people’s monies, in this case federal.
The Background: Ive been trying to start up a mobile fruitcart/juice business in my town. Its coastal, warm/hot most of the year and distinctly lacking anything like this.
Ive fought with the council for a year and won grudging approval, with a lot of potential roadblocks still to overcome.
Enter the grant eater… I wont mention the programme exactly, but lets just say its supposed to improve community health by cash grants to new or existing initives. My proposal was heard about by the lady in charge of $250,000 of federal grant money and shes pretty well fasttracked our application through council and all the hurdles which were in place are just dropping away. In addition we are to receive $5000 of grant money for our project.
Now Im not one to knock back a “free” quid, but Im going to receive money for a project which Im wanting to set up anyway with the expectation of making a profit. This brings me to my main point, throughout this process Ive seen the shocking mentality of “not-for-profit” at work. There is a large percentage of the people Ive talked too who seem to look down on the fact this is intended to make money.
I havent seen that before, its a new concept to me that people think a not-for-profit, which pays their costs through grants/taxes and unsustainable fees (too low) is inherently more noble or better than a business that turns a profit and pays its own way.
In some cases the grant eaters set up not-for-profits which can directly compete with existing businesses.
Heres an example.
In my town there are 2 bike repair shops, both doing ok. So what is the council grant eater doing??
Trying to set up a not for profit bike repair.
I wish this email was a parody, I wish the bloke in the pictures wasnt real.. but here it is.
Pollinators presents a rare opportunity to hear from Lachy Ritchie, one of Australia’s leading “Young Social Pioneers”.
Register now: (link removed) leads Dismantle, a bike repair and recycling social enterprise based in Fremantle. Dismantle has been recongised by local and state governments, corporate partners and national NGOs as a leading example of integrated, sustainable delivery of social and environmental outcomes.In this 1 hour session Lachy will:Present on the ‘Dismantle’ model for connecting people and bikes for personal, community and planetary benefit, Share insights and lessons learned through successful social enterprise that reduces waste to landfill, builds confidence and relationships amongst young people and increases community participation,Discuss the relevance of the Dismantle model to regional WA and especially ****.
Its disturbing to see government gifting money where private enterprise either already exists, or is already willing to set up. Just as disturbing is the messianic impulse that drives these professionals. Ive had quite a bit of fun dropping the “we want to put solar panels on the roof of the cart” line to the different council/grant people we have spoken to.
Without exception, 5 times now the first words out of their mouths have been “that’s sustainability”…
Pavlovs dogs couldnt do better..
But its a mindset of the professional, generally uni educated, tax eater class on display.
Oh and PS: Our council rates are going up around 25% this year… no connection..
UPDATE:: Recieved this just a short time ago, again I wish it was a parody…
I wish to apologise if I have caused anyone grief through the image of the pipe in the previous e-mail I sent reminding people of the Bikes + People = Happy people + Healthy planet event.The image was taken in the context of Tweed Run — remarkably effective campaigns to get non-cyclists on their bikes: http://dismantle.org.au/events/freo-tweed-run/
A global movement: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tweed_RunBy no means does the Healthy Communities Initiative – ******! Getting Active and Eating Well Made Easy project support smoking and I sincerely apologise if this e-mail has expressed this message.