Wednesday, November 26, 2014

In Charity We Trust



For those of you who listen to public radio, you are familiar with the onslaught of non-profit organizations, foundations, and trusts that make NPR’s unparalleled reporting and insights possible. Understandably, the stations utilize the commercial breaks to credit these non-profits for their contribution to the programming being broadcast using the familiar “This program is made possible, in part, by a grant from the _________ Foundation.”

Invariably, once the name of the non-profit has been established, the “host” will convey the mission statement of the organization. While a handful of these mission statements are improbably specific, the majority lean toward hopelessly broad. My favorites are ones that wish to encourage “a more civil electorate” or a “more verdant society.” Worthwhile pursuits to be sure, but I can only imagine the headache this creates for the board of directors who are forced to quantify these goals and write actual checks.

If I were to find myself obscenely wealthy one day, I think it would be entertaining to create randomly-named foundations with ridiculously vague mission statements and direct the funds toward public media. The purpose of this would be threefold:

1.      It would provide needed funding for an informative and worthwhile journalistic pursuit.
2.      The anonymity would convey undeserved humility while shielding me from the inevitable backlash of my third and primary purpose.
3.      To hear seasoned, educated broadcasters repeat the ridiculous statements I write.

Here are some of my early ideas of the both the unnecessarily specific and comically-broad categories:

The Swaggle-Pimp Foundation – Dedicated to the elimination of unhappiness through the combined application of ambiguous political influence and rudderless endowments.

The Estate of Frank & Rosacea Horseknuckle – A bequest devoted to the elimination of metaphorical boundaries within hypothetical demographics.

The Dingleberry Collective – A charitable trust committed to the elimination of hypertension in color-blind mathematicians through nude agriculture.

The Worldwide Cooperative for Uncompromised Individualism – Utilizing pooled resources and shared directives to develop a universal framework for those seeking distinctive individuality.   

The Mutual Community Society – Supporting the arts, science, blind fundamentalism, literacy, physical wellness, basic human empathy, tort reform, organic haircare, charitable charity, house-pet monogamy, wastewater management, experimental window-tinting, ferret therapy, cancer treatment, investigative research, pre-school Crossfit, green space initiatives, left-handed cookbooks and all local parades with themes that promote or celebrate the consumption of bacon.     

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